Gardeners -- hibiscus question

Can I move my hardy (perennial) hibiscus to a new location? If so, when and how?

I’ve found lots of information on getting them started and caring for them, but nothing on whether they can be safely moved.

It’s doing fine where it is – too fine. I had no idea it was going to get so big. It’s crowding everything else and it blocks the sidewalk.

Heck, I didn’t even know what I was planting, let alone how large it would be. And it keeps coming back!

Wonderful plant. It’s just in the wrong place.

well I was recently given two hibiscus which had been roughly pruned and then dug up. They were left in plastic bags for a few days before they made it to my place. It’s a severe drought here and my watering is erratic to say the least. They are doing just great. It was autumn they were shifted.

Apparently hibiscus respond well to severe pruning. I think unless you live in an area where they are marginal, they are fairly indestructible.

I don’t know what area of the country you live in, and I have never moved a hibiscus, but I have moved lots of plants around in my perennial garden. If you make sure you have a big enough rootball and make sure to give it a lot of water after you move it it will probably do fine. If it is really large it will probably be easier to cut it back some before you dig. I have a fairly large gardening library and I can look for more info, do you live in a warm area?

By “hardy hibiscus” do you mean Hibiscus moscheutos?.

Hardy plant; probably do fine. If you’re worried, marcotte some of it for new plantings - spares as it were.

If your hibiscus is doing really well, it’s very likely that digging it out will be quite the task. Ours is about 10-12 feet tall, and the roots branch out a good eight feet in all directions below the soil. You’ll definitely need a hacksaw to cut them out.

And I think Primaflora’s right about the pruning. We’ve chopped ours down by well over half at a time and left very little foliage, but within a mater of weeks, the darn thing is back to being a unwieldy monster.

Seems like it should be fine, the reason I ask about your zone is if you live in the cold north (like me), it might be a little late in the season for the roots to recover and grow on before a hard frost. But you could still move it in the spring…hibiscus come up late.

Thanks, everybody.

I’m in north central Iowa. The plant is about 5-6 feet tall, and has been in place and blooming for three years.

What I’m hearing is that I might be able to cut it back next spring, dig around the roots, and if the roots haven’t spread too far, it should handle a move okay. I won’t mess with it now.

Jorge – what is “marcotte”? Lovely word.

Yeah – yep, what you said. (I think.)

It’s a technique used to clone plants, works with some, but not all, but works nicely on hibiscus. Takes a little practice, but by gently stripping the outer bark with a razor around the base of a nice branch, about a 2" strip or so, and putting some dirt, water, maybe a little B1 or fish oil, and wrapping it up like a bandage (we use saran wrap here in HI), roots will sprout there, and you can eventually cut that branch there and re-plant.

Don’t know when it would be best to do that in your area; mid spring I’d imagine, to give the new planting some time in warm wx and then plant it the following spring.

“marcotte” is also known as “air layering”

Fall is the the best season to move just about any plant so I suspect you’ll do alright. I wouldn’t prune it right now as you would want the plants energy going into establishing the root system and not into producing new foliage. Prune it in the spring.

I’m living in an apartment right now due to impending divorce and I miss my garden something fierce.

Jorge – Thanks, I’ll try it. In fact, I’ll print this page and put it in my 2001 calendar. Otherwise, I’ll forget.

plnnr – sorry you lost your garden space. :frowning: (And about the divorce too.)

This plant’s way too big to attempt a move now, so I’ll just let it sit till spring.

I don’t know about the rest of the gardeners here, but I usually only try one or two new things every year. This year it was moonflowers and delphinium. Last year it was cleome and birdhouse gourds. Next year, I’ll try and do something on the northeast side of the house. I’ve always wanted a rose garden, but there’s a lot of evergreen shade there, so it’ll have to be something else.

Maybe a bridal veil bush and some well-behaved ferns.

Nice talking with ya’ll, and thanks again for the tips.