We are fortunate here in Southern California to live in a mild climate with infrequent violent weather. With that being said the one severe weather event we do seem to get the most of on an annual basis is wind. For many of you who live in the more wind prone areas you know how challenging this can be for your plants.
For hibiscus in particular the wind events we have here are really problematic as it usually brings with it a set of climatic conditions that are the exact opposite of what they need. The worst being winter Santa Ana wind events where the climate becomes extremely dry (usually in the single digit humidity readings), cold and physically damaging. If your exotic hibiscus are potted it is a good idea to bring them indoors or at least into a wind protected area.
The map above shows a typical Santa Ana wind event for Southern California. That is some serious powerful winds that can really put the hurt on your plants. With that in mind I was recently reminded that sometimes even the most innocent decisions can have big impacts when it comes to successfully growing hibiscus. Usually when we buy pots for our plants it comes down to price and aesthetics. God knows we spend so much money on buying plants, the fertilizers, sprays and all the other tools needed to take care of them that the pots become an after thought in the whole process. But as I found out this past weekend when we had two back to back strong Santa Ana wind events that what pots you decide to use can have a big impact.
Above are some hibiscus seedling plants that I am currently growing. They sure got wind whipped and are not all that happy right now but they will survive.
This photo shows a group of exotic hibiscus that were donated to our society last month. No matter what I did they would not stay up during the wind events due to the shape of the pots. Not only is being horizontal very tough on the plants but every time the fall over they lose a lot of soil too. So now I have multiple issues to deal with once the wind event is over. And being that this season it seems like we are going to have a lot of wind events I will have to go through this each time. So lesson learned: you have to think about all sorts of potential problems in each step of growing exotic hibiscus. I hope this post will help you avoid one less problem and lead to more success in your hibiscus adventures. I will be repotting these plants…