Should I Leave My Tropical Hibiscus Outside?

Q: Is there a alternative to leaving plants like tropical hibiscus outside instead of bringing inside? I recently moved and do not have the room I once had in the garage. 

A: Trying to get a tropical hibiscus to survive winter outdoors in Atlanta means you’re fighting Mother Nature. My colleague Theresa Schrum notes: “Mother Nature always bats last.”

Tropical hibiscus simply does not have the physical capacity to tolerate freezing temperatures. If you can keep it in a place where the temperature does not go lower than 50°, it will drop many leaves but it will survive. At temperatures slightly lower than that, cell damage becomes too great. If you have a sheltered corner outdoors where two stone or brick walls come together, you could put the hibiscus there and hope the dense materials radiate enough heat at night to keep your plant alive. It might work in a mild winter.