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Abutilon  is a large genus of flowering plants in the mallow family, Malvaceae. It is distributed throughout the tropics and subtropics of the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Australia.General common names include Indian mallow and velvetleaf; in Russian, ornamental varieties are commonly known as the room maple.

All About growing Abutilon, the Flowering Maple
Abutilon are free flowering plants with leaves like maple trees and colorful flowers that have the look of crepe paper. Although Abutilon is no relation to the maple tree, it is frequently referred to as the "flowering maple". Abutilon does have maple-like palmate leaves. You may also notice a similarity to mallows and hibiscus. These are cousins of Abutilon, and in addition to similar flower shapes, they share the ability to produce dozens of flowers.
Botanical Name
Abutilon x hybridum
Common Names
Flowering Maple, Parlor Maple, Indian Mallow
Hardiness Zones
Abutilon is only reliably perennial in USDA Zones 9 - 11, however it is often grown as a houseplant and taken outdoors for the summer.
Mature Plant Size
The mature size of your flowering maple depends on the variety being grown. In the ground, Abutilons can reach 8 ft.
tall and wide. They tend to be much smaller, when grown as potted plants and can be pruned to keep them whatever size you like.
Sun Exposure
For the most prolonged flowering, site your flowering maple in full sun to partial shade.
In fact, a happy Abutilon can flower almost non-stop, in shades from white to pale yellow to deep coral and red.
Bloom Time
All Abutilon plants repeat bloom. They can bloom continually , if given warm temperatures and lots of sun.
Design with Abutilons
Since Abutilon is often grown in containers, it is usually a specimen plant. However outdoors the rich colors blend especially well with saturated blues and purples, like salvia and clematis.
Because of Abutilon’s arching habit, it’s a nice choice for an entryway arbor. They can even be trained as espaliers, along fences and walls or as a standard, when grown in a container. Many varieties also do well as hanging plants.
Suggested Abutilon Varieties
Abutilon ‘Kentish Belle’ - A two-toned, bell-shaped flower of apricot-yellow with purple stamens. (Zones 8-10, 8' x 8')
Abutilon ‘Canary Bird’ - Rounded growth habit and extremely long flowers, with yellow trumpet-shaped flowers. (Zones 9-10, 10' x 10')
A. pictum ‘Thompsonii’ - Attractive mottled yellow leaves offset by salmon colored flowers. (Zones 9-10, 15' x 6')
Tips for Growing Abutilon Plants
Flowering maples aren’t too particular about soil, but they will react to weather and water extremes. They do not do well with prolonged dry periods, but they also don’t want to sit in wet soil.
The soil pH should be in the neutral range, but more importantly, it needs to be well-draining. Re-pot container Abutilon’s every year or two and change the potting soil.
Propagating: Propagate by cuttings. Snip about a 4 inch tip of a branch while the branch is still green and somewhat tender. Leave 3 leaves, and cut off excess leaves and any flowers or buds.

Caring for Abutilon Plants

Feeding: Abutilon can be heavy feeders, probably because they do so much blooming. This is especially true when they are grown in containers. Feeding every other week with a dilute, water soluble fertilizer will keep them blooming.

Pruning: Abutilon takes pruning well. Tip prune young plants, to spur new growth and get a fuller shape. If yours starts to become tall and gangly, snipping it back to a leaf joint will encourage it to send out new branches. Abutilon can also be pruned back hard in the spring, if you want to control its size.


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