Abutilon


 

Common name: Flowering Maple



Abutilon are half-hardy and tender annuals, perennials, evergreen shrub / small trees, and are part of the malvaceae or Mallow family.

In the UK they generally require greenhouse treatment, however, a few species can be grown as wall shrubs in sheltered areas of south west England.

Typical Shrub formation
Flower head

Elsewhere they are best treated as pot plants where they can be moved under cover in winter.

The flowers are wide funnel-shaped,and they are generally borne singly from the leaf axils, but occasionally in small clusters.


A. x hybridum can grow to a height of 2-2½ metres (6-8 ft) and spread t0 1-2metres (4-6 ft).

When grown as a pot plant they usually only grow to around ½-1½ metres(2-4 ft) high.


Grow plants in rich, moisture retentative but well-drained soils in full sun to part shade

Pinching out the stem tips of younger plants will promote both bushiness and stronger more compact plants.

Water freely during the growing season, and just moist for the rest of the year.

Give a dilute liquid feed at 10-14 day intervals from May to September, and shade the glass lightly during the hottest months.

Ventilate the greenhouse freely when the temperature exceeds 13°C(55°F).

Pot on annually in March or April if large container plants are required,otherwise discard them every two years and replace them with new plants grown from cuttings or seeds.

Propagation:


Take 75-100mm (3—4 in) cuttings of half-ripe lateral shoots between May and August, and insert them in equal parts (by volume) peat and sand in a propagator at a temperature of 15-18°C (59-64°F).

Pot the rooted cuttings singly in 75-100mm (3"-4") pots of John Innes potting compost No. 1, and grow on until planting out time.

Harden off outdoor plants in a cold frame before planting out in May or September.

Plant out against sheltered sunny walls / close boarded fences

Note: Those remaining outdoors during the winter will need some form of protection winter protection

If growing on as pot plants pot them up into 150-200mm (6"-8") pots of John Innes potting compost No. 2.

Plants can be raised from seeds, but named varieties do not come true; A. vitifolium is better grown from seeds, as cuttings are difficult to root.

Sow during March or April in pots or pans of seed compost at a temperature of 15-18°C (59-64°F).

Prick out the seedlings, when large enough to handle, into boxes and then singly into 75-100mm (3"-4")pots of John Innes potting compost No. 1 or its equivalent.

Further treatment is as described for cuttings.

Pruning: In the greenhouse, cut back main stems by half and laterals to 75-100mm (3"—4") in March.

Remove frosted and dead shoots from outdoor plants in March or April.

Pests: Plants can be affected by Scale Insects, particularly the Soft scaled variety, Whitefly and Mealy bugs can also be a problem, particularly when plants are grown in a greenhouse.

Diseases: Generally trouble-free.

 

Top of the Page