Abutilon, also called room maple, is a very beautiful plant that blooms from spring to fall. Caring for it is easy.
Essential facts about Abutilon
Name – Abutilon
Family – Malvaceae (mallow family)
Type – shrub
Height – 10 feet (3 meters)
Exposure – full sun
Soil – well-drained
Foliage – evergreen
Flowering – April to October
The planting phase of an Abutilon shrub is an important part of the life cycle of your plant because it sets the stage for settling in, growth and blooming.
Planting Abutilon in the open
Preferably in spring for outdoor growing, even if this is only possible in rather warm climate zones.
Abutilon shrubs are vulnerable to freezing and to drafty spaces.
- It is only possible to plant Abutilon outdoors in Mediterranean-like climates, in a place sheltered from wind.
- Indeed, they cannot stand temperatures below 23°F (-5°C).
- Well exposed locations are ideal, but not if the sun is scorching.
- They like cool and well drained soil.
- Follow our advice on planting shrubs.
Planting Abutilon in pots or containers
In our regions, Abutilons are particularly well adapted to growing in pots. If so, use a “horticultural” mix designed for indoor plants.
- Bring your Abutilon plants indoors at the start of fall.
- Refer to our guidelines on repotting indoor plants.
- Note that growing Abutilon is in many ways similar to growing Angel’s Trumpets.
Pruning and caring for Abutilon
Pots are perfect for this shrub, but it is necessary to bring it indoors for the winter. Choose a cool and airy place. This will make spring blooming even more beautiful!
- Blooming is generous and lasts for a fair part of the season.
- Water in case of extended dry spell and as soon as the soil is dry for potted plants.
- Add fertilizer from spring to fall to boost and extend blooming.
To enhance the blooming and growth of your Abutilon, prune at the end of winter or start of spring. Never prune more than ⅓ of the stems.
- Remove dead wood.
- Also remove fragile or in-growing branches.
- Clear the inner portion of your Abutilon to let the light reach the center.
Diseases and parasites that attack Abutilon
All there is to know about Abutilon
There are over 120 different species of Abutilon. Some of them look like grasses, others are closer to vines or shrubs. In all cases, flowers are very appealing and, sometimes, leaves are surprising, too.
Among the commonly grown or interesting cultivars are the following:
- Abutilom megapotamicum, also called Trailing Abutilon – It crawls and even climbs if a lattice is provided. Red-orange flowers and deep green leaves make it a favorite.
- Abutilon hybrids – They boast a nice shrub-like shape. Flowers also appear in a variety of colors from white to red, going through purple, silver pink and even yellow.
- Abutilon pictum – This variety stands out thanks to its leaves dotted with yellow spots. Generally, flowers range in hues centered around orange tints.
- Abutilon striatum or Redvein Indian Mallow – These offer abundant orange to red flowers from spring to fall.
- Abutilon vitifolium – Certainly among the tallest of the Abutilon family. They can climb to at least 20 or 23 feet (6 to 7 meters) tall. Additionally, its purple blooms are a great match to the pastel green leaves!
Smart tip about Abutilon
Mulch made from cocoa hulls is perfect for Abutilon. Keeping their base cool favors growth.
Abutilon on social media
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Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Dark abutilon by Bill Gracey under © CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Abutilon bloom from below by Tanakawho under © CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Variegated abutilon shrub (also on social media) by Serres Fortier under © CC BY 2.0