Growing Abutilon Flowering Maple: Learn About Abutilon Requirements Indoors

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The common name for flowering maple houseplant refers to the similarly shaped leaf of the maple tree; however, Abutilon striatum is not actually related to the maple tree family. Flowering maple belongs to the mallow family (Malvaceae), which includes mallows, hollyhocks, cotton, hibiscus, okra, and rose of Sharon. Abutilon flowering maple is also sometimes referred to as the Indian mallow or parlor maple.

This plant is indigenous to southern Brazil and also commonly found throughout the South and Central Americas. Shrub-like in appearance, the flowering maple houseplant also has blooms similar in shape to hibiscus flowers. The flowering maple is striking enough to make a lovely specimen plant in the garden or in a container and will bloom from June through October.

As mentioned, the leaves of the houseplant resemble those of the maple and are either light green or often stippled with gold hues. This variegation is the result of a virus first noticed in 1868 and eventually coveted over the solid green tones of other flowering maples. Today the virus is known as AMV, or Abutilon Mosaic Virus, and transmitted through grafting, by seed and via the Brazilian whitefly.

How to Care for Abutilon Flowering Maple

All the rage in the 19th century (hence the name parlor maple), Abutilon flowering maple is considered to be a bit of an old-fashioned houseplant. Still with its lovely bell-shaped leaves of salmon, red, white, or yellow, it makes for an interesting houseplant. So, the question is how to care for Abutilon.

Abutilon requirements indoors are as follows: Flowering maple houseplants should be placed in areas of full sun to very light shade in moist well-draining soil medium. Light shade placement will prevent wilting during the hottest parts of the day.

The Abutilon flowering maple tends to get rangy; to prevent this, pinch the tops of the branches in the spring to encourage a more compact habit. Other Abutilon requirements indoors are to water well but avoid overwatering, especially in the winter when the plant is in a dormant phase.

Flowering maple may be used as a container patio plant during warm months and then brought in to overwinter as a houseplant. A fast grower in warm climates, the Abutilon flowering maple is generally hardy in USDA zones 8 and 9 and thrives in summer warmth outside and cooler temps of 50-54 F. (10-12 C.) in winter.

To propagate flowering maple houseplants, use tip cuttings removed in the spring or grow hybrids like Souvenier de Bonn, a 3-4 foot (1 m.) specimen with peach blooms and speckled foliage; or Thompsonii, a 6-12 inch (15-30 cm.) plant again with peach flowers and variegated leaves, from seed.

Flowering Maple Problems

As far as any flowering maple problems go, they have pretty much the usual culprits or issues that afflict other houseplants. Moving the plant flowering maple to another location may contribute to leaf drop, as it is sensitive to temperature fluxes.

How to Transplant Abutilon

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The genus Abutilon (Abutilon spp.) includes about 150 species of flowering shrubs, but Abutilon hybrids (Abutilon x hybridum) are among the most popular because of the large flower sizes and color variation. Common names include flowering maple, parlor maple and Chinese lantern. These upright, shrub-like plants grow 2 to 12 feet tall, depending on the variety, with flower blossoms in such colors as pink, red, orange, yellow, white and variegated colors. Hardiness varies among different varieties, but they are generally grown in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 11. Select a planting site in full sun to partial shade that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight daily.

Cultivate the soil to a depth of 12 to 18 inches in a 5-by-5-foot square using a rototiller or hand digging tools. Although transplants require a much smaller hole, loosening the soil in a larger area makes it easier for roots to spread so the abutilon establishes quickly.

Spread about four inches of rich compost and aged manure over the loose soil and turn the soil to thoroughly incorporate the amendments. You can skip this step if you already have rich, fertile soil with good drainage. If you have poor drainage, you can also incorporate coarse sand into the soil to increase soil porosity.

Dig a hole three times as wide and as deep as the original planting container. Add water to the bottom of the planting hole to moisten the soil so the roots at the base of the root ball have access to water.

Set the flowering maple level in the hole with the top of the root ball even with the surrounding soil level. Fill in the hole with soil and pack it gently with your hands to remove air pockets.

Spread two to four inches of shredded bark mulch around the root zone to retain moisture in the soil and suppress weed growth. Mulch for moisture retention is especially important with flowering maple plants because they do not tolerate drought.

Water the root zone deeply until the soil is evenly moist. If the soil around the root ball settles after watering, add more soil up to the level of the top of the root ball. Water regularly to keep the soil moist but not wet.

Fertilize the plants once weekly, using a complete fertilizer, such as 15-15-15, which contains equal parts nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of water-soluble fertilizer in one gallon of water and distribute evenly around the root zone. Add the fertilizer to the regular water supply. Apply fertilizer twice weekly if leaves turn pale green or yellow, and continue this course until leaves return to bright green.

Care of Abutilon plants

After three to four years of growth, abutilon plants become woody and unattractive. Propagate new plants from cuttings after this time, and discard the parent plant.

High heat will force abutilon plants out of bloom. Underfertilized abutilons will develop light-colored leaves and may experience leaf drop. The plants are heavy feeders, so make sure to fertilize regularly, particularly if grown in containers.

Abutilon is commonly known as flowering maple, although it shares no relation to the tree. The plant was so named due to its broad, lobed leaves, which look very much like maple leaves. When provided with proper care, abutilon plants will produce beautiful flowers nearly year-round in pink, yellow, orange or red, depending on the variety. They are typically grown in containers, as they cannot tolerate extreme weather, but abutilons can be grown outdoors and indoors with success.

Plant abutilon in an area that receives full to partial sun and has fertile, well-drained soil. Plant in containers if the temperature in your area drops below 35 degrees in the winter or rises above 75 degrees in summer. Abutilon plants can be grown outdoors during warm periods and brought indoors during extreme weather.

  • Abutilon is commonly known as flowering maple, although it shares no relation to the tree.
  • They are typically grown in containers, as they cannot tolerate extreme weather, but abutilons can be grown outdoors and indoors with success.

Water abutilon plants thoroughly and don't water again until the top inch of soil is dry to the touch. Indoor plants may require weekly watering, while outdoor plants may go longer without water, depending on the environment. Water more frequently when temperatures are high.

Mist the air around abutilon plants using a spray bottle filled with lukewarm water during the winter months. This will increase the humidity around the plants, which will prevent spider mite infestations when the air is very dry.

Feed abutilons once every two months during the spring, summer and fall months using a balanced houseplant fertilizer. Feed only once per month during winter, as the plants grow more slowly during this time. Refer to the manufacturer's directions for proper dosage and application.

  • Water abutilon plants thoroughly and don't water again until the top inch of soil is dry to the touch.

Pinch back stems occasionally throughout the summer months to promote full, bushy growth. Prune the entire plant in early spring, removing about 1/3 of the growth with pruning shears. This will prevent leggy growth and keep abutilon plants compact.

Repot young container-grown abutilon plants once every six months for the first three years to accommodate the growing root system. Move to a slightly larger pot each time. Plants should fill an 8-inch container after the third year and should not be repotted again.

Learn how to look after an Abutilon x hybridum also known as a parlor maple plant. You’ll appreciate the versatility of this beautiful Plant.

The genus Abutilon is a large group of flowering plants in the mallow family (Malvaceae) with over 200 species.

The Abutilon, formal name – Abutilon x hybridum is also nicknamed the parlor maple plant. This is due to the fact that it enjoyed tremendous popularity in the Victorian times. In addition to parlor maple, it is also called Indian mallow or Chinese lantern.

The parlor maple is not related to maple trees. The “maple” refers to the shape of the leaves.

The versatility of the plant arises from the fact that it is actually an evergreen shrub but adapts very well to becoming a container plant. You can use it indoors or outdoors.

These plants can be upright or have a tendency to lean or droop. The drooping varieties are great for arbors or arched trellises.

They come in a variety of colors making them very adaptable toward any interior or exterior decor theme. The flowers are delicate, like crêpe paper.

Check out this quick video for a look at a few large mature specimens:

Abutilon Flowering Maple Quick Facts:

Common Names Parlor maple, Abutilon, Abutilon hybrids. There are over 200 different species.
Features It comes in a broad range of colors, from creams and pale paintings up through orange pinks and reds. look for "Abutilon x hybridium"
Colors Indoors these plants can be used as a container plants. They weather outside very nicely in the spring and summer. Used exclusively outside on balconies, terraces or patios they can be used as a shrubbery.
Light Bright light: Direct Sunlight - These plants like a lot of light.for a balcony or patio container place in sunny area. Indoors in front of sunniest window.
Watering Moderate-seasonal. Most varieties of the parlor maple like to be watered often in the spring and summer. Do not soak them, the top of the soil should be just moist. Cut back on watering in the winter.
Soil You can use general all-purpose potting soil. Or, if you prefer to make your own use a four-part formula consisting of two parts loam, one part coarse sand, and one part peat moss.
Re-Potting Repotting is recommended in the spring if needed.
Propagation The easiest method of propagation is from stem cuttings approximately three or 4 inches long. Seeds can also be used which will sprout in approximately four weeks.
Comments Fast grower: Should be pruned in early spring. Pinch shoot tips and fertilize to make more bushy for more flowers and containers.

Requirements For Growing The Abutilon Flowering Plant

Paul Hermans GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Abultilion flowering maples do quite well in containers for inside or outside use. There are certain species that are specifically designed for containers. Selecting one of these will make it quite easy to maintain.

If your plant is not producing blooms one of the troubleshooting points is to move it into a sunnier location.

The soil mixture should be a standard all-purpose soil mix or you can make your own consisting of four parts, two parts loam, one part peat moss, and one part sand. These plants are generally evergreen in that they will bloom all year round especially indoors. They must get plenty of sunlight and some fertilizer that boosts blooming.

A recommendation on fertilization is to give it a full strength dose once a month and then dilute the fertilizer to 25% strength and apply at each watering.
The soil should be kept moist but not we,. The ideal situation is that the top of the soil will feel damp. Check on the need to make sure that water is not coming out the bottom and the plant is stagnating in it.

Abulitons ideally prefer somewhat cool temperatures. The ideal indoor temperature is 60°F to 70°F. They should also be air good circulation in the room, they do not do well in stuffy rooms.

If you get cold temperatures in the winter you can bring them inside and they will thrive in a well lit room. Since they prefer cooler temperatures and bright light in enclosed per porch might be an ideal environment.

Abutilon Flowering Plant Care

Growing these plants is relatively easy. Remember, it is very sensitive to light conditions and should be kept in bright light.

It is not particularly vulnerable to any kind of pests or insects.

These plants have a tendency to grow out and become “leggy” if they are not pruned back. Without pruning, you’ll end up with a tall and wide scraggly plant.
To maintain an attractive plant for container they need to be pinched back regularly. Not only will this keep them in a dense bushy state, but it will promote new flowers.

Propagation of Abutilon Flowering Maple

JJ Harrison GFDL 1.2 or CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The most popular method of propagation for this plant is through cuttings. This results in a plant that is an exact reproduction of its parent plant. The cuttings can be 3 to 6 inches long and should be taken from a stem that does not have blooms on it. Strip off all the leaves on the lower half. Sprinkle the cutting with a rooting hormone.

Place them into a pot with damp soil. Keep the pot cool in bright light conditions. However, being in the direct sunlight may dry the plant out too much. The pot should be Uniformly moist (but not wet). Roots should form 4 to 6 weeks.

Cutting propagation is best done in the spring

The species can be grown from seeds , and under proper conditions you’ll see sprouts to begin to emerge after three or four weeks. However, propagating from seed is for patient people as it generally takes at least a full year. sometimes 2 years before they reach the state of being able to bloom.

Aftercare Considerations

Young plants, in their early life, should receive bright light yet be protected from direct sun. The light requirements are a bit of a balancing act. It is also very important to protect them from wildly fluctuating temperatures. The ideal temperature growing range is from 55°F at night to 70°F during the day.
If the plants are going to be kept outside on the balcony or deck, they can be slowly acclimated to direct sunlight. You want to avoid shocking the plants with too much light, too soon.

It is also important to not what young plants dry out. They thrive in humidity and moisture. Just be careful you are not soaking them too much and they are sitting and standing water.

Beginners’ Gardening Tips : How to Maintain an Indoor Herb Garden

How to Propagate Abutilon

The abutilon is commonly known as flowering maple, because its foliage resembles that of a maple tree, and is related to the hibiscus. Abutilon flowers look a lot like hibiscus and bloom in many of the same shades. Abutilon is generally grown as a houseplant outside of the warmer, tropical regions of the United States and requires filtered sunlight and consistent fertilization during the growing season. Hardy to USDA zones 10a to 11, abutilon will readily propagate from softwood cuttings (green stems that are just beginning to harden), taken in late spring.

Cut 4 inches from the tip of an abutilon branch, below a node (area of the stem where a leaf joins it). It should be new growth that is just beginning to harden. If you can bend the branch without snapping it, it is softwood. Cut at a 45-degree angle. Place the cutting in a plastic bag on top of a moist paper towel and keep it out of direct sunlight.

  • The abutilon is commonly known as flowering maple, because its foliage resembles that of a maple tree, and is related to the hibiscus.
  • Hardy to USDA zones 10a to 11, abutilon will readily propagate from softwood cuttings (green stems that are just beginning to harden), taken in late spring.

Remove all flowers and leaves from the cutting with the exception of three or four leaves at the top.

Fill the planting pot with a mixture of 80 percent perlite and 20 percent peat moss. Moisten the planting medium until the water drains from the bottom of the pot. Allow the pot to drain completely. Using your finger or a pencil, create a planting hole in the soil.

Dip the cut end of the branch, up to at least two leaf nodes, into the rooting hormone and then stick it into the planting medium. Ensure that at least two leaf nodes are buried.

  • Remove all flowers and leaves from the cutting with the exception of three or four leaves at the top.
  • Fill the planting pot with a mixture of 80 percent perlite and 20 percent peat moss.

Bend a piece of wire or a coat hanger into a U shape, turn it upside-down and poke the ends of it into the soil at the edges of the planting pot. The top of the wire structure should extend at least 2 inches above the cutting.

Place the pot in a plastic bag and adjust the plastic over the wire structure so it is not touching the cutting. Seal the bag and place it in an area that receives sunlight (but out of direct sun) and remains above 70 degrees F. The abutilon cutting should root within four to six weeks.

Flowering Maple

Long a favorite in Florida gardens, flowering maples continue to win new fans in other regions of the South. This group of semitropical shrubs grows quickly and produces attractive blooms nearly continuously in warm weather. Provide moist, fertile, well-drained soil watch out for whiteflies and scale insects. Excellent in containers on porch, deck, or patio in cold-winter areas, bring inside to a sunny window before frost. Easily propagated from cuttings taken from current season's growth. Do not overfeed with nitrogen or you'll get lots of leaves and few flowers. In areas where cold hardiness is questionable, be sure plants have good drainage in winter.

Abutilon hybrids

  • Also grown as annuals in colder climates.
  • The best-known flowering maples.
  • Upright, arching growth to 410 feet tall, with equal spread.
  • Broad, maple-like leaves can reach 8 inches across drooping, bell-like, 2- to 3 inches flowers come in white, yellow, pink, or red.
  • The following are all good choices.

Bartley Schwartz

  • Arching and weeping, with nearly constant production of orange-yellow, drooping blossoms.
  • Good hanging basket plant or standard.

Bella series. Assorted colors, seed grown. 3 inches flowers on plants 1418 inches tall.

Boule de Neige

  • Large, vigorous, upright plant with white flowers.

Canary Bird

  • 3 inches., clear yellow flowers from early summer to frost.


  • Compact.
  • Red-orange bells over a long season.

Crimson Belle

Dwarf Red

  • Compact and free branching, with orange-red flowers.

Fairy Coral Red

  • Zones MS, LS, CS, TS USDA 711.
  • 12- to 18 inches-tall plants with salmon-pink flowers.

Fool's Gold'. Upright to 4 feet. rust-colored pendant flowers from early summer to frost.

Kentish Belle

  • Trailing habit yellow-orange flowers.

Kristen's Pink'. Compact to 2 feet Pink, 3 inches flowers are ideal for garden or container.

Linda Vista Peach

  • Orange petals protrude from deep pink calyxes.

Little Imp

  • Narrow yellow flowers with red calyxes.
  • Compact plant with arching habit.

Lucky series. Red, tangerine, white, or yellow flowers on compact, 12 inches plants.

Marion Stewart

  • Upright-growing plant producing orange flowers with attractive red veins.

Mobile Pink

  • Upright, compact growth.
  • Large, wide-open flowers in pale pink with deeper pink veining.


  • Yellow flowers on a compact plant.

Orange Hot Lava

  • Orange and red bells begin early summer on a 4 feet-tall plant.


  • Upright to 6 feet Bell-shaped red flowers bloom late summer to fall.

Trailing abutilon

Abutilon megapotamicum

  • Vine-shrub from Brazil.
  • Vigorous growth to 10 feet and as wide, with arrowlike, 112- to 3 inches-long leaves.
  • Red-and-yellow, 112 inches flowers resembling tiny lanterns gaily decorate the long, rangy branches in spring and summer.
  • Pinch branch tips to control size, force bushier growth.
  • More graceful in detail than in entirety but can be trained to an interesting pattern.
  • Usually best as loose, informal espalier.
  • Good hanging basket plant.
  • Marianne has better, more intense flower color 'Variegatum' has leaves mottled with yellow 'Victory' is compact and floriferous, with small deep yellow flowers.

Flowering maple

Abutilon pictum

  • Maplelike leaves with showy flowers.

Souvenir de Bonn

  • Upright to 10 feet tall and 5 feet wide.
  • Orange flowers with green, cream-edged foliage.


  • Erect grower to 12 feet tall and 512 feet wide.
  • Mottled yellow and green variegated leaves accent pale orange bells veined with red.

Chilean tree mallow

Abutilon vitifolium

  • From Chile.
  • To 15 feet tall, 8 feet wide.
  • Gray-green, maple-like leaves to 6 inches or longer.
  • In summer, lilac-blue to white flowers are borne singly or in clusters on long stalks.
  • Needs high humidity.
  • Tennants White' is a choice form.

Watch the video: Repotting abutilon pictum. flowering maple


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