Abutilon - transplanting outdoors?

jen1262August 29, 2013

New to gardening in the SF Bay area. I just planted an abutilon in the corner of my backyard cottage 6 months ago and it's already spreading over towards the doorway, as I now realize it was planted to closely. I would like to transplant it in the ground to another side, but am wondering what the considerations are for doing so. it's about 6' tall now. Also, has anyone had any skin irritation from this plant? A few times when my hands have brushed it they get itchy. Lastly, I had no idea that wasps would be attracted to it - has anyone else had this problem? I now have a bunch of wasps buzzing around the red blossoms, which unfortunately are now right near the cottage door! I love this beautiful plant but am getting frustrated at these issues. Any thoughts or recommendation? Can i plant this free standing in a flower bed versus having to position it near a structure/wall for support? Thanks!

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I have abutilon freestanding in beds- it started quite small (18") and is growing well, symmetrically, four feet tall, in half day sun. Doesn't attract wasps here- I am in San Jose- I notice they go to plants with waxy leaves/needles and there are many near the garden here. Never noticed any irritation but I don't regularly brush the plant.
I would think about transplanting later in the year when rain is starting or about to start. Fall works best for planting shrubs/trees/perrenials for me in this area.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 3:02PM
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I agree with princesspea. If planted in partial shade the plant will grow to the sun and lay over what ever else is in the area. It will accept pruning back in the winter to keep it within bounds. Wait for the rain to move. Al

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 9:07AM
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Sara Malone Zone 9b

You can hack this thing to bits, move it, move it again, hack it some more and it will be fine. Just make sure to give it enough water as it is getting established, and, as Al noted, your chances of success are best if you wait till winter to move it. You can train to a multi-trunked tree, leave it alone, coppice it yearly to keep it small, etc etc. Great plants for so many purposes. I like to have at least one near a window as they generally flower all winter long and attract hummingbirds, always entertaining to watch from inside.

The insects you are seeing are likely bees and native wasps gathering nectar. They are also pollinating. They're not interested in you, they're busy foraging. As long as you don't overly disturb them, they'll leave you alone.

Have fun!


    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 11:55AM
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