Abutilon Flowering Maple??

peter4(6a MI)June 16, 2005

Just received 2 Albutilon Flowering Maple plants that have a tag in them, but it doesn't tell me much. Is this an annual or perennial plant? Do I leave it out in the summer and then have to bring it indoors in the winter? It looks like it should be a very pretty plant and I wouldn't mind brining it indoors, but how big does it get? Any help with growing tips, pruning, etc. please!!!!

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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

It's a house plant where you are.
Linda C

    Bookmark   June 16, 2005 at 10:20PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

It's a perennial, though it's often grown in colder zones (like ours) as an annual.

Though unsure of the species or cultivar, I've grown them outdoors in soil where I treated them as annuals and grown them in containers & overwintered them successfully indoors. Planted out, they liked full sun & their fair share of water. Long in the internodes anyway, they appreciate a light hand on the nitrogen applications to help maintain tighter growth. Something like MG Bloombuster would be a good fertilizer choice. Deadheading as soon as blooms begin to fade stimulates quick replacement of blooms. Expect indoor winter growth to be gangly & weak without very good light. I root-pruned, repotted, & pruned tops back hard to rid the plants of winter growth when temperatures allowed the plants to go outdoors (Mid-may in my zone, same as yours).


    Bookmark   June 16, 2005 at 11:51PM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

Some varieties do well in baskets (those with an A. megapotamicum background.)

They come in a colour range white-pink, red, orange, yellow - and bicolour. One species is mauve.

They are easy to strike from semi-ripe wood. No subtlety or green digits required. Straight into a sharp grit with a touch of leaf mould, semi-shade, no wind and leave it in peace.

If you have got it in a pot you may need to repot twice a year because some of them are vigorous growers of roots.

Unless the frost has been prolongued, or greater than -7C, then the Abutilon will bounce back in spring from looking like a candidate for the compost heap.

If you do put it outside for the summer be aware that bumble bees love to work the flowers. Put the plant where people don't need to brush by.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2005 at 5:03AM
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peter4(6a MI)

Thank you!!! The tag says "Bella Mix" and the small pic shows a plant with white, gold, yellow and mauve all on 1 plant. For now, I have them in full sun, so when summer is over, I'll plan on brnging them indoors, and then taking out again in the spring, right? I was "bequeathed" a bougainvillea a couple years ago, and that's what I do with it. Sounds like I should repot it when I bring it in for the winter and then again when I take it out in the spring. The bumblebees won't bother me at all, I love watching them going from flower to flower. 1 more thing, do they tend to get real tall? I don't want to have a 6-foot tall plant. In other words, can you keep it trimmed to have it as large or small as you want?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2005 at 8:22AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Wait until spring to repot. Best time is as or just before it begins its spring growth spurt. For you, just after the vernal equinox (3rd wk March) or when you move it outdoors in May. Yes, you can prune to keep plant compact. Remember - when you prune you are removing blooms, too.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2005 at 12:06PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Thought I better clear something up: If they're in a pot that you feel is too small for roots, it's OK to pot up now, but I would wait until spring to reduce roots & prune hard to eliminate leggy winter growth. Sorry if I confused you.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2005 at 6:26PM
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lisa455(z9 LA)

I have mine in large pots with begonias, blue daze, lemon thyme and portulaca trailing over the edge. They grew eighteen inches last year and are about three feet tall now. I took them inside when cold weather threatened.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2005 at 9:27PM
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peter4(6a MI)

OK - thanks to everybody. NOW, can I plant it in the ground now for the summer and then put it in a pot to bring indoors for the winter and then plant outdoors again next year, or will it get too big in the ground? I would be planting it on the south side of the house which has protection from the wind and is in full sun most of the day (when, and if, we have sun)

    Bookmark   June 17, 2005 at 11:00PM
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Eliza_ann_ca(zone 6 ont ca)

I grew on last summer in almost complete shade,and it was beautiful,filling out the hanging planter and flowering all summer.
I was told by the nursery that they do not like too much sun and prefer shade.
Unfortunately i waited too long to bring it inside and it sucumbed to an early frost.
They are quite showey,and I do plan on getting another for this year.

Eliza Ann

    Bookmark   June 18, 2005 at 12:04AM
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I have a few outdoor Abutilons. Two in semi-shade and one in full sun. The semi-shade plants seem to like it there, though they are growing in a gangly way. The third one (about 4.5 feet in height)is pruned in a round top tree shape. The tag it came with said it would grow like a tree and likes full sun to part shade. It has been in full sun for almost a year and continually blooms but always looks beat down (i.e. yellow droopy leaves) Do i need to move it out of the sun?

    Bookmark   July 1, 2005 at 3:31PM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

I know this is an older thread but thought I would post my info. I have two,one was purchased at a local garden center and was labeled Abutilon pictum 'Thompsonii' (Wrong label I think) and the other was from cuttings sent to me from a hummer gardener in the Houston area. The one from Houston that I started from the cuttings is about 7ft. tall and is in a 10 inch container. The nursery purchased one is about 12 inches tall in a 10 inch container. I was advised not to put them in the ground and then dig them up because it is too stressful on these plants to dig them up AND bring them inside to adjust to lower light and drier air. I was also advised to only go up one pot size if I repot and to repot in spring. The taller one has adjustes perfectly to being indoors and continues to bloom. I keep it in front of my patio doors (west facing) in the kitchen where the humidity is a little higher from cooking than in the rest of the house. I need to prune out the top as it is really too tall right now but it is still full of blooms at the top also and I hate to lose them but I know it is inevitable.


    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 9:54AM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

Hi Penny

Think about taking out some of the old wood stems rather than taking back the tops. They flower best on new wood.

If you grow Forsythia (golden bells) - you can manage Abutilon outdoors in a similar way.

Rather than dig it up from the garden to bring it indoors in the cooler zones it is probably better to start a bunch of cuttings and grow them on to get the new wood and a good number of flowers. Much easier to keep indoors over the winter!

If you like them in baskets or similar containers - several cuttings to a basket makes a much quicker show.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 7:52PM
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