Abutilon, an indoor maple

Three abutilon flowers and leaves on black background, with yellow petals and red cuppolas.

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

NameAbutilon
Family – Malvaceae (mallow family)
Type – shrub

Height – 10 feet (3 meters)
Exposure – full sun
Soil – well-drained

Foliage – evergreen
Flowering – April to October

Planting Abutilon

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.

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

Many common bugs attack this kind of plant, such as red spider mite or aphids.

All there is to know about Abutilon

View of a single abutilon flower as seen from below with yellow petals.Abutilon are very beautiful shrubs that are native to Chili, in South America. They are plants that undeniably bring a touch of exotic colors to any garden.

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.

Together with hollyhock, tree mallow and hibiscus, Abutilon is part of the large mallow family.

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.

Large abutilon with variegated leaves and mat red flowers.

Abutilon on social media

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Picture related to Abutilon overlaid with the

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