Abutilon Seeds - ABUTILON vitifolium Indian Mallow, Flowering Maple, continually bloom-Perennial
Abutilon is also known as the flowering maple. Although it is no relation to the maple tree, Abutilon does have maple-like palmate leaves. You may also notice a similarity to mallows and hibiscus. These are cousins of Abutilon, and in addition to similar flower shapes, they share the ability to produce dozens of flowers. In fact, a happy Abutilon can flower almost non-stop, in shades from white to pale yellow Pink to deep coral and red.
This is a rather lovely, deciduous shrub from Chile with downy, greyish, vine-shaped leaves. Fast-growing (over 10 feet in only 18 months from seed) and, if left to its own devices, eventually large and handsome, it bears from a fairly early age copious numbers of large, pale to deep mauve flowers described variously as saucer, bowl or other kitchen utensil-shaped. Although most profuse in late spring or early summer, blooms can be found as late as October. Likes a warm position.
Abutilon vitifolium Flowering Maple, Mallow
Taken from some particularly fine forms of this fast growing shrub and should provide flowers in a range of mauve blue shades. Copious numbers of large bowl shaped flowers in early summer and maple like leaves. Abutilon is an ideal plant for a conservatory or cool greenhouse, and will live happily outside in the summer on a patio or other sunny, sheltered spot in the garden. Being half-hardy, Abutilon Vitifolium needs protection from frosts. Plants growing outside on the patio should ideally be brought indoors for winter and kept in a light, frost-free place, watered sparingly, until the following spring. Container grown Abutilons do tend to be smaller than those growing in the ground but have the advantage of being able to be moved to a warmer site during the colder months. Abutilon vitifolium can be pruned in summer after flowering. Dead heading will keep the plant vigorous and prolong the flowering season.
How to Grow Abutilon from Seed
Several Abutilon varieties are available, varying in plant size, leaf size and flower size as well as in colour.
Abutilon âBellaâ is a compact, dwarf variety with large showy bell-shaped flowers in a wide range of tropical pastel colours and the characteristic maple-leaf shaped leaves. Abutilon âMaximusâ has large bell-shaped blooms in shades of orange, red and yellow with darker veins. The leaves of Abutilon âMaximusâ are sometimes variegated which can be quite striking. Abutilon âGiantâ can grow to around 48 inches (120cm) but can also be kept compact when grown as a houseplant; its bell-shaped flowers are found in shades of pink, purple, apricot and raspberry.
Abutilon seeds usually germinate quickly with no special treatment. Seeds can be soaked in luke warm water for up to 8 hours, or overnight, before planting but this is not strictly necessary to achieve good germination rates. A heat mat or propagator may be used if your growing area is cool. Light also aids germination so trays should be placed under lights or in a bright window. Seeds can be planted in 3 inch individual pots, allowing 2 seeds per pot, they can also be dropped into pre-soaked peat plugs or growing pellets or spaced 2-3 inches apart in seedling trays.
Germination is usually within 3 â 30 days and plants can reach the flowering stage very quickly under high light conditions. If you intend to grow your Abutilon outdoors sow the seeds from January to April in pots using moist seed compost and a light covering of compost or vermiculite. Place in a warm area (22-24C/72-75F) and keep the surface of the compost moist but not waterlogged. Temperatures below 60F/15C can cause reduced growth or delay flowering. To grow Abutilon as a houseplants seeds can be planted at any time of year given adequate light and warmth.
When large enough to handle, transplant the seedlings into individual 3 inch pots, one seedling per pot, and grow on at 60-70F/15 â 21C until the pot is full of roots, then re-pot again into a 5-6 inch pot. Gradually acclimatize to outdoor conditions for about two weeks after the last risk of frost has passed.
Light pruning during the active growing season will prevent plants from becoming leggy. Outdoor plants can be over-wintered indoors, ideally in a sunny, enclosed porch or conservatory with bright light.
Pinching is not needed. Best branching occurs when the plants are spaced as soon as the foliage touches the sides of the pot. Prune back by 30% in late winter to stimulate new growth in the spring. Indoor plants appreciate light pruning throughout the year which helps to fill out pots and baskets and to stimulate new growth.
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