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My Parlor Maple

My parlor maple (abutilon or flowering maple) is a delight all year long. There is rarely a time when it is not in bloom. Another of its gifts is that it is happy in a cool house. Abutilons are happy with temperatures down to 40F and some even a bit cooler, down to 35F.
And for all its floriferous abandon it does not need much care. It needs full sun. Mine sits in front of an east window, but with a south window just a few feet away. The room is very bright and sunny even thugh it is cool, probably below 50F at night because it is next to our bedroom and I require a cold room for sleeping.
According to the rules it should be fertilized weekly, but I rarely remember to do this. On the other hand I have to admit that its lower stems are bare, which is a sign of insufficient feeding. I’d better make a new resolution.
This plant was given to me last year by a friend who started it from a cutting, so I don’t know its name. When we went on vacation it did not get wataered for nearly 2 weeks and was dry and sad when we returned. However, I cut off the dead parts, resumed watering and gentle fertilizing and it totally recovered. This indicates that it does indeed respond well to hard pruning.
I have never had a problem with whitefly, which can be a problem treated with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol and then rinsing the plant.
Abutilons come in a variety of colors, and some like Bartley Schwartz with cascading yellow orange flowers is perfect for a hanging basket. If you don’t have a friend with abutilon babies Logee’s Nursery has a good collection, and I have had excellent luck with all the plants I have gotten there.

1 comment to My Parlor Maple

  • Lisa at Greenbow

    I have found that Abutilons bloom and grow nice in pots on my patio that has only a few hours of morning sun.

    I didn’t bring them in this year because the house has even less light and I don’t have room for many plants inside.

    Yours is gorgeous. I might try to bring one in this next fall. Since yours shed its lower leaves you could possibly make it a standard. I always think those look beautiful. I never have the patience to get one into a good form.

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