Abutilon is a genus of flowering plants with the common name Indian Mallow part of the Mallow or Malvaceae family. There are species that are native to Africa, Asia, Australia and the Americas. Abutilons are grown as ornamental plants for their showy flowers. They work well for adding colour and fragrance to the garden, the conservatory or as houseplants. This page will help you learn where to plant, care for, and maintain an abutilon plant so you can get the best from them.
What is an Abutilon?
Abutilons grown in the UK tend to be shrubs or small trees, with a wide range of flower colours from white through pinks, oranges, reds and pale purples. The flowers are very attractive to bees and other pollinators. Leaves are often lobed like a maple and in varying shades of green including some striking variegations. Abutilons vary in height from 1m to 3m but size can be controlled by pruning. Abutilons are not considered to be fully frost hardy and like a sunny spot sheltered from cold winds, with well drained soil.
Where to plant Abutilon
Abutilons like well drained but nutrient-rich soil either in pots or the garden. Bushy forms are suited to container growing or as feature plants in the border. The lax or floppy forms like megapotamicum are best as wall or trellis grown plants. Most Abutilons grown in the UK will take a very short light frost but if prolonged cold spells are forecast move pots to frost free areas and wrap garden plants with fleece until the weather improves.
How to care for this plant?
Planted in the right place Abutilons are easy to care for. In spring they will grow quickly and come into flower. A liquid feed once a fortnight in spring and summer will promote strong growth and flowers. Abutilons grown in conservatories can suffer from whitefly and regular treatment with SB Plant Invigorator will help control these. Abutilons like to be pruned in the early spring to remove any old and damaged foliage, they can be cut back quite hard to healthy buds. Light pruning through the growing season will help keep a good shape. Before winter pruning to reduce size can help when moving pot grown plants to shelter.