Saturday, May 9, 2009

Abutilon x hybridum

Abutilon x hybridum with variegated leaf
Abutilon x 'Golden Fleece'
Abutilon showing insect damage to leaves

The Abutilon is a popular shrub in warm frost free gardens because it flowers for such a long time and is still producing lots of Chinese Lantern' style flowers at this time of year. The flowers come in a range of gelato colours of white ,pink,red orange and yellow and are produced in great abundance. This shrub needs a bit of constant care to keep it looking good .As it is fast growing it quickly becomes "leggy" with a tall 3metre open habit. Like a lot of the Hibiscus family it is loved by a range of insect pests, some of which can almost defoliate it under extreme attacks. Abutilons are also subject to stem rot, leaving branches or sections of the plant with dead branches .As they are easy to grow from cuttings ,even by placing cut stem pieces directly into the ground, it is worth replacing the whole plant after a few years if it becomes less viable.They can also be trained as standards if you are prepared to put in the work of training it in this way. In cooler climates they can be grown successfully indoors or in a conservatory.
2017 update: I no longer grow them.

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