Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Abutilon (Flowering Maple)

This is one of my favorite annuals which until now, I did not know just how easy they were to overwinter indoors. I guess I can't call them annuals anymore....I'm going to have to now refer to them as houseplants. I decided to bring them in last year to see if they could survive a winter and they did without any problems. And there should have been problems because I'll forget to water my houseplants for weeks or forget to open the blinds in the back room (where they were staying) for weeks....these guys got a workout but they survived. They're tough plants but you wouldn't know it from their  hibiscis-like crepe papery delicate flowers.

Abutilon is also called flowering maple because its leaves resemble a maple's. They are not related to a maple in any way though. They just look like them, sort of.

I've bought red ones before (not your usual screaming bright red, a very beautiful sophisticated red) and soft orange ones with variegated spotted leaves. They're kind of hard to find in garden centers but sometimes you luck out. If you get a chance, try them. They might come in a little three inch plastic pot and be just four inches tall but it doesn't take long for them to fill out and start blooming their little heads off... and apparently, for many as many years as you remember to bring them in before the first frost.


Mental P Mama said...

They really do look hibiscus-like. Do the turtles like them?;)

Maria said...

I just looked them up and um, they're in the hibiscus family. That explains it.

And I don't know if the turtles like them because they haven't found them yet...and I want to keep it that way! >:-)