Chinese lantern: Abutilon megapotamicum

This member of the Malvaceae family originates from South America. It has a shrublike habit and grows up to 1.5 m (5 ft) tall. It flowers in summer with yellow petals and red calyx, while the variety ‘variegatum’ has yellow-flecked leaves. There are also many abutilon hybrids with flowers in a wide variety of colours.

They prefer a sunny, warm position but not the strong midday sun. In summer the plant must be watered generously. During the growing period it should given a complete fertilizer every week. It is best propagated during summer by tip cuttings. For over-wintering, abutilons should be kept in a light position where the temperature will not go below 10-15° C (41-50° F) because otherwise they would lose their leaves. During this period the plants need very little water. Large plants can be cut back drastically before being brought indoors, although pruning is best done in early spring. Watch out for aphids and whitefly and check for grey mould while the plant over-winters.

14. April 2014 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Fruit Trees | Comments Off on Chinese lantern: Abutilon megapotamicum

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