Abutilon – The Flowering Maple

Red Flowering Abutilion
Red Flowering Abutilion

Widely called Flowering Maples, Abutilon x hybridum are also known as ‘Chinese Lanterns ‘ and these long flowering plants are for sale in a range of flower colors and forms.

With over 40 species including Abutilon Bella, Abutilon megapotamicum and many other hybrids. We also have the not so garden worthy A. theophrasti which is a little weedy.

The long flowering Abutilon prefer a mild climate, and protection from heavy frosts. A well drained soil in sun or semi shade is best.

With lantern or bell shaped hanging flowers ranging from yellows, orange and tangerine through to pink, red and white Abutilon are an easy plant to care for, mulch well and cut back hard to promote new growth. You can also find forms with variegated foliage such as ‘Cannington Carol’ pictured above.

Abutilon Care

Double Pink Flowering Maple - Abutilon Victorian Lady
Double Pink Flowering Maple – Abutilon Victorian Lady

Most Abutilon’s we see for sale are Abutilon x hybridum, they are actually a semi tropical shrub but seem to cope well in zones 9 -11 where they are hardy.

In zones 7 -9 they can also be grown in the garden if they are given protection from frost or are grown as an annual.

In cooler areas these frost tender plants are often grown in containers and given protection over winter. They grow well in full sun to part shade and prefer a humus rich moist soil.


Abutilon can either be tipped pruned or hard pruned and they grow well using either method.

For those who tip prune on a regular basis, you will promote a good bushy habit that will look great. Simply pinch out the leader from new growth on a regular basis.

However Abutilons can tend to get a little ‘leggy’, and sometimes need more drastic pruning.

This is best carried out in spring, unless you live in a warm climate. simply prune back hard to a bud or growth node (the little bumps on the stem.

Give them a good watering and some fertiliser and they will reward you with a great show of flowers in no time at all, just like the pink flowering Abutilon pictures above.


Pink Abutilon
Pink Abutilon
  • Abutilon ‘Double Pink’ has double pink carnation like flowers summer to autumn.
  • The wonderful Abutilon ‘Red Tiger‘ with its deep red and yellow veined flowers is eye catching.
  • Dwarf Abutilon including the variegated, Abutilon ‘Cannington Carol’ are suitable for growing in pot.
  • Abutilon x hybridum ‘Roseus’ is the pink ‘flowering maple’,
  • Abutilon x hybridum ‘Luteus’ is the yellow flowering cultivar and ‘albus’ the white one.
  • The Double Pink Flowering Maple – Abutilon Victorian Lady is pictured right


As most Abutilon used in gardens are hybrids the best way to propagate them is from cuttings.

  1. Simply take semi hard wood cuttings in early summer and strike them in a mixture of potting soil and sharp sand.
  2. You can use a hormone powder to help with the strike rate.
  3. Plants can be covered with a clear plastic bag supported on wire to create a humid atmosphere.
  4. Keep cuttings in a warm shaded position, and make sure they remain moist.
  5. Once new growth commences, remove the plastic bag and harden them off over winter. They should be ready to plant out in spring the following year.

Where to buy

PLANT FDELIGHTS – phone 919 772 4794
Raleigh NC 27603
Good selection of Abutilons for sale.