Way back in my memories, I remember large flowering plants in my Grandma’s living room. She had a large bay window, if it was even called that, since the end of the living room was almost a circle of windows which let in so much light, she could grow anything. She was a Pastor’s wife and moved now and again, but this house I remember was in Elkton, Kentucky. Everything in this house was always “guest ready” because as a Pastor, many unexpected guests came often.
Those plants were kept so nicely and I was allowed to help water them when we visited. I remember the huge Asparagus Ferns and Rubber Trees, Flowering Maple and begonias. So many plants and so many colors. Maybe I got my love of plants from her.
My Mom had a few plants but not as much as her mother did. Maybe it skipped a generation and I am channeling my memories of my Grandma when I want to have lots of plants in the home, lining them up behind and around my sofas. Who knows?
But my Mom did have the Flowering Maple and I thought it had the prettiest flowers. Maybe that is even why I have a strong attraction to flowers that hang in pendants or “bells” since these do hang that way.
During a recent Plant Haul, I ran across one of these plants and I knew it was coming home with me. The one I picked was a red-orange color and I don’t know of any particular name for it other than its name of Flowering Maple or Chinese Lantern Flower or Indian Mallow. The scientific name is Abutilon and it is a member of the Mallow family so that is why it looks like an hibiscus.
Although it can be grown as a houseplant, this can also be outside in the garden planted in the ground as a small shrub. Here in Ohio, it would not live outside in winter, but in Zones 8-11 in the USA, it could be left outdoors. It is a native of Brazil so that is the climate for which it is best suited.
The Abutilon needs well-drained soil which is kept consistently moist but not wet. It is best not to let this plant get really dried out. I am so used to my succulents, that I will have to keep an eye on this plant. But with those attention-stealing large flowers, about 3 inches across, that should not be a problem. I am sure my eyes will go to it every time I walk into the Screened Porch.
Maybe later in the summer, I will take this plant outside and see how it will do. It would be a great addition to my other plants, I think.
Planting the Flowering Maple in a Container
My daughter was home to assist in planting the Flowering Maple, so we did it together. I really do have to create a “blooper” reel one of these days. We sure have a good time when we plant something. She loves plants too and likes color themes and organization in the arrangements. I am more of a hodge-podge person so she helps me to curb that sometimes.
I am still working out the kinks in filming, so I didn’t really have the camera framed as I wanted it to be, but I am a work in progress. Hopefully I will improve as I teach myself how to video all of our adventures together and our many projects.
The Abutilon is settled in its container now and I think it is content. Have you had one of these plants? How did you like it? I am so pleased with mine and so glad that I was able to find one. Isn’t it always the case that when you want a plant so badly, it becomes the one that you just cannot find?
Thanks for reading and be sure to watch the video. Pin the video or the image here if you like. And thanks so much for visiting!
Hi, I am Kim and thank you so much for visiting my magazine! I am a gardener and a hypertufa maker. If you came here to learn about hypertufa, I have a lot of information. But I also write about flower gardening and using succulents which are great drought-tolerant plants.