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?
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