Flowering Maple (Abutillon) – Care

Q: I have a flowering maple. How should I take care of it? Can it be transplanted?

A: Flowering maple is the common name of a plant we’ll see much more of in coming years. It is also known by its scientific name: Abutilon . It produces great numbers of white, pink or blue flowers, making it a knockout in the landscape. Flowering maple grows rapidly. In tropical climates it can reach several feet tall. Unfortunately, if your plant has been outdoors for the last few weeks, it is likely as dead as a hammer. It is grown as an annual in Atlanta.

It is interesting how plants move so quickly from obscurity to prominence in just a few years. I saw Purple Wave petunia in a magazine just five years ago. Professional landscapers began using it sparingly the following year. It was limitedly available in local nurseries two years ago. Last year Purple Wave petunia was in every nursery and on grocery store curbsides throughout Georgia. Next year, look for Misty Lilac Wave and Pink Wave to be just as ubiquitous.

I describe that situation to introduce my observation that professional landscapers have been using Abutilon for the last two years. I’ve seen varieties with solid green leaves and varieties with variegated leaves. My prediction is that flowering maple will be as pervasive as Wave petunias and Homestead Purple verbena in a few short months.

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