Abutilon is soft woody shrub with bell-shaped flowers. It is mainly grown for its maple-like three to five-lobed leaves which are sometimes variegated.
Water moderately, enough to moisten compost and allow the top half inch to dry out between waterings. In the rest period, water after surface of compost has dried out.
Apply standard liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks after first flowers appear.
Re-pot into pots one size larger in Spring.
The species may be grown from seed, but variegated forms must be grown from cuttings. In Spring or Summer, take tip cuttings 3-4 inches long, dip cut ends in rooting powder and insert them in small pots of cutting compost or equal amount of peat and perlite. Cover pot with a plastic bag and place in filtered sunlight. Cuttings root in 3-4 weeks.
Green leaved Abutilons flower more easily and will remain in bloom from Summer through Winter.
Abutilons may become spindly and need to cut them back hard in early Spring to encourage shapely growth.
In Summer Abutilons may be put outside, provided they are protected from mid day sun. In Winter they will need cool, well lit place indoors.
Spray with soft tepid water twice weekly in Summer avoid flowers. Do not spray in Winter.
Scientists were able to revive a flowering plant from the fossilized fruit found in the stomach of an Arctic ground squirrel who was trapped in ice around 32,000 years ago.