Abutilon megapotamicum (Trailing Abutilon)

Scientific Name

Abutilon megapotamicum (A. Spreng.) A. St.-Hil. & Naudin

Common Names

Trailing Abutilon, Brazilian Bell Flower

Synonyms

Sida megapotamica (basionym)

Scientific Classification

Family: Malvaceae
Subfamily: Malvoideae 
Tribe: Malveae
Genus: Abutilon

Flower

Color: Red and yellow
Bloom Time: Summer and autumn

Description

Abutilon megapotamicum is a deciduous or partially evergreen shrub up to 6 feet (1.8 m) tall. The leaves are ovate to shallowly three-lobed and up to 3.1 inches (8 cm) long. The bell-shaped flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs), yellow with a red base, with five petals and up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) long.

Abutilon megapotamicum - Trailing Abutilon
Photo via rivendellvillage.org

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 9b to 10b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 40 °F (+4.4 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Abutilon is not an especially difficult plant to grow. During warmer, dry winters, they are sometimes affected by spider mites, and they are known for leggy growth. To encourage bushy growth, prune the plant by 25 percent to 40 percent in the late winter, right when new growth is about to start. Also, throughout the summer, occasionally pinch off new growth to encourage healthy growth. When pruning, make sure to stagger your cuts and remove some large branches to open the plant's canopy. As a final note, these plants dislike acidic soil, so it is not necessary to add additional lime to your potting mix. Instead, stick with the basic peat-based potting soil and make sure to refresh it as the mixture decomposes and becomes more acidic over time.

Abutilon is a relatively fast-growing plant, especially when they're young. Consequently, younger plants might need to be repotted twice a year, once at the beginning of the growing season and once in the middle. Older plants, however, benefit from being slightly pot-bound, so should be repotted either every other year or yearly into only slightly larger pots. Pot-bound plants tend to grow more vigorously and bloom better… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Abutilon

Origin

Native to the dry mountain valleys in Brazil.

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