Abutilon megapotamicum (A. Spreng.) A. St.-Hil. & Naudin
Trailing Abutilon, Brazilian Bell Flower
Color: Red and yellow
Bloom Time: Summer and autumn
Abutilon megapotamicum is a deciduous or partially evergreen shrub that grows up to 6 feet (1.8 m) tall. Leaves are ovate to shallowly three-lobed and up to 3.1 inches (8 cm) long. The bell-shaped flowers are yellow with a red base, hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs), up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) long, and have five petals.
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. However, during warmer, dry winters, they are sometimes affected by spider mites, 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, occasionally pinch off new growth throughout the summer to encourage healthy growth. When pruning, ensure 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 adding additional lime to your potting mix is unnecessary. 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 they 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.
This species is native to the dry mountain valleys in Brazil.
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