Trailing Abutilon

This pretty and unusual evergreen plant has been bred from the original Brazilian species and makes an excellent and elegant wall shrub for a cool conservatory or a striking plant in a hanging basket; it may even be trained as a standard plant. When grown as a pot plant, the rather lax and lengthy shoots need support. Even young plants flower well, the blooms appearing throughout the Summer and into the Autumn.

If space is limited, replace the the Trailing Abutilon each year: take softwood cuttings in Sum-mer and plant several in each pot for a bushy-looking plant.

This frost-tender plant prefers cool growing conditions; try to keep Winter temperatures above 5°C (41°F). The optimum range is 12-15°C (53-60°F); too much heat will shrivel the delicate flowers, so ventilate well during hot weather. Alternatively, place the plant outside in Summer.

Provide good, direct light; in Summer, move house-bound plants away from the direct light of the midday sun.

When in active growth, water thoroughly; moderate the amount given to match both plant size and state of growth. Large plants may need water twice a day in Summer; allow the surface of the compost to begin to dry before watering again. In Winter, give just enough to prevent shrivelling.

This plant will tolerate fairly dry air, but during the heat of Summer, combine plenty of ventilation with regular misting of the leaves. Keep moisture off the flowers.

Feed weekly with a proprietary feed, beginning in late Spring and continuing through to the end of the growing season.

Repot older plants and pot-up cuttings in Spring, using a loam-based compost for stability. Hanging baskets need a peat-based compost to reduce the weight.

This plant is unlikely to need much pruning; trim back any damaged or straggly growth in May.

PLANT SURGERY

Whitefly are attracted by succulent new growth: carry out a preventative programme of control in early Spring, using a proprietary insecticide.

Scale and Mealy Bugs can be removed with a cotton bud and methylated spirit.

Red Spider Mite can lurk beneath the leaf mottling; under-leaf misting helps to deter this pest, otherwise use an insecticide-impregnated plant spike or the biological control Phytoseiulus persimilis.

09. August 2013 by admin
Categories: Tips and Advice | Comments Off on Trailing Abutilon

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