Chinese lantern (Abutilon × hybridum) is a semi-tropical, frost-tender, evergreen shrub growing to 3 m by 3 m at a fast rate. The leaves for this plant are a maple type dark green, and the bell-shaped flowers bloom beautifully in various colors including, red, yellow, pink, and white. You can expect to see a lot of blossoms from these between spring through to fall.
Scientific Name: Abutilon × hybridum
Common Name: Flowering Maple, Albution, Chinese Lantern, Chinese Bell Flower and Parlour maple.
How to grow and maintain Chinese lantern (Abutilon × hybridum):
It thrives best in bright light with at least three to four hours of direct sunlight every day. Place the plant to receive the light from a south or west window.
It grows best in organically rich, medium moisture, well-drained, any good potting mix.
Water thoroughly, Keep the soil evenly moist in spring through summer. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings. Reduce watering in the winter, while the plant is dormant.
It grows well in average room temperatures 18°C-24°C / 65°F-75°F year-round. Minimum temperature is 50°F / 10°C.
It prefers moderate, around 40-50% relative humidity. Mist foliage with room-temperature water every few days when needed, especially in winter when indoor humidity is low.
Fertilize every two weeks in spring and summer with balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half. In winter, feed monthly, as plants grow more slowly.
Prune your Chinese Lantern down to a manageable size just as spring approaches. Also prune back branches that are growing too big and any old branches or leaves when needed, which will encourage new growth and maintain a manageable size.
It can be easily propagated by seeds or by stem tip cuttings. Take stem tip cuttings 8-10cm (3-4 inch) long from the plant in spring or summer, dip the cut ends in hormone rooting powder and plant the cuttings in moist soil. Sowing seeds in spring that germinate in 21 days.
Pests and Diseases:
It has no serious pest or disease problems. Sometimes susceptible to leaf-eating insects – flea beetles, aphids and caterpillars.