THE BLOG
05/09/2012 02:07 pm ET Updated Oct 11, 2012

Abutilon Flowering Maple Tree: Sprout Home Plant Of The Week

When you're talking about bringing color into your home with plants, the options can sometimes be slim. Blooms can be small and on the feeble side and are usually a bit pale in nature. One way to get a good burst of color in an indoor space is with an abutilon. More commonly known as a flowering maple, these trees can grow up to 4' in a bright, filtered light space and with a little bit of sun they keep dangling the sweet flowers in front of you. Their blooms can range anywhere from yellow to orange to pink to red.

Not only does abutilon have beautiful blooms, but they can be quite sculptural as well when kept indoors. In a warm enough climate they can make an attempt to live outdoors, but these cute colored plants aren't big fans of winter and prefer to be indoors during colder months in most parts of the country. Indoors they are usually pruned as trees and their heavy blooms make the tender branches droop in a soft manner that gives them a pleasing dome shape. The plant can flower year round in ideal conditions and for the most part will always have 12-25 blooms at any given moment. Although they drop from time to time, they're worth the clean-up as they spread sunshine wherever they sit.

Abutilon plants aren't picky when it comes to watering habits and that makes them great for those with and without green thumbs. They do like to dry out slightly in between watering but are not into drought and hate to have soggy roots. They are perfect plants for self-watering containers and become even less maintenance around your home. To keep them in check, you can prune back to a leaf joint to encourage the plant to sprout new branches instead of allowing it to aim for the ceiling.

Flowering maples can be the focus of a room or even the hidden gem. Even if you do not have room for it inside your home, try it as a summer annual with or without companion plants. They're great gifts since they don't have intensive light or watering needs and they yield beautiful results without too much fuss enlivening a dull and dreary pad. Definitely something different worth checking out -- I will just leave you with...'awesome'.

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BEFORE YOU GO
Awesome Abutilons
PHOTO GALLERY
Awesome Abutilons