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Tidewater Gardening

plant also has blooms similar in shape to hibiscus f lowers. If you want to grow the plant as an annual in the landscape, it does well in full sun to partial shade. They also do well in a cool outdoor summer garden where their colorful blooms stand out. Most species require moderate watering, although some species just need a little water. Flowering maples also do well outside during the growing season in hanging baskets.

Although called a f lowering maple because of their maplelike shaped leaves, these plants are unrelated to the maple tree species (Acer spp). The genus Abutilon is a large group of more than 200 species of f lowering plants in the mallow family (Malvaceae). The mallow family includes wellknown plants like cotton, hibiscus, hollyhocks, okra, rose of Sharon and the marsh mallows that we find in the wetland areas on the ’Shore. Besides being grown as a houseplant, these shrub-like plants can be used as an annual in the landscape and as container plants during the warm growing season in our area where they will bloom from June through October. Being a member of the mallow family, the f lowering maple house-

Extensive breeding efforts have resulted in several species of this plant and a variety of beautiful cultivars with lovely bell-shaped f lowers in orange, salmon, red, white, yellow and bicolor. Some of 84

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Tidewater Times December 2018  

Tidewater Times December 2018