Abutilon – (Chinese lantern)
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Abutilon – Chinese Lantern – Indian Mallow
Abutilon – Chinese lantern
Otherwise known as Indian mallow
The Chinese lantern is native to tropical South America. They display flowers with stunning colour variations in the shape of little lanterns.
Chinese lanterns are available in apricots, orange, white, rose, yellow, and red. There are also variegated varieties of Chinese lanterns. Abutilon can grow to 1 m to 2 m in height and look terrific attached to a supporting post, as they can become quite top-heavy.
Abutilon or Chinese lantern, as they are affectionately known, is relatively easy to grow from cuttings taken at any time of the year. When taking cuttings, try to select a section that is the width of a small pencil.
Chinese lanterns enjoy rich soil with plenty of water during the warmer months. You can also feed Chinese lanterns regularly with nitrogen-rich fertiliser but make sure you always provide plenty of room for air circulation. If you want your Chinese lantern to flower more frequently, make sure that you pinch out new growth, as this will lead to a bushier plant with many more flowers.
In Australia, Chinese lanterns are susceptible to attacks from the hibiscus beetle, leaving the leaves dotted and lacey becoming quite unattractive. Make sure you catch the Hibiscus beetle early to keep your Chinese lantern looking at its best.