The giant flowering maple is a fast-growing, shrub-like plant. Native to Brazil, this tropical has more than 150 species. It produces rich green foliage with showy and colorful flowers that bloom in the spring and, at times, in the winter. The abutilon is intolerant to cold and requires an average temperature of 70 degrees F for its best, most vigorous growth. Still, the flowering maple makes an excellent selection for a houseplant and easily cultivated.
Place a maple mix in a warm, sunny location that provides about eight hours of filtered sunlight to prevent foliage burn from the sun. Plant in location that provides good air circulation and is away from areas of direct temperature variations, such as heating vents and air conditioners.
Keep the maple mix outdoor when the temperatures average about 70 degree F. Move the maple mix indoors when temperatures drop below 60 degrees F.
Irrigate the maple mix until the excess water flows evenly from the bottom of the container. Maintain a moist but not saturated soil environment for the maple mix during the hot summer months. Allow the maple mix to dry slightly between each irrigation during the winter months.
Feed the flowering maple mix a well-balanced, slow release fertilizer such as a 20-20-20 or 10-10-10 combination during the growing season. Apply the fertilizer at half strength and irrigate thoroughly into the soil. Avoid over-fertilizing, as this will cause injury to the maple mix. Inspect the plant for signs of lower leaf drop. Feed the plant when this occurs, as this is a sign of nutrient deficiency.
Re-pot the flowering maple mix when it begins to outgrow its container. Complete the re-potting process in the early spring, just before the onset of the growing season. Control the size of the maple mix by selecting a container that is only slightly larger than its current size. Make sure that the container has several holes at the bottom to provide an even release of excessive water.
Re-pot using a fertile, nutrient rich soil. Line the bottom 1/3 of the container with soil. Position the maple mix in the center of the container and fill it with soil. Cover all of the roots with soil and press down firmly around the plant to secure its position. Irrigate thoroughly and replace the plant in its warm, sunny location.