Flowering maple (Abutilon hybridum) plants can grow outside, but people most commonly keep them inside as a house plant. This plant is actually not a maple at all--it was named for its leaves, which are similar to those of the Japanese maple. The plant also goes by the names Chinese lantern and Chinese bellflower. It blooms between April and June but may also produce flowers through the wintertime. The flowers resemble those of a hybiscus or hollyhock and range in color from blue and orange to yellow, white and red. Learn how to prune flowering maple plants to keep the shape looking attractive and encourage a healthy plant.
Control the flowering maple's growth by pruning and pinching it back. It will get to be a height of 10 feet tall and spread out if it's left unrestrained and allowed the freedom to grow. Prune flowering maples in the early spring or late fall.
Train the plant to grow in a draping, hanging plant fashion by pinching back every stem tip regularly. Use your thumb and forefinger to snip off the ends whenever the grow two or three inches.
Create a tree-like plant with more vertical height by keeping one main stem in place. Use pruning shears to cut off all other side shoots. Continue to do so until the plant is as tall as you want it. Pinch the main tip of the center shoot once it's at the desired height. This will force the flowering maple to grow bushier.
Prune branches and leaves that appear to be dying. Snip them off where they meet healthy growth.