Abutilon × hybridum 'Bella Red'
Common Name: flowering-maple 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Malvaceae
Zone: 9 to 10
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Reddish-orange
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen


Grow in rich, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Best in part shade (morning sun) in hot summer climates, particularly for those cultivars with variegated foliage. Foliage may wilt in full afternoon sun. Needs consistently moist soils which do not dry out. Plants abhor dry conditions. Plant stems tend to be weak. Pinch stem tips of younger plants to promote both bushiness and stronger more compact plants. These hybrids are winter hardy to USDA Zones 9-10. In St. Louis, they are usually grown as annuals in the garden or in containers. Sow seed indoors in late winter and set out seedling plants after last frost date. Take tip cuttings in late summer to overwinter plants. Container plants may be overwintered indoors as houseplants as long as they receive intense bright light and cool temperatures.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Abutilon is a large genus in the Mallow family. Flowering maple (Abutilon × hybridum) is a popular group of hybrids that are semi-tropical, frost-tender shrubs typically growing 8-10’ tall in Zones 9-10 where in may be left in the ground year-round. In St. Louis, they will grow more compact (to 2-4’ tall in a single season). Lantern-like buds open to solitary, pendulous, bell- to cup-shaped flowers (to 3” diameter) with five overlapping petals and significant staminal columns typical of the mallow family. Plants bloom throughout the growing season. Flowers come in red, pink, yellow, white and pastel shades. Lobed, maple-like, light green leaves are often variegated with white and yellow.

Genus name comes from the Arabic name for a mallow-like plant.

'Bella Red' is a compact, dwarf cultivar that can be expected to grow to only 1-1.5 feet in a season. Plants grown in containers and overwintered or grown in frost-free areas will grow larger if not pruned back. Large 3-inch reddish-orange flowers grace the plant from late summer into fall. Can be grown from seed or propagated by cuttings.


Potential insect problems include whitefly, scale and spider mites. Mealybugs may become a problem indoors. Watch for root rot, rust, leaf spot and abutilon mosaic virus.


Beds, borders, pots, window boxes or containers.