Abutilon x suntense 'Jermyns'. Photo: DeAgostini/Getty Images

Five abutilons to grow

Abutilons are easy-going, sun-loving summer plants – we recommend our five favourites.

Abutilons are the ideal solution if you’re after a plant with an exotic look, while being vigorous and easy to grow.

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The bold leaves are similar to those of maples, and together they create a fine foil for the shrub’s colourful flowers over a very long season.

Abutilons are sun-lovers. None are fully hardy in the UK, but most will grow beautifully in a large conservatory. Where these half-hardy shrubs really excel is on sunny fences and walls in large patio pots, providing plenty of summer colour.

Some, including varieties of the relatively hardy Abutilon vitifolium and Abutilon suntense, are particularly good choices for new gardens as they grow strongly, flower impressively, then decline as longer-term plantings come into their own. However, they’re not hardy in cold areas.

Other abutilons are best treated as half-hardy, grown in summer containers or as seasonal wall shrubs and overwintered in a conservatory or on an indoor windowsill.

More on growing shrubs:

Check out some of our favourite abutilons to grow.


1

Abutilon ‘Ashford Red’

Abutilon 'Ashford Red'
Abutilon ‘Ashford Red’

Abutilon ‘Ashford Red’ is a tall, evergreen shrub needing frost protection. It blooms from July to October.

Height x spread: 3m x 2m.


2

Abutilon suntense ‘Jermyns’

Abutilon x suntense 'Jermyns'. Photo: DeAgostini/Getty Images
Abutilon ‘Jermyns’. Photo: DeAgostini/Getty Images.

‘Jermyns’ is a dramatic, quick-growing shrub, hardy to -5ºC, with masses of large showy flowers from May to July. It has been given the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit (AGM).

H x S: 4m x 2.5m.


3

Abutilon ‘Souvenir de Bonn’

Abutilon 'Souvenir de Bonn'. Photo: Getty Images.
Abutilon ‘Souvenir de Bonn’. Photo: Getty Images.

‘Souvenir de Bonn’ has pretty, maple-shaped, variegated leaves and veined bells. It flowers from June to August, and isn’t frost hardy. AGM.

H x S: 2.5m x 2.5m.


4

Abutilon ‘Nabob’

Abutilon 'Nabob'
Abutilon ‘Nabob’

‘Nabob’ bears bowl-shaped, deep crimson flowers and rich green foliage. Not frost hardy. It has a long flowering period from June to October. AGM.

H x S: 3m x 3m.


5

Abutilon ‘Kentish Belle’

Abutilon 'Kentish Belle'

Abutilon ‘Kentish Belle’ has gorgeous apricot flowers nestled in red calyces, which dangle from purple shoots. It’s hardy to -5ºC. Flowers from August to November. AGM.

H x S: 3m x 3m.


How to grow abutilons

Abutilon megapotamicum
Abutilon megapotamicum in flower

Position

  • Outside, best in rich, free-draining soil on a sunny south-facing wall or fence
  • Better still, grow abutilons in large patio containers of John Innes No.3 potting compost and move them into a conservatory in autumn
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Care

  • Pinch out abutilon shoot tips in spring to increase their bushiness
  • Some varieties are hardy in sheltered areas and milder climates, but all abutilons need protection from frost