Description: A sprawling shrub to 1m with pendulous heart shaped flowers in red, pink, orange and yellow. Easy to grow in pots as they are happy with infrequent watering. Loves part shade or morning sun and well drained soil. Rarely stops flowering. Feed seasonally with Garden Gold and mulch thickly.
Chinese Lantern (Abutilon) are native to tropical and sub tropical areas of the Americas, Asia, Africa and Australia, but grow well in most areas of Australia provided they are protected from frost. Abutilons are worthwhile plants providing colour through much of the year, through several seasons. Some don't stop flowering at all. Their foliage and flowers blend easily with any garden design.
A hard prune in early spring will help to renew the foliage and crown. Look out for the plaited stemmed 1.2m lollipop standards which are brilliant in pots and come with 3 different colours in the one canopy, usually red, orange and lemon. Look out for these in nurseries now.
Leaves with holes is the work of the Hibiscus beetle and caterpillars. Dipel or Success are great sprays to prevent tattered leaves. Confidor or Confidor Tablets will work against the hibiscus beetle.
*Another excellent taller growing Chinese lantern is the 2.4m high standard Brazillian Bell Flower Abutilon megapotamicum, with pendulous red and yellow bleeding heart flowers.