How To Keep Abutilon From Getting Leggy?

We all love a fast growing plant, don’t we? But what to do if your Abutilon is getting out of control and growing leggy, rather than bushy? Thankfully, we have a great selection of hints and tips for how to keep Abutilon from getting leggy – let’s have a look through together.

How To Keep Abutilon From Getting Leggy?

how to keep abutilon from getting leggy

These plants are fast growers, which is great – but we want them to be bushy and vigorous, not spindly and leggy!

Luckily, you should be easily able to keep on top of your Abutilon to keep it in the best shape it can be.

Regular pruning is the best way to stop your Abutilon from getting too leggy – don’t worry, this plant will bounce right back even from a hard pruning!

You can simply pinch the tops out of your Abutilon plant to stop it from wandering into the realms of legginess; this is known as a maintenance pruning.

A good hard pruning can be done on these plants in the spring, after the last frost and before the weather starts to get warmer.

You can cut a surprising amount off an Abutilon – trimming them to as small as a foot or two won’t do them any harm at all.

A good hard prune like this also means that you can keep your Abutilon the shape that you want it, and it shouldn’t overtake your garden or conservatory!

Making sure it gets enough sunlight is another way to keep your Abutilon bushy rather than leggy.

These plants need full sun to thrive, and if they aren’t getting enough they will try to reach out to find more light.

Feeding during times of high growth is always a good idea to encourage stronger growth – give them a balanced, water soluble fertiliser once a month in the summer.

Does Abutilon Need Pruning?

In short, yes it does. These plants are incredibly vigorous; with the right conditions they can take over your house or garden in no time!

Giving your Abutilon a good hair cut every so often will not only keep it under control, but it will also promote healthy new growth.

Ensure that you prune at the very end or the very start of the growing season however, or you might not end up with the results you want.

These are fast growers, so you will probably find that they are enormous again at the end of the season even if you cut them back hard at the beginning.

Pruning is essential for these plants, whether they are in pots or in the ground, so make sure you dust off your secateurs once in a while!

This is a good video showing you the best way to prune Abutilon:

How Do You Make Abutilon Bushy?

Because this plant is naturally vigorous, you shouldn’t have to work too hard to make it grow bushy and healthy looking.

It is actually pretty simple to make this plant grow bushy – it is so good at growing anyway that it needs very little encouragement!

  1. Pinch off the tops of stems that are getting long and traily. This will encourage the plant to put its energies into other stems.
  2. Remove the entire top. Although your Abutilon may look a little odd for a few weeks, you will soon notice that the side shoots are making up for it.
  3. Prune it hard once a year. You can get away with cutting this plant right back almost to ground level – it won’t do it any harm, and will help healthy growth.
  4. Feed it regularly. Giving your Abutilon a boost of nutrients will help give the plant energy to grow, hopefully the way you want it to!
  5. Allow plenty of sunlight. If your Flowering Maple doesn’t think it’s getting enough sun, it will send out leggy tendrils to find it. Giving plenty of light solves this problem.

Should I Deadhead Abutilon?

Deadheading is non essential for some plants; the spent blooms simply drop off and that’s that.

Similarly to Bastardia, Abutilon, however, will benefit greatly from having the dead flowers removed as soon as they are past their best.

Deadheading will dramatically improve the appearance of your Flowering Maple – after all, no one wants to look at drooping, dead flowers, do they?

Another great advantage to deadheading is that it can encourage new growth. Once the flower is spent it is doing no good whatsoever to the plant!

Removing the dead flowers will allow the plant to focus more of its energy on growing new flowers, so it is an important thing for Abutilon.

How Do You Prune Leggy Abutilon?

Once your Abutilon has gone leggy, you may look at it in dismay and feel that it has gotten totally out of control and cannot be saved!

However, a leggy Abutilon is not the end of the world, and it is pretty easy to prune them back into shape again.

These subtropical plants can reach as tall as 4 metres in their preferred conditions – I’m assuming you don’t want them this big inside your house!

If your Abutilon has got out of control, simply cut it right back – you can go as hard as only leaving 2-3 buds from the soil level.

You will be amazed at how fast it grows back; this new growth will almost certainly be thriving and covered with flowers by the end of the summer!

You should only prune in late autumn or in the very early spring, to avoid shocking the plant while it is in its main growth phase.

Final Thoughts

These plants grow beautifully bushy and bouncy – if you manage to get the conditions and your pruning regime just right!

As you can see, even if your Abutilon has become leggy there is no reason to despair – just give it a jolly good haircut and you’ll see it bounce back before your very eyes!

2 thoughts on “How To Keep Abutilon From Getting Leggy?”

    • Absolutely you can! Any plant, as long as it is not diseased or infested with pests, will make great compost for your other plants. Even the woodier stems will be great for adding aeration to your compost.


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