How to Care for Trailing Abutilon ‘Variegatum’ (Flowering Maple)

Abutilon megapotamicum ‘Variegatum’, commonly known as Trailing Abutilon ‘Variegatum’, is a beautiful semi-evergreen shrub that adds a touch of tropical flair to any garden. With its stunning variegated foliage and vibrant bell-shaped flowers, this plant has earned its status as a Plant of Merit. In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss the various aspects of caring for this remarkable plant, including botanical aspects, watering, light care, soil care, pruning, season and temperature, flowering, pests, and more. So, let’s dive in and learn how to nurture and enjoy this stunning addition to your garden.

Botanical Aspects

Growing Region

Abutilon megapotamicum ‘Variegatum’ is native to South America, particularly Brazil and Argentina. It thrives in USDA hardiness zones 1-10, making it suitable for a wide range of climates.

Growth Rate, Height, Size, and Spread

This moderately fast-growing shrub typically reaches a height of 2-6 feet (60-180 cm) and a spread of 3-5 feet (90-150 cm). Its arching branches create a cascading effect, making it an excellent choice for hanging baskets or wall-side borders.


Trailing Abutilon ‘Variegatum’ requires average watering, meaning the soil should be kept consistently moist but not soggy. It’s essential to strike the right balance, as over-watering can lead to root rot, while under-watering may cause the plant to become stressed and produce fewer flowers.

Light Care

This plant prefers full sun to partial sun exposure. In hotter climates, some afternoon shade can help protect the plant from excessive heat, while in cooler climates, it will benefit from as much sunlight as possible.

Soil Care

Abutilon megapotamicum ‘Variegatum’ thrives in well-drained, loamy or sandy soil with a pH level that is neutral to slightly acidic. Good drainage is essential to prevent root rot, while the right pH level ensures the plant can access the nutrients it needs.


Pruning is crucial for maintaining the plant’s shape, encouraging new growth, and promoting a more extended blooming period. Prune the shrub in late winter or early spring, removing any dead or damaged branches and shaping the plant as desired.

Season and Temperature

This semi-evergreen shrub can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, from the heat of zone 10 to the cooler climates of zone 1. However, it is not frost-tolerant and may require protection in colder regions.


The Trailing Abutilon ‘Variegatum’ produces showy, bell-shaped flowers in shades of yellow, orange, or red, typically from spring to fall. The flowers are complemented by the plant’s striking variegated foliage, which features green leaves with creamy-white margins.


While generally disease-resistant, this plant may occasionally be affected by pests such as spider mites, aphids, and whiteflies. Keep a close eye on your plant and treat any infestations promptly with insecticidal soap or a suitable pesticide.


The vibrant flowers of Abutilon megapotamicum ‘Variegatum’ attract pollinators such as butterflies and hummingbirds, adding another layer of interest to your garden.

Garden Styles

This versatile shrub is well-suited to various garden styles, including Mediterranean gardens, beds and borders, hanging baskets, patio containers, and wall-side borders. Its cascading habit makes it a particularly eye-catching addition to vertical gardens and container displays.

Companion Plants

Trailing Abutilon ‘Variegatum’ pairs well with a variety of plants, including other semi-tropical species such as Lantana, Salvia, and Hibiscus. It also complements plants with contrasting foliage, such as ferns and ornamental grasses, as well as those with complementary flower colors, like purple-flowering Verbena or lavender.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Abutilon megapotamicum ‘Variegatum’ deer-resistant?

While no plant is entirely deer-proof, this shrub is not a favorite of deer and is considered moderately deer-resistant.

Can I grow this plant indoors?

Yes, Trailing Abutilon ‘Variegatum’ can be grown as a houseplant in a sunny location, provided it has adequate humidity and consistent watering.

Are the flowers of Abutilon megapotamicum ‘Variegatum’ fragrant?

While the flowers of this plant are not known for their fragrance, their vibrant colors and unique bell-shape more than make up for it.


Abutilon megapotamicum ‘Variegatum’ is a stunning semi-evergreen shrub that adds a splash of tropical beauty to any garden. With its vibrant flowers, attractive foliage, and versatility in garden styles, it’s no wonder this plant has earned its status as a Plant of Merit. By following the care guidelines outlined in this article, you can ensure your Trailing Abutilon ‘Variegatum’ thrives and brings joy to your garden for years to come.

Martin Duran

Hey y'all! My name is Martin Duran and I am from Cali, Colombia. Since 2018 I have been learning about plants and how to take care of them. Here's is my journey... “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ― John Muir

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