How to Care for a Flowering Maple Tree – 7 Key Tips

Before you start envisioning a towering, syrup-dripping giant hogging your couch, let’s clarify a little misconception: the Flowering Maple tree is not your typical full-sized maple tree. So there is no need to worry about redecorating your living room to fit a forest. 

After exploring a local plant nursery, a dainty yet vibrant Flowering Maple, its bell-shaped blossoms with yellow petals caught my eye. I had to have one!

underside view of maple tree flower

I’ve found this plant is quite forgiving; just remember to place it in bright, indirect light – where it can soak up the sun without getting a sunburn. I water it regularly and let the top inch of the soil dry out before giving it a refreshing drink.

When you notice it’s outgrowing its current pot and showing off its roots too eagerly, simply find a larger container and give it some fresh soil. 

flowering maple tree

Table of Contents 

What Light Is Required?

The Flowering Maple thrives in bright, indirect sunlight. Bright indirect sunlight is like a cozy, sunlit room with curtains drawn. It’s not the blaring noon sun but a gentle, diffused light that provides warmth without the harsh glare.

If your Flowering Maple plants don’t get enough light, they might become slightly sulky. You might notice slowed growth, leggy stems reaching for more light, and fewer blooms.

Choose a spot near a window with filtered sunlight for your Flowering Maple plants well-being. A north or east-facing window is usually perfect, as it provides that bright, indirect light the plant craves without the harshness of full sun rays.

Too much light can make your Flowering Maple leaves turn pale, yellow, or develop brown spots. 

How Do I Know When to Water? 

The key to successful Flowering Maple care is keeping the evenly moist soil. Think of it like a damp sponge – you don’t want it dripping, but you also don’t want it bone dry.

Stick your finger about an inch into the soil. If it feels dry at this depth, it’s time for a drink. Hold off for a day or two if it’s still slightly moist.

close up of flower on maple tree

Use room temperature water, as cold water can shock the plant’s roots. Let tap water sit for a day before using it, as this can help to dissipate any chlorine that might be present.

What Soil Should I Use?

Flowering Maples prefer a well-draining, slightly acidic to neutral soil mix. The soil’s pH level for your Flowering Maple should be slightly acidic to neutral, around 5.5 to 7.0. This provides a balanced environment for the plant’s root health and nutrient absorption. 

If you’re not into concocting your soil mix, don’t worry! Many commercially available potting mixes are specially formulated for flowering indoor plants like the Flowering Maple.

different colored flowers on trailing maple tree

Look for a light and airy mix to allow proper drainage and aeration to avoid root rot. A blend that contains ingredients like peat moss, perlite, and coconut coir can provide the ideal texture. 

You can further enrich the soil by adding a bit of organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure. Ensure the pot you’re using has drainage holes to allow excess water to escape. This prevents the soil from becoming waterlogged, which can lead to root issues.

What’s the Ideal Temperature Range?

The Flowering Maple adores a temperature range that’s typical of indoor environments. Generally, aim to keep the temperature between 65°F to 75°F (18°C to 24°C) during the day. This range mimics the pleasant conditions of its native habitat, making it feel right at home.

Avoid exposing it to temperatures below 50°F (10°C). On the other hand, keep it away from heat sources like radiators or heating vents. Extreme cold or heat can stress the plant and lead to health issues.

A drop to around 55°F to 65°F (13°C to 18°C) can help stimulate blooming and encourage the plant’s overall health.

Cold drafts can shock the plant and cause stress. If you place it near a window, ensure it is well-insulated, or use curtains to buffer against cold air.

maple tree by window and sun

Does It Prefer High Humidity?

Flowering Maples (Abutilon spp.) originate from regions with moderate to high humidity. Aim for a humidity level of around 40% to 60% for optimal growth. This range mimics the comfortable conditions that Flowering Maples are accustomed to.

Ways to Increase Humidity:

  • Misting: Regularly misting your plant’s leaves with room-temperature water can create a humid microenvironment around it.
  • Tray of water: Place a shallow tray filled with water and pebbles near your Flowering Maple. As the water evaporates, it adds moisture to the air.
  • Humidifier: Using a room humidifier can significantly increase humidity levels in the entire room, benefiting not just your Flowering Maple Abutilon but also your comfort.
  • Grouping plants: Grouping together can create a localized zone of increased humidity through transpiration, where plants release moisture into the air.
  • Bathroom retreat: If your bathroom has good natural light, consider moving your Flowering Maple in during your showers. The steam will provide a humidity boost.

maple tree with red and yellow flowers

How Often Do I Fertilize?

A general guideline is fertilizing every 4-6 weeks from early spring to late fall. As the growth slows down during the late fall and late winter months, you can reduce the frequency of fertilization or stop altogether.

Use a balanced, water-soluble, all-purpose fertilizer with a ratio of approximately 10-10-10 or 20-20-20. The balanced ratio ensures your plant gets a well-rounded supply of nutrients. Always dilute the fertilizer to half the strength recommended on the packaging. This prevents the risk of over-fertilizing, which can harm your Flowering Maples.

orange flowers maple tree outside in the sunshine

What Pests and Common Problems Can Occur?

While Flowering Maples (Abutilon species) are generally quite hardy, they can still face a few common issues and pests. Here are some problems to watch out for and tips on how to address them:

Spider Mites, Whiteflies, Aphids, and Mealy Bugs

These tiny insects suck the sap from plant leaves, causing them to curl, turn yellow, and distort. You might also notice a sticky substance (called honeydew) on the leaves. Blast them off the plant with a strong stream of water or use insecticidal soap or neem oil to control their population.

Leaf Spot Diseases

Leaf spot diseases can cause brown or black spots on the leaves. Various fungi or bacteria can cause these. Remove affected leaves, improve air circulation, and avoid overhead watering to prevent leaf spot diseases. Fungicidal treatments might be necessary if the issue persists.

Nutrient Deficiencies

White or yellow mottling or discolored leaves sometimes indicate a lack of essential nutrients. Regularly feed your Flowering Maples with a balanced fertilizer to provide nutrients.

About Flowering Maple Tree 

Scientifically known as Abutilon spp, it is a genus of flowering plants that belong to the Malvaceae family. 

The most distinctive feature of the Flowering Maple (aka Parlor Maple) is its beautiful flowers that bloom year-round. These pendulous, bell-shaped flowers range from solid colors like red, orange, pink, yellow, and white to bi-color and variegated patterns. The bell-shaped flowers are often reminiscent of hibiscus or Chinese lantern, or Chinese bellflower.

The leaves of Flowering Maples are usually palmate or lobed, resembling those of a maple tree (hence the common name). The leaves are typically soft and fuzzy, available in variegated forms adding to the plant’s overall appeal.

Flowering Maples can vary in size, ranging from compact varieties suitable for smaller spaces to larger shrubs that can reach several feet tall. Depending on your climate, they can be grown as indoor houseplants or ornamental shrubs.

Some popular cultivars include ‘Bella,’ ‘Mona Lisa,’ and ‘Souvenir de Bonn.’


How do you care for an abutilon plant?

To care for an Abutilon plant, provide bright, indirect sunlight, keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged, and maintain moderate temperatures between 60-75°F (15-24°C). Fertilize every 4-6 weeks during the growing season, prune to shape and encourage growth, and watch for pests. Avoid frost exposure and consider bringing the plant indoors during winter in colder climates.

Do you cut back Abutilon?

You can and should cut back Abutilon plants to help maintain their shape, encourage new growth, and promote continued flowering.

What is the meaning of flowering maple?

The common name “flowering maple” refers to the shape of Abutilon’s leaves, which resemble those of maple trees.

Is Abutilon a good cut flower?

Abutilon flowers can be used as cut flowers, but they may not last as long as some other cut flowers.

Is Abutilon frost hardy?

Abutilon is generally not frost-hardy and can be damaged or killed by freezing temperatures.

How do you grow Abutilon in the UK?

In the UK, Abutilon is often grown as a container plant that can be moved indoors during the colder months.

Blossoming All the Way: Nurturing the Beauty of the Flowering Maple

The delightful bell-shaped blooms are like mini lanterns hanging out on your plant. They show off hues from the entire rainbow, captivating our senses and inviting us to experience the beauty of nature within our own living spaces.

From finding the perfect spot by a window to misting its leaves to create a humid haven, each step of caring for the Flowering Maple reminds us that nature’s beauty knows no boundaries. Despite its misleading name, the Flowering Maple is not a full-sized maple tree but an eye-catching Abutilon genus member.

Keep the Green Goodness Going! 

Dig into more captivating guides; there’s a world of green secrets waiting to sprout!

If you’re as curious as a cat with a watering can, keep scrolling and unearth more gems of wisdom. 

Feeling puzzled like a plant in a new pot? Reach out to us anytime for a chat – we’re all ears (and leaves)! Let’s keep the plant party growing, together!

Photo of author
Alex Tinsman
An avid plant and flower lover! Ever since he was little, plants, flowers, and shrubbery of all kinds filled his life. Alex credits this fascination with nature's beauty to his mother and grandmother who were - and still are - dedicated gardeners. It's now Alex's mission to pass that same love for plants onto others and show them it's as easy as pie to bring nature inside.

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