Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pretty picture: Abutilon 'Bella Pink'

Abutilon 'Bella Pink' has been shooting upward in my estimation since I got it, as well as shooting upward just in general (The rumors are true: they do grow quickly.). I'm still hopeful that it will remain a manageable size without any intervention -- the 'Bellas' are supposed to stay short -- but I suppose if it doesn't, I don't have any problem cutting it back, either.

All at once a couple weeks ago (after a move to a larger pot -- coincidence?), this plant suddenly produced a whole mess of flower buds (maybe 15-20?), and I'm now getting to see the buds open. It's quite the show.

The color here is not great: I couldn't get the flowers the right shade of light pink and at the same time have the whole photo not look washed out. Also the composition, now that I look at it, leaves something to be desired. Aw, fuck it, let's try again, with the flash:

Yeah, um, not much of an improvement. Oh well.

It's nearly impossible to get a great picture of all the flowers, because of the way they insist on facing downward and hiding behind the leaves, but I have managed some pretty satisfactory close-ups.

There are certainly things to dislike about Abutilon -- they're unforgiving if you let them get too dry, they're very fast-growing, the flowers can be hard to see and/or photograph, they're (allegedly) extremely attractive to basically every houseplant pest in existence, etc. But still. Look at this face and tell me that's not an awesome plant.

Of course, now I want more of them.


our friend Ben said...

Yup, that last shot would make anyone want one!

Cheryl said...

Ever since I've seen my first picture of one in a houseplant book I've wanted one. I was under the impression that they were hard to grow, so I've hesitated. Will you do a profile some time? They are gorgeous, and that is one heckuva pretty face!

Ivynettle said...

I love Abutilon. This year, I have given in to the temptation of collecting them - we've had pale red ones for ages, and now I have yellow, dark red, white, and A. pictum 'Thompsonii' (at least I assume that's what it's called. And I've said it before, a 10 m² room in which I have to sleep and work, too.

And Cheryl, I've found them wicked easy to grow. My oldest one might have looked continually wilted because I had it in a too small pot (can't repot because I can't let it get any bigger), and it had a few whiteflies because the tomatoes on the other side of the balcony where covered in them, but otherwise, I can't ever remember any problems.
Apparently, they're wicked easy to propagate, too, but I fail at it. So technically, I don't even own all those colours I've listed above, because most of the cuttings haven't rooted yet. But they will, dammit!

Zach said...

Wow, that is gorgeous. I read your profile, and have to admit, that it is hillarious! One of the funniest that I have seen!

Zach said...


mr_subjunctive said...


Well, in theory, there will be a profile sooner or later for every plant I own, have owned, or will own, so yes, an Abutilon profile is coming. However, which specific plants get done at any particular time depends mostly on whether or not I can think of an appropriate "person" for them. I'll ponder this for Abutilon, but I'm already three profiles behind, so don't hold your breath.

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