Abutilon Kentish Belle - Chinese lantern plant in 9 cm pot
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Abutilon Kentish Belle - Chinese lantern plant in 9 cm pot

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Abutilon megapotamicum is native to Argentinia, Brazil and Uruguay. Abutilon Kentish Belle has been awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit. A hybrid of Abutilon megapotamicum it was raised by Albert Pike the head gardener at Hever Castle, Kent. This plant is not an uncommon sight in the southern areas of the Uk. It has upright thin very slightly arching stems with extended internodal growth on mature plants. Because of its appearance and the fact it requires a sunny south facing wall to do well, it is often incorrectly listed as a climber, which it is not. Hardy to around -5c it will need some protection in cold winters or makes an excellent conservatory or greenhouse subject. Overall it is an attractive plant with distinctive beautiful bell shaped flowers with a contrasting red calyx and soft apricot petals, with the veins faintly flushed red. The flowers are pendant on long stems and are produced over a long period, although later into flower than A.megapotamicum. In a conservatory that is heated they will often flower all year. Can be used in a mixed planting or as a stand alone specimen in the garden or can easily be grown in a pot or container. Definitely grows better in full sun and fertile well drained soil. If it becomes to large it can easily be cut back. When growing in a pot or other container. Use a good quality John Innes compost as this plant will be there a long time and peaty types of compost eventually degrade and become too packed and choke the roots. Ensure you feed regularly as a hungry plant is a poor performer.
Abutilon megapotamicum is native to Argentinia, Brazil and Uruguay. Abutilon Kentish Belle has been awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit. A hybrid of Abutilon megapotamicum it was raised by Albert Pike the head gardener at Hever Castle, Kent. This plant is not an uncommon sight in the southern areas of the Uk. It has upright thin very slightly arching stems with extended internodal growth on mature plants. Because of its appearance and the fact it requires a sunny south facing wall to do well, it is often incorrectly listed as a climber, which it is not. Hardy to around -5c it will need some protection in cold winters or makes an excellent conservatory or greenhouse subject. Overall it is an attractive plant with distinctive beautiful bell shaped flowers with a contrasting red calyx and soft apricot petals, with the veins faintly flushed red. The flowers are pendant on long stems and are produced over a long period, although later into flower than A.megapotamicum. In a conservatory that is heated they will often flower all year. Can be used in a mixed planting or as a stand alone specimen in the garden or can easily be grown in a pot or container. Definitely grows better in full sun and fertile well drained soil. If it becomes to large it can easily be cut back. When growing in a pot or other container. Use a good quality John Innes compost as this plant will be there a long time and peaty types of compost eventually degrade and become too packed and choke the roots. Ensure you feed regularly as a hungry plant is a poor performer.

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