Flowering maple is a large evergreen perennials flowering plant in the mallow family with over 200 species found in the tropics and subtropics of the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Australia. It is also renowned as Indian mellow, velvetleaf, room maple, and parlor maple. The plant of this genus includes herbs, shrubs, and trees whose height ranges from about 0.5 m to 3 m (1.5 feet to 10 feet). They are upright, branching plants often with brittle stems that is why; they are a great addition to annual or mixed beds or borders.
The herbs are generally woolly or bristly, leaf blades are usually entire, and flowers are solitary, paired, or borne in small inflorescences towards the branch tips. The calyx is bell-shaped with five lobes, and the corolla is usually bell-shaped to wheel-shaped with five petals at the bases.
The flowers of wild species are most often yellow or orange, and sometimes red or pink with dark center while the fruit is rounded hemispherical dry fruit with 20 segments, each containing a few seeds.
How to grow and take care of Flowering Maple?
Flowering maple is a type of warm plant that grows in tropical or sub-tropical climates, and it is suitable for growing in USDA zones 8 or 9 and above. To grow this plant, you need well-drained, rich, and moist soil with full sunlight, but a location in partial shades is excellent. You need to maintain 12 to 15 inches distance between the plants and fertilize the soil before planting for better growth of the plant. A flowering maple requires moderate water in the summer so that the soil is consistently moist for outdoor plantation while for indoor plantation; you can water the plant until the soil feels slightly damp and allow the soil to dry out. You need to remember that you should water the plant at its roots and not overhead to avoid diseases. Feed your plant monthly when it begins showing signs of new growth, as too much humidity is not good for this plant.
Flowering maple should be shifted to new pot when it becomes necessary, but only into a slightly larger pot unless you want to increase the size of your plant. When your plant has reached a suitable size, you can control the growth by pinching, pruning into the desired shape and keeping it slightly root bound. Pruning is done in early spring or late fall to maintain the shape and size of the shrub, and pinch off the spent flowers throughout the blooming period to encourage more blooms.
It can be grown as a multi-stemmed shrub or pruned as a standard for a more tree-like structure. It is susceptible to a few pests, such as oleander scale, soft scale, whiteflies, and Fuller rose beetle, among these whiteflies and scales, leads to sooty mold on, causes yellowing, and leaf death. A common disease for this plant is abutilon mosaic virus that damages foliage, causes spots, distortion, discoloration, and even rarely harms the wooden parts of the plant.
This plant works well in a hanging basket too where it is easier to see the download facing flowers. For that, you can hang the plant growth pattern by pinching back each stem tip every time. Also, if you want to create a vertical tree-like structure, allow only one main stem to remain, and remove all side shoots from it, until it reaches the desired height.