Houseplants: Aquatic plants like Abutilon can thrive in your home space

Your Abutilon hybridum Indoors needs no special soil for container growth and soil moisture is more important than pH.

Asian tropical-inspired plants are becoming popular in home landscapes. These large plants sometimes feature hardy varieties, a variety called Abutilon and more exotic breeds such as Drummond Plant and palm varieties. These plants are not native to the Pacific Northwest, but you can grow them here indoors. However, controlling their growth and watering are strategies you will need to use.

1) Thorough watering in summer is important for Abutilon hybridalums Indoors. They like full-size containers and can grow tall so you might need to move them when the soil temperature dips below 65 degrees.

• Sensors in your irrigation controller might indicate that a plant needs supplemental watering and you can adjust the level of liquid water in the garden hose accordingly. Filling the reservoir for long duration periods of time is not necessary.

• Create a water pellet holder for each plant to help keep water in the nursery pot for longer periods of time. Note that most garden fertilizer supplies contain liquid fertilizer and can be placed in a storage container, but the pellets can’t be placed in the pots. Always use salt-free liquid fertilizer when adding nitrogen.

2) Japanese gardeners often place silvery tree stumps close to trees to form trellises. However, yours Abutilon Hybrid does not need these stumps. If you plan to use them, consider placing them a little closer to the tree, as far away as 2 inches, but not closer than the trunk of the tree.

3) Remember that Abutilon Hybrid as an indoor plant will require extra light and indirect watering. The shallow pots will expand with water if left to accumulate over several months and can take more watering than your actual usual irrigation system needs.

4) Add 8 -10 ounces of water and leave it on your plants for 10 minutes for each 10-foot ceiling foot measure.

5) This is your time for watering and feeding. Abutilon Hybrid needs a fertilizing. First, start your irrigation system with a gentle drip system or spray system to start the process. You can add a small quantity of fresh food fertilizer for the plants when your timer is on. Note that the pH needs to be kept even so you cannot overfertilize the plants.

• Make sure the surface of the water is clean when it arrives for the plants. If your plants are stored in water that hasn’t been cleaned before, the quality of the water will vary and may dry out the plants. Before adding water, rinse the cuttings with cool water and gently mist them with warm water. Wait 10 minutes before adding water.

If you do not want to maintain the height of your plants, there are several indoor containers that can house them successfully. Silvery metal containers are cool to the touch and provide a great environment for water retention and humidity.

• Large pavers work well too.

• Reverse-flow fans provide the ideal conditions for heat, light and humidity retention.

6) Get creative with lights. We have taken a chemical light that is used for ceramics and stained it. Then we have incorporated scotch filaments into the top so that they sparkle when turned on. We have also added moss and small purple magnolia vines.

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