Real World Gardener Abutlion Bella is Plant of the Week

December 18th, 2015

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network.
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Abutilon x hybrida Bella, Chinese Lantern

The common name for this plant reflects what the flower does.Hanging down like a lantern but until now, the bush grew quite big, around 2 - 4 metres tall and almost as wide.

In comes these relatively new introductions that are really dwarf plants, but with the same size flowers so they can be squeezed in anywhere. Who can resist?

Let’s find out about them. I'm talking with Karen Smith editor of and Jeremy Critchley owner of


The really dwarf varieties of Chinese Lanterns are the Abutilon Bella series.



Bella Pink

Bella series lanterns grow to 30cm tall and slightly wider.

They really can be squeezed into any spot in the garden if you have a semi-shaded spot or because they only grow small, potted Chinese Lanterns would be great as well.

Chinese Lanterns grow well in most parts of Australia, except for the very cold mountain zones.

In inland areas be sure to water well and keep protected with mulch.

In hot inland climates Abutilons appreciate some light shade.

Chinese lanterns flower for such a long time, from Spring right through to Autumn so if you do have room for some more plants, even a small bit or room, I recommend growing several.

Pruning is not required.

If you have any questions about growing Chinese Lanterns or have some information you’d like to share why not write in to

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