Quick fix

It’s amazing how long we (okay, I) sometimes put up with a misbehaved plant until we do something about it. This flowering maple (Abutilon x ‘Souvenir de Bonn’) had been getting leggier and leggier all summer and fall. I guess it was trying to grow tall instead of wide in an effort to reach for the sun. As a result, its branches were getting top heavy and started to lean over the path that goes around to the side yard. Since that’s where our garbage and recycling cans are, not to mention our vegetable beds, we go that way several time a day.

Abutilon x ‘Souvenir de Bonn’ blocking the way—
particularly unpleasant after a rain when the leaves are wet

My wife had been threatening for several weeks to cut down the abutilon if I didn’t do anything about it. Not wanting to lose what is one of my favorite foliage plants—in spite of its lanky habit—I finally got out a sturdy metal stake and a hammer. Within five minutes I’d tied back the rogue branches and restored peace to our garden and family.

Abutilon x ‘Souvenir de Bonn’ tied back

Now if only the abutilon rewarded me for my efforts by growing leaves lower down on the branches. Maybe I’ll whack the top 4 ft. off later in the winter to stimulate new growth.


  1. Everything back there looks like it was reaching for the sun! Now the bamboo looks "wrong" -- how many of those stakes do you have left? ;-)

  2. Funny how you'll put up with some annoying plant smacking you in the face all season when the fix literally takes a couple minutes. You think to yourself, "that's all it took?" I've been there..

  3. Sometimes I amaze myself with my capacity to put up with things that are so easy and quick to fix. LOL.

    Alan, the bamboo (Yushania boliana) does have an errant culm that is slated for elimination. It's the original culm my plant was propagated from, and I've cut it way back already.

  4. Yep I think you need to whack it back! Maybe it will get bushier!


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