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How do you care for a flowering maple?

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When provided with warmth and bright light, similar to its native tropical environment, the flowering maple provides foliage and blooms most of the year. Often grown as a houseplant, the flowering maple can be moved to the patio when days are warm. Flowering maples require regular fertilizing and misting with water when humidity is low, and they thrive best in well-drained soil that remains moderately moist.

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In Brazil, flowering maples grow to 10 feet tall in the wild, but as houseplants, they should be trimmed to a maximum height of 3 feet. The plants do not tolerate cold, so owners should move them indoors anytime nighttime temperatures drop lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent the plants from entering a dormant stage.

Flowering maples are not true maples but are closely related to hibiscus, rose of Sharon and okra. Their blooms are large and form year round in houseplants. The plants produce yellow, red or coral flowers. The leaves are large and similar in shape to those of the maple tree, from which the flowering maple derives its name. The normally green leaves take on a golden, variegated look when affected by Abutilon mosaic virus. Many plant lovers actually like the variegated effect in the flowering maple and don't seek to remedy it.

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