Two years ago I bought a dozen or so named abutilons including the only known double, ‘Victorian Lady’. Last year most were grown in large pots outside and they did fairly well and they have been overwintered in the greenhouse and are just starting to make new growth. My intention was to take cuttings last summer but it never quite happened but instead, some of the plants set seed pods and I collected these and after drying them I collected the seed. I had a grand idea of making some deliberate crosses but again that never quite happened so I have no idea what the parents of these seeds will be especially because I just randomly collected seed pods off the plants as I brought them indoors in November.
The pods were full of seeds of various sizes and I cleaned them up and discarded those that were obviously chaff and not fertile seeds. This left me with more than 100 seeds which were sown in late January. In the propagator at about 20c the first seedlings appeared after about 3 weeks but germination is erratic and new seedlings have been appearing for two months.
I transplanted the first batch last week but left the trays in the propagator in case more appeared.
Growing abutilons from seed is not so odd and there is a strain called ‘Bella’ which is easily grown from seed but has a very compact habit with large, open, saucer shaped blooms that, though showy, do not look quite like abutilons to me. So I am hoping that my plants, coming from good, large-flowered, tall plants will be a bit different from what I have but still worth keeping. Only time will tell.