I've got a Flowering Maple:
Abutilon pictum 'Apricot'
It's not too old and has never grown more then about 1' tall. It gets
sun and is outside in the summer. It's guess it to be about 2 years old.
It gets an occasional yellow leaf but now I have many leaves, both old
and new, getting a mottled effect. See the scan below on leaf:
I've tried fertilizer changes, watering frequency and moving it around
to different windows. I just did a hard prune on it.
I just had a seminar on trees (Master Gardener program) and one of the
things the instructor mentioned was that potted trees have ALWAYS been
potted. They are grown in the pot from the beginning and their roots tend
to grow in a swirl rather than spread out like they should. He said that
even after they are placed in the ground, the roots sometimes tend to
retain that swirl pattern and they will, eventually, be unable to feed the
tree properly and it will die.
I don't know what you can do about it if that's the problem but if the tree
does dies maybe you can do a postmortum and check out the roots and let us
know if his theory is true.
One thing you might be doing wrong, although you didn't mention it, is
overwatering it while trying to save it. You could be drowning it.
Have you tried calling Gurney's and talking to them? Someone there should
be able to give you some advice.
There are several varieties of A. pictum that have variegated foliage.
I couldn't find 'Apricot" , but the photos I found that showed some
variegation had orange/apricot flowers. Perhaps this is a plant with
Yes, I found the same thing when I was looking around but I assumed that
the plant would have the variegation from the start and not just start
it later on. This yellow also appears to be a faded yellow rather than
the strong contrast between green and yellow.
If they are prone to virus attacks maybe mine didn't have one but now
I think your tree is beginning to show signs of Verticillium Wilt. It's a
virus that nursery raised maples seem to be prone to. I had one in a pot
that had leaves showing the same symptoms as yours and pruned and babied it
for most of a year before I took a sample leaf to the extension service and
that's what they told me it had........get rid of it and don't compost, burn
or throw it away. There's no cure. Also don't plant another maple in the
same or near the same spot. It's a soil borne disease and doesn't go away.
There are some other plants that are susceptible to this so you can Google
the disease and see what they are, don't plant those in the same spot or pot
Flowering Maple is not actually a maple. It's one of those weirdies:
Abutilon is a Mallow in the family Malvaceae.
I have problems with Japanese Maples because of verticillium wilt
also. My Abutilon is planted right next to the spot where the J. Maple
was that died; there is no problem with the Abutilon.( been there 10
Um, verticillium wilt is a fungal (not viral) disease caused by
the fungi Verticillium albo-atrum and V. dahliae. It does cause
various symptoms in a number of woody plants, including true maples,
the genus Acer.
However, "flowering maple" is not a maple at all, but a member of the
hibiscus-cotton-okra family: the scientific name is Abutilon x hybridum,
although related species like A. megapotamicum and A. pictum are also
called flowering maple..
My WAG, based on the photo and descriptions, is that there may, indeed,
be a viral infection of the plant. Have you submitted a sample to your
extension service for diagnosis? The diseases I've seen most commonly in
Abutilon have been Rhizoctonia root rot and Rizoctonia web blight, but
the symptoms don't match.
I proposed the varegation solution because of the look of the yellow
Nitrogen/chlorosis and magnesium deficiency shows between the veins
A virus is usually very mottled, splotchy yellow. This appears to be
leaf margin (?)
Sometimes in the presence/absence of light variegation varies.
Sun can cause it to show or some plants need shade for variegation to
show. Sometimes it takes a more mature plant. So that was a
I think FW might also have suggested a good cause in the watering
Abutilons need very good drainage.
What I would do with it is this: water it really well and let the
water run out
of the pot freely and leach out all the fertilizer salts. (which could
yellowing, too) Then set it in bright light, but not direct sun until
becomes dry on the top inch. Then water again and let it recover from
cutting back. Then try watering it in the same manner: water until it
out the bottom of the pot and then let it dry out on the top.See what
like then. If the yellow continues, you might try a very weak drench
Epsom salt, which promotes production of chlorophyll. If the yellow
away, you have a solution. If the yellow stays, you might just have a
Good luck and let us know what happens
My abutilon is a hybrid which is bright red-orange and is an outside
which the hummers love. I just bought a pink one.
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