Flowering Maple (Abutilon)
Plant Health Problems
This plant is relatively free of diseases. See Houseplants for a detailed discussion of problems that occasionally occur on flowering maple.
Some scales that attack houseplants, including flowering maple, are the fern scale, hemispherical, and soft scale. There are two types of scales commonly found on houseplants, armored and soft. A hard shell that is made up of their shed skins covers the armored scales. It is not attached to the body, so the scale cover can be flipped over to observe the insect feeding underneath. These scales do not produce honeydew and can be controlled during their crawler stage when they are exposed. Armored scales are not susceptible to imidacloprid. Soft scales secrete honeydew, making the foliage beneath them sticky and black sooty mold usually follows. They also can be controlled in the crawler or immature stage. Imidacloprid, applied as a drench to be taken up systemically by the roots, effectively controls these scales. Insecticidal soap and ultrafine horticultural oil, which are among the compounds registered for use against this pest in Connecticut, also will control scale crawlers. Multiple applications will be needed because generations overlap in the home or greenhouse situation. Spraying with malathion three or four times, when crawlers are active, at about 10-day intervals should be helpful in control. Using an aerosol bomb in a greenhouse can be helpful. Consult all labels for dosage rates and safety precautions.
Whitefly, Trialeurodes sp.
This whitefly commonly infests abutilon, hibiscus, fuchsia and other plants in greenhouses and homes. They feed on the underside of leaves and adults readily take flight when disturbed. They are visible to the naked eye. Their immature form is scale-like, losing its legs. See Fuchsia for a detailed description of the life cycle and control measures.