Lines On Abutilon Leaves - Knowledgebase Question

San Diego, CA
Question by karihelton
October 16, 1999
The leaves of my abutilon have swirly lines all over them. The lines are not present when the leaves are very young, but appear as the leaves mature. These lines are on the leaf's top and are lighter than the rest of the leaf, although they seem to turn brown with age. Do you know what they are and what I can do organically to control them?


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Answer from NGA
October 16, 1999

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One variety of Abutilon, or flowering maple, has variegated leaves (usually creamy white on green), which is actually due to a mosaic virus. This systemic disease is considered desireable on this particular plant. Occasionally a branch outgrows the virus and the leaves remain solid green, but generally the leaves start out solid green and then develop the swirly pattern you describe. If the leaves are turning brown, it's either a natural aging of the leaves, or your plant needs more humidity than it is getting. Try misting the leaves every few days to increase humidity around the plant. Abutilion drops older leaves throughout the season. As long as your plant continues producing new leaves, it's healthy. If you don't like the bare stems when the older leaves drop, pinch out the tips to promote a bushier growth habit.

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