Flowering maple (Abutilon hybridum) makes a lovely indoor houseplant if given proper care. However, it’s prone to leaf drop if certain needs aren’t being met. The most important are water, light, and temperature.
So, why is my flowering maple wilting? Uneven watering, too much direct sunlight, and improper temperatures can cause flowering maple to wilt. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at solutions to restore your plant back to health and prevent leaf drop in the future.
Flowering maple will drop lower leaves and flowers if it’s been watered unevenly, which results in some of the roots remaining dry. This may also cause leaves to turn brown and brittle around the edges. Here’s how to fix it:
- Water thoroughly and allow the soil to dry until the top 1 inch (2.5 cm) feels dry to the touch before watering again.
- Insert your finger directly into the soil to check soil moisture daily. If it feels dry, water thoroughly. If it still feels moist, check moisture level again the next day.
- When applying water, pour over the entire surface of the soil evenly to make sure all the roots receive adequate water.
If your plant is severely dried out, it may require complete re-hydration by submerging the entire pot in lukewarm water for 30 minutes. See my post on How to Revive Under Watered Plants in 5 Easy Steps for more information.
Also avoid watering too much, as many plants drop leaves when they’re over-watered. Follow the guidelines above and only water when the soil feels dry to the touch. See my post on How to Tell if a Plant is Overwatered or Underwatered for more guidance on this topic.
Too Much Sunlight
Flowering maple needs bright, indirect sunlight. Too much direct sunlight can burn leaves and/or cause them to drop off. The ideal location for this plant is an east-facing window, but it can survive in a west- or south-facing window if the light is filtered by sheer curtains.
Although flowering maple can tolerate a few hours of direct sunlight a day, it performs best in cool morning sunlight (such as from an east-facing window). The hot afternoon sun of west- or south-facing windows may cause wilting if the light is not filtered.
If you suspect your plant is getting too much sun, move it immediately to a place where it receives lots of bright, indirect sunlight – but out of direct light. The brighter the light, the more often you’ll need to water your plant, so keep an eye on moisture levels.
A common cause of wilting in many houseplants – including flowering maple – is temperatures rising too high or dropping too low. For the best results, keep temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees F (18 and 24 degrees C) all year long.
Never allow temperatures to drop below 65 degrees F (18 degrees C) for long periods, as this can cause wilting and worse – it can possibly kill the plant if temperatures drop low enough. Flowering maple also dislikes heat, so high temperatures can cause similar damage.
Why is My Flowering Maple Wilting?
Watering too much or too little, placing in an area that receives too much sunlight, or allowing temperatures to rise too high or drop too low are the primary causes of wilting in flowering maple. Here’s a re-cap of the three steps you can take to fix this problem:
- Water your flowering maple when the top 1 inch (2.5 cm) of soil dries to the touch. Avoid over-watering and under-watering. Check moisture levels daily until you understand the balance and your specific plant’s needs.
- Place your plant in an east-facing window. Or if necessary place in a west- or south-facing window with the light filtered by a sheer curtain.
- Keep temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees F (18 and 24 degrees C) at all times.
If you stick to these guidelines, your plant will bounce back to health and stop dropping leaves soon. Read my complete Flowering Maple Care Guide for more in-depth instructions on caring for this beautiful houseplant, including controlling humidity, potting, maintenance and more.
Here are some frequently asked questions related to wilting flowering maple that you might find helpful (and my answers to them).
Why is My Flowering Maple Dying?
The most common causes of a dying flowering maple include uneven watering, over-watering, too much direct sunlight, and pests like aphids or spider mites. Make sure you’re following the plant’s recommended care guidelines and take steps to treat pest infestation.
You can tell your plant is infested with aphids if the leaves are sticky and you notice small insects present on the leaves. Prune plants to remove badly infested leaves and clean remaining leaves with plenty of water every three days for at least two weeks.
Symptoms of spider mite infestation include pale leaves stippled with small yellow dots and faint webbing on the undersides of leaves. Isolate the plant, removed and dispose of badly infested leaves. Clean the undersides of remaining leaves with warm, soapy water. Mist daily with lukewarm water for a week and see if the plant recovers.
How Often Should You Water Abutilon?
Water abutilon when the potting soil becomes dry to a depth of 1 inch (2.5 cm). The time between watering varies depending on the temperature and humidity in your home, and the amount of sun the plant receives. The more light it receives, the more often you’ll need to water.
I live in a very dry area, and it gets even more dry in winter when we run the central heating. I have to water my plant about twice a week during winter. Check the soil moisture daily by inserting your finger directly into the soil until you learn your plant’s specific needs.
How Do You Take Care of a Flowering Maple Tree?
Flowering maple needs lots of bright, indirect light to flower and thrive. Place in an east-facing window where it gets plenty of cool morning sunlight. Keep temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees F (18 and 24 degrees C) year round, day and night.
Water when the top 1 inch (2.5 cm) of soil becomes dry to the touch, and mist your flowering maple several times a week with a spray bottle of lukewarm water. Feed once a month with a balanced houseplant fertilizer in spring through fall. See my post on Flowering Maple Care for more information.