Why has my abutilon tree failed to come to life this spring?
You may not necessarily have honey fungus so dont worry just yet! Abutilon are tropical or sub-tropical plants and can withstand temperatures to about -5C but may well have struggled this winter. Once the plant has died any number of beneficial fungi and bacteria can feed off the dead material. Also, Abutilon species are noted for being more resistant to honey fungus than many other plant species.
If youre still worried, peel back the bark at the base of the plant - if there is a thin layer of white inside, this may be an indication of honey fungus. Also keep an eye out in late summer and autumn for any toadstools.
Plants and gardens have always been a big part of my life. I can remember helping my Dad to prick out seedlings, even before I could see over the top of the potting bench. As an adult, I trained at Writtle College where I received my degree, BSc. (Hons) Horticulture. After working in a specialist plantsman's nursery, and later, as a consulting arboriculturalist, I joined Thompson & Morgan in 2008. Initially looking after the grounds and coordinating the plant trials, I now support the web team offering horticultural advice online.