I have a salmon variegated abutilon that is so badly shaped I'm hoping I can get a do-over by pollarding it. I realize there are no guarantees, but do you think this action will kill it? Should I root some cuttings first, as insurance?
Abutilon do have a tendency to become leggy and regular pruning can help maintain a nicer shade.
Pruning should be done in late winter or early spring.
You can remove or cut back up to 1/3 of each branch, or the plant overall.
Make the cuts just above a node.
You can tip prune the branches when they have at least 6 leaves appear.
You can propagate these tip cuttings.
Here is a link with more information.