Sounds like the evil scale. Scrape 'em away with a q-tip (or fingers) and isopropyl alcohol, coat stems but not leaves with vegetable oil & soap emulsion, repeat like an obsessive compulsive person. Pick them off repeatedly.
I love abutilon. Especially the red ones. Maybe try a cutting in water, may be easier to kill the scale.
Ruth Stout was famous for gardening naked. Just like this tiny ad: