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Help! I don't know what is going on with my hardy Fuchsia.

(Zone 12b)

This message was edited Jul 25, 2011 4:12 AM

Thumbnail by Pixelicious
Tacoma, WA

Dang. That looks awful. I've just recently got into growing fuchsias, so maybe this information from the NW Fuchsia Society can help:

Botrytis- Damping off. Young stems collapse./ Not well-ventilated.

Gray Mold- Fluffy gray mold on plants. / Not well-ventilated.

Spider mites- Leaves get webbed, dappled and stripled with red or bronze areas, and drop. Tiny mites can be seen under the leaves. / Too dry.

Root weevil - Plants collapse. Small white grubs are found feeding on roots. Nearby rhodies show notched leaf margins- a warning.

Rust- Orangish, rusty areas appear, usually under the leaves. /Not well-ventilated; too moist.

Slugs - They love moist greenhouses and tender growth to raise their young.

Look under the pots as well.

Thrips- Small, narrow-bodied, yellow, brown or black insects seem to be smothering the plant. Shoots and flower buds are damaged. / Too warm or too little water, not common in the PNW.

White Flies- Under the leaves, small white eggs are laid- leaves become sticky.

When the plant is touched, little, white flies scatter frantically into the air.

Yellow leaves- The plant is lacking magnesium.

(Zone 12b)

Thanks drtdgr, I went down that list one by one but when I got to my search of spider mites, I found some other images of a fuchsia infected with gall mites. The images and description were almost identical to my problem so I proceeded from there. Gall mites are microscopic so that would explain why I never saw anything on the plant. Apparently gall mite can be spread from fuchsia to fuchsia via the hummingbirds that are quite prevalent in our area. Some have gone as far to say you should dig up and burn the plant. Some have been successful with treatment options. I am going to try the latter and see how it goes. It's a four day treatment (that goes along with the mites lifecycle) with 3 thorough applications daily. I haven't decided which treatment I am going to use but Sevin, Isotox Insect Killer by Ortho and Bayer Rose Advance are some that have been recommended.

Thank you so much for your help, it would have taken forever if I had never searched spider mite, I just assumed it wasn't that since I never saw anything on the plant.

I will post my progress if anyone is interested. I am look forward to seeing what happens, I haven't had this plant for 4 years to give up on it now.

Tacoma, WA

You're welcome. I'm glad you found the cause and hope your plant makes a full recovery.

American Canyon, CA(Zone 9a)

Hi Pixie, you and I are quite close...practically neighbors! I work at a local nursery and I can tellyou that Fuchsia Gall Mite can be awful in this area. Over the last 15 years or so it has GREATLY reduced the number of Fuchsias available in the trade.

The Bayer Systemic would seem to work good, but then I wonder what will happen to hummers and other pollen seeking creatures. For that reason I would reccomend the trimming back and applying Sevin every 4 weeks. I need to investigate Spinosad, an organic pesticide, to see if it would work too.

Good Luck!

(Zone 12b)

Plantmum6 -

Thanks for the reply. I was getting worried so I went ahead and removed ALL the leaves since it was probably 75% infected. I already started the Sevin treatment, we will see how it goes. I am spraying 3x a day, for four days-on recommendation from another gardener. Bayer and Ortho products worry me when it comes to hummingbirds/butterflies, etc. I am also spraying the surrounding bed with a 1-4 alcohol/water mix. I will read into Spinosad and see what I find, thank you for commenting and the recommendation!


(Zone 12b)

Just thought I would post an update. I ended up removing all the leaves, the infestation was that bad. Been spraying with Sevin once a week or so. So far, so good.

This message was edited Aug 14, 2011 5:57 AM

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

So glad the leaves are growing back. What zone are you in?
ALL my fuchsias are goners, I think. I still haven't pulled them up, just in case. If nothing appears out of the dirt by Dec., I think I'll declare them deceased... Janet

(Zone 12b)


I am in zone 9b. At first they wouldn't sprout but then I nipped off the end of a couple of branches and that sent them growing. My fuchsia will be happier when fall comes I hope. I will have to keep an good eye on them until next spring.


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