Anyone   who   takes   up   growing   fuchsias   will   run   into   most   of   the   following   at   some   time   or   other. The   problem   is   that   insecticides   and   fungicides   that   were   readily available   to   the   public   are   fast   disappearing.   I   have   to   add   that   any   products   I   may   recommend,   you   use   to   the   manufacturers   recommendation   and   I   take   no responsibility for their misuse. Prevention is better than a cure and I start spraying early in the season whether the plants need it or not.  
Lets   kick   off   with   good   old   whitefly.   It   looks   exactly   as   is   named,   tiny   flies   that   flitter   about   when   disturbed   then   settle on   the   underneath   side   of   leaves.     This   is   where   their   activity   takes   place,   tapping   into   the   leaves   extracting   nutrients especially   sugar.   They   excrete   Honeydew   which   drops   onto   lower   leaves   which   then   plays   host   to   Sooty   Mould.   This is   where   picking   up   plants   when   watering   comes   in. The   whitefly   will   fly   off   at   the   slightest   disturbance. A   minor   attack can   be   controlled   with   finger   and   thumb,   but   if   left   to   become   an   infestation   they   can   seriously   weaken   plants.   Spray     with   Provado   Ultimate   Bug   Killer.   This   is   a   systemic   which   is   taken   up   by   the   plants   and   helps   towards   control.   If   you are   against   using   insecticides   then   a   tiny   drop   of   washing   up   liquid   in   a   1litre   fine   sprayer   will   suffocate   the   adults   but will not kill the eggs.  Spray every 3 days to break the life cycle.  
Aphids   are   also   known   as   greenfly   and   blackfly.   They   are   sap   sucking   insects   and   easier   to   spot   than   whitefly.   I   have never   seen   blackfly   on   fuchsias   but   greenfly   seem   to   colonise   on   flower   buds   when   they   are   starting   to   mature   and   would seriously   damage   the   flower   if   left.   They   also   damage   the   very   growing   tips   and   I   generally   find   them   on   the   hardy fuchsias   in   the   garden   as   soon   as   early   spring   and   if   left   would   stunt   the   growth   so   much   as   to   delay   flowering   or      the plant not to flower at all. Usually the damage is done before you spot it.  Conifers are renowned for harbouring aphids. I use Rose Clear 3 and, again, spray before any signs of damage as a preventative.  
Red   Spider   Mites   reside   on   the   underneath   side   of      leaves   and   are   almost   invisible   to   the   naked   eye. They   can   be   identified,   through   a   magnifying   glass,   by   two   dots   on   their   back.   Damage   to   a   plant   is made   by   the   infants   chewing   away   at   the   leaves   which   turn   a   mottled   colour,   dry   up   and   drop.   A   plant can   be   devastated   in   no   time.   The   adults   spin   fine   webs   over   the   plant,   again   hard   to   see   until   you   spray with   a   fine   mist   of   water.   They   will   move   from   plant   to   plant   by   walking   or   using   the   fine   web   for   an   air assault.   Damage   is   done   before   you   realise   it   and   can   be   the   exhibitors   nightmare.   They   thrive   in   hot   dry conditions,   another   reason   for   fuchsias   to   be   out   of   the   greenhouse   in   Summer.      I   have   too   many   to   do that   so   I   have   solid   staging   covered   in   capillary   matting   which   is   covered   with   fine   grit.   This   is   kept   wet during   hot   spells   to   try   and   reduce   the   temperature   and   increase   humidity.      One   has   to   be   very   vigilant   to spot   the   first   signs   and   you   could   try   a   weeklytreatment   with   S.B.   Plant   Invigorator   which   is   a   plant stimulant and pest control, or try Bayer Organic Pest Control (B&Q)
Now      we   come   to   what   I   believe   to   be   the   fuchsia   growers   favourite   pest.   Mention   it   to   a   fellow   fuchsia   grower   and   a smile comes across their face. I think we have all faced this adversary at sometime or other. The   adult   Vine   Weevil   is   about   10mm   long   (excluding   it’s   feelers)   and   is   not   to   be   confused   with   the   ground   beetle which   is   longer   and   flatter.   They   are   nocturnal   and   rarely   seen   during   the   day.   They   have   hooks   on   their      feet   which allows   them   to   walk   upside   down   on   glass   and   drop   into   hanging   pots   suspended   from   the   greenhouse   roof   -   I   kid you   not! The   adult   does   not   do   a   great   deal   of   damage   except   from   cutting   crescent   shaped   notches   in   leaves,   which serves   well   as   a   warning   sign.   They   lay   eggs   just   under   the      surface   of   the   compost   and   are   often   mistaken   for   the granular   type   plant   food   or   vica   versa.   The   eggs   hatch   into   grubs   about   10mm   long   and   burrow   their   way   down   into the   compost   and   start   feeding   on   the   fine   roots.   That’s   were   the   damage   begins.   In   a   bad   attack   a   plant   will   wilt   and can be mistaken for in need of watering, then the plant collapses completely and if pulled out of the pot will have little or no roots at all. Vine   Weevils   are   very   clever   insects   and   always   seem   to   target   plants   which   they   know   will   have   fine   roots,   such as   young   fuchsia   plants.   I   know   they   are   in   our   garden,   but   they   don’t   bother   the   hardy   fuchsias,   the   roots   are too old and tough for the grubs. Its usually pot and container grown plants with fine compost they go for. Treatment   is   fairly   easy   now   with   the   introduction   of   Provado   Vine   Weevil   Killer   2.   This   is   applied   as   a   root drench   every   six   weeks   to   pots   and   containers   and   will   kill   the   grubs.   Again   I   will   do   this   as   a   preventative   as it’s   also   useful   for   controlling   greenfly   and   whitefly.   I   stand   the   pots   in   saucers   whilst   being   soaked   and   any surplus   that   runs   through   is   re-used   on   the   next   plant.   Any   adults   found   go   under   the   boot   with   a   satisfying crunch.  
Fuchsia   rust   is   a   disease   caused   by   a   fungus,   Pucciniastrum   Epilobii,   that   spreads   by   airborne   spores   and by   hand   after   handling   infected   leaves.   Rust   will   not   kill   a   plant   but   will   make   it   look   very   unsightly   and   it would certainly not be eligible to enter a show. First   signs   are   yellow   circular   patches   appearing   on   the   upper   part   of   the   leaf   with   the   corresponding   orange coloured   pustules   underneath.   If   left   untreated   the   whole   leaf   would   shrivel   and   other   leaves   become infected.   In   mild   cases,   removal   and   disposal   of   infected   leaves   may   be   enough.   In   severe   cases   spray   the underneath of the leaves with Rose Clear 3. In either case isolate the plant until cured.  
Botrytis   shows   itself   as   a   grey   mould   on   stems   and   foliage,   usually   starting   at   the   base   of   the   stem   and   working   it’s   way   up   until   the   stem   turns   brown, becomes   very   thin   and   then   collapses   taking   with   it   any   growth   attached   to   it.   Botrytis   can   be   avoided   in   the   first   place   by   allowing   plenty   of   air   circulation around   the   plants   even   removing   lower   leaves   to   help.   Careful   watering   will   help,   allow   the   plant   to   almost   dry   out   and   then   water   instead   of   keeping   the compost waterlogged. Once plants are established in pots water from the bottom if possible. No fungicides are approved for use against Botrytis but some fungicides to control other disease may have some control but not guaranteed. I get the odd plant losing one stem so I don’t bother spraying with anything, I just try and follow my own recommendations!  
Fuchsia   Gall   Mite.      This   is   one   pest   that   I   hope   you   never   come   across.   It   was   first discovered   in   Brazil   in   the   1970’s   and   has   since   spread   to   California,   France,   Germany and   the   Channel   Islands.   It   spread   to   mainland   Britain   in   2007   where   it   was   found   on previously   healthy   hardy   fuchsias   near   Fareham,   Hants.   Since   then   it   has   been   found   in gardens in Middlesex, Kent & Devon (as at July 2011) The   mites   are   too   small   to   be   seen   without   a   microscope   and   they   infest   the   shoot   tips where   they   suck   sap   and   excrete   chemicals.   An   infestation   leads   to   the   distortion   of growth   and   buds.   Removing   the   infested   growth   will   remove   many   mites   but   new   growth is likely to be infested. Pesticides available to the home gardener are ineffective. The only choice is to cut off and burn the infected branches or if needed the whole plant.   
Copyright 2011
Pests & Diseases
Next (Over Wintering Fuchsias) Next (Over Wintering Fuchsias)
Move mouse over to enlarge
Pests & Diseases