Each May for the last thirty years, I have purchased two quite large, hanging fuschias as a birthday present for my wife.
Over that time, I've become reasonably skilled at caring for them, and have often kept them in bloom well into October, and even into November, when our Boston weather is unusually mild.
I fertilize them regularly, try to not either overwater or underwater them, and use a systemic to prevent white flies from attacking them. They are hung from our front porch, which has a western exposure and little direct sun until late in the afternoon. On the few ninety degree days we have had this summer, I brought the plants into our house, although there have been other days, in the eighties, when I left them outside.
This year, the fuschias were doing beautifully, showing much leaf growth and many, many new blossoms. Then, about three weeks ago, a few inner leaves began to yellow and fall off. Then more and more yellowed and fell. Then the leaves on the branches began to droop, dry out and fall, first from within the plant and then all over.
Since I had read somewhere that this condition can mean that the plants are in need of magnesium, I watered them with an epsom salt solution.. Sadly, nothing has helped and it's clear that our much loved fuchsias are not long for this world.
Do you have any ideas about what might have gone wrong with these once lovely plants?
Your thoughts will be greatly appreciated.