Each May for the last t... #206167 - Ask Extension


Each May for the last t... #206167

Asked August 12, 2014, 11:01 AM EDT

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. Sincerely, Louis Zand Brookline, Massachusetts lzand@rcn.com

Norfolk County Massachusetts

Expert Response

Hi Mr. Zand,

Without seeing the plant, it is difficult to make a diagnosis. My suggestion to you is to call the UConn Home & Garden Education Center (860) 486-6271 and see if one of the horticulturists can help you. If they can't diagnose the problem over the phone then they would likely ask if you wanted to submit a plant sample that would go to the UConn Plant Diagnostic Lab. For a small fee, the sample can be cultured and typically a determination of the problem is made. Fuschias are typically pretty tough plants but they do have several disease problems including rust, root rots, several viruses and blights. It does not sound like you can bring yours back to health but you might want to find out what killed them. Since you have been using a systemic, most likely insects are not too blame. You also seem to be conscientious about watering so I am thinking that your plants may have been infected by a disease.

Dawn Pettinelli Replied August 12, 2014, 11:50 AM EDT

Loading ...