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Healthy fuchsia has buds with small lesions/insect bites

hayla
May 9, 2014

Fuchsia type: euro princess, winston churchill
Area: by the windowsill
Country: Stockholm, Sweden
Ave. indoor temperature: 22-26C (72-79F), dry climate
Plant size: about 10 inches and still growing in a 10cm pot

Hi!

I have a very weird fuchsia problem. I bought 2 fuchsia starters/cuttings about 5 weeks ago and they came in 10cm pots which I am still using now, I have not repotted the plants, but they are growing very much now (about 10inches tall). Both have lots of buds on them now and it looks like they would bloom quite soon. However, a few closed buds have had brown dried up places outside and eventually, they dry up even more and then fall off. A few on the other hand, have small lesions or holes that looks like something has bitten the buds, but when I took down one bud and opened it up, there was no insects or anything weird inside. You can see on the picture I posted. However, these lesions are also causing the flower to dry up before blooming. Those buds that do not have any lesions on them are half open and will soon go into full bloom. I also feed both plants with an all-purpose liquid plant food (Miracle gro) once every 2 weeks and water them every few days (when soil is dry), keep them in a shaded area and mist the leaves once a day.

The plants are perfectly healthy with nice foliage and there were a few mites that I quickly pinched off and a few fruit flies flying around. I tried to kill as many fruit flies as possible whenever I see them. But, do you think this could be the problem? Do fruit flies eat the exterior or closed buds?

I have googled and cannot find anyone talking about this problem, so I hope that someone in this forum can help me.

Another question, when should I repot them? How do I know when it's time to repot them?

Thank you very much!!

Comments (3)

  • ifraser25

    My guess is snails. Some are very small and most are only active at night which would explain the fact that you have never seen anything. Go into the greenhouse in the late evening with a torch and see if you can find them! Do you drink real coffee? If you do put the grounds round the base of the plant. It works better than the pellets. You will have fewer pest problems if you put them out of doors in summer, especially if you have a patio. I lived in a very cold part of England and always put my fuchsias outside as soon as possible, usually mid May. If you take cuttings in June or July you will have an insurance against any frost. Good luck. - Ian.

  • ifraser25

    My guess is snails. Some are very small and most are only active at night which would explain the fact that you have never seen anything. Go into the greenhouse in the late evening with a torch and see if you can find them! Do you drink real coffee? If you do put the grounds round the base of the plant. It works better than the pellets. You will have fewer pest problems if you put them out of doors in summer, especially if you have a patio. I lived in a very cold part of England and always put my fuchsias outside as soon as possible, usually mid May. If you take cuttings in June or July you will have an insurance against any frost. Good luck. - Ian.

  • hayla

    Hi Ian,

    Thank you very much for replying to my question! I just inspected the plant all over again and there were no snails, and even last night I took a look at the plant, everything seems to be fine. Also, there are no damages on the leaves or stems at all. My fuchsia plants are placed at the windowsill as I do not have a balcony or a garden, so I do not know how the snails could have gotten in, if there was any lurking around.

    I also have other plants beside the fuchsia plants and none of them have been affected. Are there any other possibilities that can explain this problem? Because only the buds are attacked, open or unopen ones. I had luck with a few buds on the Euro Princess that bloomed but some petals were discolored and the bloom looks a bit distorted and they simply dried up after 1-2 days and fall off.

    Could it be overwatering? underwatering? not feeding enough? Wrong place? Too high temperature? Do you think cutting down all the blooms away and making the plant shorter overall can help it become stronger and perhaps overcome this problem?

    Thank you very much!!

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