I am having trouble with a bush fuschia. There are lots of new blossoms, but...

Asked July 4, 2015, 11:36 PM EDT

I am having trouble with a bush fuschia. There are lots of new blossoms, but the leaves are a little limp and fading with some spotting. I wonder if it has been getting too much water as it is in a pot. If this is the case, can I save it by letting it dry out more? Thank you!

Pierce County Washington

2 Responses

We have had a lot of heat-related problems with plants this year, especially potted plants. Fuchsias don't like this hot weather we've been having, and the leaves will wilt in the afternoon--or morning--heat. Fuchsia leaves also stop actively transpiring moisture at about 80 degrees, so the leaves may appear like the plant needs water. Because of this, always check the soil before watering. The soil should be evenly moist.

Some potting soils seem to actually repel water if allowed to dry out. If that is the case, you may need to soak your pot instead of pouring water into it. Soak for about 30 minutes, then check to see if the soil has absorbed the water. Place your finger in the soil to check if the soil is moist. If it is, then your watering is done. If not, then soak for a bit longer, and check again. When the soil is moist, take it out of its soaking bath and rehang. This should allow water and nutrients to reach the roots and you probably won't have to water as frequently.

Try misting your fuchsia when it appears wilted. It may perk up the leaves.

Okay--we've covered watering your plant--now about the spots and yellowing of the leaves...are all the leaves affected, or just the older leaves? Fuchsia rust can cause spotting on leaves. This is a fungal disease in which yellow spores are present on the underside of the leaves, and as the disease progresses, you may see yellowing and spots on the top of the leaves. WSU's Hortsense offers advice on how to manage this problem. Take a look at the article and images to see if your plant has fuchsia rust. http://hortsense.cahnrs.wsu.edu/Public/FactsheetWeb.aspx?ProblemId=727

Hope this helps!

Thanks for the help and the additional info from the links you provided for me, Alice. I will try the watering & fertilizing techniques you mentioned. Since the pot that my fuschia is in has a saucer below, I believe that water may have filled the saucer overnight or possibly a day or two and this may have caused my problem. It doesn't appear to have the fungus spots on the leaves at this time. The fuschia has lots of blossoms, but several leaves are drying out and falling off. I have been careful not to let water remain in the saucer now and will watch to see if new leaves appear. Thanks again!