Fuchsia gall mite

ghost04(San Jose, CA)May 1, 2004

Hello fuchsia fans,

I joined this forum because my nurseryman told me that my favorite fuchsias are suffering from a gall mite problem. The new growth looks exactly like fusciabonzailady's photo on the facts page.

The problem started last year, and I thought I might be able to solve it without a diagnosis just by using insecticidal soap. Well, it slowed things down a bit, but the problem is back this year--in spades!

I guess the solution is either stronger chemicals or discarding the plants. I hate to do that, because my fuchsias are the anchor plants for the east side of my house, they make about a 6 foot square solid wall, and they usually bloom on my deck from spring through fall. On the other hand, we also have bird feeders, hummingbirds, and squirrels in the garden.

I'm very reluctant to use serious pesticides. My nurseryman recommended Ortho Systemic, and once I read the label, I didn't even want to bring it to my house!

How toxic is the product recommended on this forum, Sevin? Does anyone have any more benign solutions to this problem that will allow me to keep my fuchsias blooming on my deck?

Thanks for your thoughts and suggestions!


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fuchsiabonsailady(z8 UK)

Hi Toni
If you go to Evelyn Weidners site (she has a fuchsia nursery in California) there is her very helpful page on combatting these nasty insects. Link below - Kath:)

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.weidners.com/Fuchsia_Gall_Mite.htm

    Bookmark   May 2, 2004 at 2:45AM
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dedoverde(Zone 9 CA)

Link does not work

    Bookmark   May 17, 2004 at 2:05AM
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fuchsiabonsailady(z8 UK)

Hi Dedo,
That is the correct url, but as you say it doesn't work at the moment, perhaps there's a temporary problem with that particular server. I'll have a look later, bye for now - Kath:)

    Bookmark   May 17, 2004 at 3:09AM
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fuchsiabonsailady(z8 UK)

It's working now Dedo - Kath:)

    Bookmark   May 17, 2004 at 12:52PM
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Just noticed this weekend that I had this on my fuschias. Somehow I knew it was mites (must have seen something similar before). A couple were really decimated, one looks like the mites just started. The battle has begun! I cut off all the affected parts and sprayed with the Orthonex I have for the roses. I'll try to do the every 3-4 days thing and see how it goes. My husband loves fuschias, and they unfortunately hate me (except for one, which seems OK with me).

    Bookmark   June 1, 2004 at 11:55AM
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ghost04(San Jose, CA)

My thanks to fuchsiabonzailady and the others who responded to my questions about fuchsia gall mite. You have been a big help. What a disgusting pest! I just thought I'd add that the fuchsia that got sick first (last spring) had been stressed, because it had to be dug out of the ground when our fence was rebuilt. I've decided that I don't want to use the serious pesticides, so I cut back all the sick wood, and I'm watching....Meanwhile, I used the pruners (with a little chlorox bath between snips) on all the deformed growth on my other fuchsias. So far, the new growth looks normal, and I'm spraying with insecticidal soap as a preventative (hope,hope). It may only be a stopgap measure.

I'm looking for a new blooming plant to cover that fence on the east side of my house. Since I live in CA, the new home of the fuchsia gall mite, and the pest is spread by hummingbirds, of which I have an abundance in my yard, I don't think there is any truely happy fuchsia answer for me.

Happy gardening to all.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2004 at 1:00PM
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SusanC(9b/10a Sunset 17)


You don't have to give up on Fuchsias or go chemical because of the gall mite. You can plant mite-resistant fuchsias, which are primarily species, but do include a few hybrids.

They mostly do not look like the fancy, big/frilly hybrids most people think of when they think 'Fuchsia', but they are beautiful plants that thrive in our bay area climate. I have quite a few and am very happy with them; no problems with mites at all.

Here's a list of a few from Berkeley Horticultural Nursery to get you started..

Here is a link that might be useful: Mite resistant fuchsias

    Bookmark   June 19, 2004 at 2:43PM
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