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Fuchsia Gall Mite

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 28 Oct 2017 15:35

Please, if yours have developed this, do let the Fuchsia Society know.
They are trying to track its spread from the southern parts of England, northwards.

Although there is no known cure, there are various actions you can take to slow the cross contamination.


RolloTheRed Report 28 Oct 2017 15:58

Ours are fine :-) from lines going back to the 1920s.

One of my golden rules is never to go anywhere near commercial "garden centres" . Over the years they have been the vector of introduction for all kinds of bugs and plants (*) which later on were seen as enemies. On top the footfall will bring in and take away far more plant bugs and problems than the average shopping mall on the soles of their Timberlands and Uggs..

(*) eg Dutch Elm disease, Japanese knotweed, rhodedendrons

Bringing fuscias to exhibitions when there is any chance of spreading the mite strikes me as a poor idea.

fwiw garden centres and florists are going to be up the creek without a paddle post brexit due to the control and inspection requirements for imports. Maybe it will put a brake on imported bugs as well.



+++DetEcTive+++ Report 28 Oct 2017 16:32

All the same, keep an eye on them.
The one affected in our garden is a hardy over 30 years old.

It only needs one plant in a neighbourhood garden, a breeze, and it can spread anywhere.


RolloTheRed Report 28 Oct 2017 16:45

My cat died.
My mother died.
If they take my fuschias, magnolias, wisteria and orchids as well I shall give up.
Luckily I have the same lines well rooted in on both sides of the Channel (Sleeve) so it would be a bad day indeed to lose them all.

My vision is nowhere near good enough to detect microscopic bugs so just how to keep an eye on them? I used to keep an eye on my cat but by the time I realised something bad was afoot it was too late.

A quick examination shows no problems for the moment. How often should they be checked?

Such fabulous color , such a wilfully happy look no wonder Mervyn Peake named his heroine Fuschia.

thank you for the tip :-)


Nyx Report 28 Oct 2017 17:15

Touch wood mine is ok ( midlands) , it did look very sad earlier this year, but I put that down to dry weather and it is flowering well now, and there are two cuttings from it growing well in pots.

Rollo good description "wilfully happy" :-)


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 28 Oct 2017 17:29

Unfortunately, by the time you realise, it’s too late.
Loads of photos on the internet eg

The RHS site hopes that cold weather would kill them off. This is contrary to what the Fuchsia Soc’s oral knowledge. A member was visiting somewhere in the USA where winter temps fall to 15c. They’ve still survived.

Don’t assume Rollo’s French grown ones are risk free - it’s spread from the Continent, possibly Brittany.


Nyx Report 28 Oct 2017 18:07

Speaking of shrubs, is hypericum particularly prone to rust this time of year?


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 28 Oct 2017 18:13

RHS says it can occur late summer into autumn, but you'd know that ;-)
Hope you can control it successfully. <3


Nyx Report 28 Oct 2017 18:26

It's one of those shrubs that is 'just there' lol, it was here when we moved and doesn't get much attention and is really in the wrong place but has the big advantage of screening the bottom of the window :-)

It really is a pocket handkerchief of a front garden but with the hypericum, and the leycesteria I've just moved by the wall and with the hydrangeas, plus a forsythia and a laurel in pots in a year or so I may not be able to see the cars parked outside at all :-)


bob Report 29 Oct 2017 19:40

Mine here in N London are affected. My friend is secretary of the local society and came round to have a look. He advised cutting right down to soil level and hope for the best.


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 30 Oct 2017 11:47

That's a shame, Bob.

There used to be a spray which was effective, but its been withdrawn by the EU. The reason was that it affected Pollinators - bees etc.
As disappointing as that may seem, it was for the greater good.

The advice now given is to cut down to the ground, clear as many of the fallen leaves as possible and hope for the best. Make sure you disinfect the tools you've used on the affected plant before re-use.

Ideally the cuttings should be burnt. Unfortunately that is impractical for most of us. So...they either end up in landfill, or a council composting centre. There's some thought that the mites might be killed off in bulk composting heat. The required temperatures aren't likely to be reached in the heap at the bottom of a domestic garden!


RolloTheRed Report 30 Oct 2017 16:16

Anything containing abamectin will work to some degree.

Our French fuscias were brought from Hampshire to France back in 1993 and are doing fine so far.

Note the author of the above and whatr he says about plant hygiene. I was not joking about avoiding garden centres or if you must go use something like Jeyes fluid on yr shoes when you get back BEFORE going in the house and esp the garden.


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 30 Oct 2017 16:57

It’s no longer a disease that has to be notified. It’s gone passed the point of no return :-0
The quoted Westland Plant rescue bug killer for ornamental plants has been withdrawn from sale. The Thiamethoxam ingredient was banned.


RolloTheRed Report 30 Oct 2017 18:38

Garden centres and the like still have to notify it the requirement is only lifted for private householders.

abamection and Thiamethoxam can be obtained by rooting around a bit it seems. I have ordered stuff ag. scale in France for deliv. France no problem at all tho' I had to buy 5litres min. and it was expensive. Most EU countries will sign all sorts of regulations but are in no rush to implement them if they might cause political problems. Otherwise there do seem to be viable products which work in conjunction with pruning and taking care not to contaminate.

red spider mite spray is easy to get as poultry farming would be impossible without it. It is effective for these bugs on fuscias too.

Our fuschias are v old fashioned descended from cuttings taken in the 1920s and 1930s. Apparently old varieties are much more resistant to mites than the modern showy varieties. Our garden in France has a 2m wall all around it I don't know if that helps at all. It sure cuts down the wind. In France our winters are always very cold with weeks of weather well below freezing at night and not much above in the daytime. AFAIK the mites do not like this. Not much hope south of the Trent though.

I would be really sad to lose any of our plants. They are sort of way markers on my life inherited or brought back from all over the place at a time when restrictions were few.

Quite how we have mucked up the planet by carelessly transporting all kinds of plants bugs and fauna out of area and plastics etc to the very bone is a question nobody in power wants to talk about. It is pretty obvious that stopping it is not a priority.



Sue Report 30 Oct 2017 18:47

Just seen this thread.

My two hardy fuscias have this, and so they have been disposed of. I have had them 25 years plus. I also have a different fuscia which does not have it. I hope nothing happens to it.

I am in the south of england.



RolloTheRed Report 30 Oct 2017 19:27

You d if you do and d if you don't.

If it was anywhere near the dead ones the temptation would be to move it but you then might be giving the mites a free move too. Paint the wall / fence next to the dead plants with some sort of paint with bug killing properties.

The mites will show up with a fairly strong magnifying glass. You could examine the ok fuscia and then make some cuttings from the unaffected plant. Growing them indoors (with good daylight) you should soon have some reinforcements.

The ground vacated by the dead fuscia should be used for something very different not susceotible to mites. Also note the advice about throwing away / cleaning of gardening tools which have been exposed to mites including soles of shoes.

good luck
we have been lucky so I am sending you a slice of ours so as to speak
thanks again to Detective for bringing this problem to everybody's attention.



Sue Report 30 Oct 2017 19:38

Rollo, thanks for the slice of fuscia.!!!! and the advice. Agree a good thread for anyone growing fuscias.



+++DetEcTive+++ Report 30 Oct 2017 22:25

If anyone has noticed Gall Mite on one plant, for goodness sake don’t immediately inspect another. You’ve a good chance of inadvertently spreading it!

Rollo, now you’ve mentioned it, the red spider mite spray was one suggestion which ‘might’ protect/treat new growth. I’d ordered a can at the weekend;-)

Unfortunately, probably like Sue’s, my mature bush was far too dense for a spray to reach all affected parts. Hopefully next years new growth can be caught in time.

With easy & speed of travel & climate change, let alone naturally dispersion, we’ll be seeing more non indigenous pests & diseases during our life time. :-(


Kay???? Report 30 Oct 2017 23:09

Gall Mites burrow into the leaves and burrow down so no spray can reach them, thats why they are hard to eradicate,,,,,plus they are also spread by,,,,,,,birds,other flying insects, bees,,snails and even frogs,.they are as invasive as green or blackfly..