There are quite a few diseases that can infect your fuchsia plant, regardless of which kind of fuchsia you may own. While pests can attack and eat or colonize on your fuchsia, you may end up with fungal diseases and environmental afflictions that can be treated or avoided in a variety of ways. The best treatment is prevention, and that’s why knowing the symptoms of the diseases is so important. If you happen to see symptoms of infection, knowing what disease’s symptoms you see on your fuchsia is half of the battle already.
Rust is a fungal infection that attacks the bottoms of the plant’s leaves, usually. It’s characterized by rust-colored spots full of spores, which take more of the fungus to other plants by becoming airborne. This means that even if you remove the rust-infected stems, leaves, and branches, your fuchsia plant can still end up with another nasty rust infection. The best way to prevent this infection is to practice good hygiene with your plants, removing dead leaves, flowers, and branches.
To treat rust, remove the affected parts carefully, take them to a pile away from your fuchsia, and burn it. Burn every afflicted plant part you find; cut it off and burn it. Also make sure that your fuchsia isn’t downwind, because the heat can still cause the spores to become airborne and go back to your fuchsia. Try to isolate infected fuchsias from healthy ones if possible, and you should spray the plants with a fungicide like thiram, maneb or zineb every ten days.
Gray Mold (Botryitis)
This disease shows up as a gray powdery film on your fuchsias and is caused both by too much dampness in cooler weather conditions and by overfertilization. The best treatment for botryitis is the prevention thereof, and so it’s important that you don’t overwater or overfertilize your fuchsia plant and allow it to have plenty of air circulation.
In the event that you do have a botryitis infection on your fuchsia, immediately change how you treat your plant—give it less water, less fertilizer, prune the congestion of excess leaves and branches (especially in the center of the plant) and open up some air circulation to help dry the plant of excess moisture. If the infection won’t let your plant go, you can use a copper fungicide on your fuchsia.
There are two types of mildew that can infect your fuchsia. The first is powdery mildew, which shows up in gray patches on your plant, but only infects the surfaces of the leaves. It can cause deformity in the leaves, blossoms, and stems, and stunt the growth of your fuchsias, but probably won’t totally kill them.
The second kind of mildew is downy mildew, and it grows in a downy fashion, meaning it looks fuzzy and fluffy. This grows all the way through the leaves and blossoms and will eventually kill your plant entirely.
Get rid of mildew by treating it just like you would botryitis, by removing the environmental propellants and using a copper fungicide if necessary.
Root rot is an irreparable disease caused by over watering your fuchsia plant. What occurs is the roots are weakened by the presence of too much water, and the natural solvent properties of the water will begin to break the roots down. The plant can’t get nutrients, they can’t grow, and they eventually wither and die.
You can’t cure root rot, all you can do is prevent it by keeping the soil moist but not soaked and keeping the soil well-drained. Also, if your fuchsia is outdoors, you should make sure that when you plant it you keep it on a higher spot in your yard so it doesn’t get flooded.
Preventing all of these diseases is the easiest and best way to cure them. Practice sanitary gardening habits, proper watering technique, and keen observation, and you’ll be able to keep your fuchsias healthy.