Pests That Affect Fuchsias

Fuchsia Gall Mite

Another pest has appeared on the scene recently. This of course is the Fuchsia Gall Mite (Aculops Fuchsiae). Unfortunately, there are no chemicals to eradicate this troublesome pest, so every precaution to ensure it doesn’t spread out of control must be a priority.

More information relating to this topic can be found on the Fuchsia Gall Mite page.

Image showing various fuchsia pests

The Vine Weevil

Each female can lay up to 1,000 eggs in potting compost/solid based media over a period of three to four months during spring to early summer. The eggs hatch after only two weeks. The fat, whitish larvae ¼” (6.4mm) to ⅜” (9.5mm) long and crescent shaped, are legless but can cause quite serious root damage.

They tunnel into bulbs, corms and tubers and feed for three months or more this way before pupating. The pupae then emerge as adults under glass in the autumn and outdoors the following spring.

Adult vine weevils are unable to fly, but crawl into greenhouses through doors and ventilators or are introduced by purchasing infested plants. The vine weevils hide at soil level during daylight hours and are hard to see. They usually hide in leaf litter, loose brickwork, woodwork and similar situations and crawl up onto plants after dark when they feed on the foliage. By ensuring stringent hygiene methods are strictly adhered to within the greenhouse will reduce the possibility of confronting this troublesome pest.

There are various chemicals suggested for eradicating vine weevils.

Alternating one product with another when treating these pests may also help.

It is possible to buy compost for cuttings that has already been treated for pests and diseases.

Whitefly, Greenfly, Blackfly & Red Spider Mite

The whitefly along with possibly the greenfly, blackfly and red spider mite are the more common variety of pests that you are likely to encounter. If whitefly are totally ignored and left to their own resources, they are able to multiply in vast numbers during a very short period and are then capable of causing a great deal of damage to fuchsia plants.

By keeping a strict and regular spraying programme and on no account allowing them to dominate the greenhouse, all the above mentioned pests can be kept under complete control by a suitable insecticide purchased at your nearest Nursery or Garden Centre.

It is inevitable that at times it will be necessary to repeat the spraying routine every three or four days. For example, once whitefly eggs are laid they take approximately 6–8 days to incubate. Then depending on the temperature, the life cycle can vary from between 18–21 days at 30°C (86°F) and 103–123 days at 12°C (54°F). Only the adult fly is affected by any insecticide administered.

To reduce the activity of red spider mite, try to maintain a humid atmosphere within the greenhouse by regularly sprinkling the floor with water, especially when the weather is exceptionally warm. They seem to thrive in abundance when the conditions are very dry.

Caspid Bugs, Leaf Hoppers & Caterpillars

There are numerous kinds of Caspids. They vary in length from ¼” (6.4mm) to ½” (12.7mm) long, usually of a green or brown colour. They begin by puncturing the leaf surface with their mandibles and then insert two stylets with which they suck the sap of the plant, but before they commence to feed, saliva is injected to mix with the sap. This saliva has the property to cause the leaves to blister and then turn various colours and also inhibit the growth of the neighbouring buds, sometimes infecting the whole shoot. Maybe only the top most leaves are attacked, but it will prevent the buds lower down from breaking into growth.

Caspid attack is unmistakable because the leaves often show raised and rounded upper surfaces.

Leaf Hoppers are more streamlined in appearance and are green and about ¼” (6.4mm) long. They are similar to Caspids by sucking the plant’s juices. They are very active in their movements. Leaf Hoppers overwinter by eggs on all sorts of shrubs and trees so it is most difficult to permanently alleviate them during this period.

Caterpillars are usually those of the Elephant Hawk Moth, but being among the largest in this country, they are easily caught and disposed of before they have the opportunity to do much damage.

Quarantine all fuchsias you purchase or are given for at least two or three weeks to enable any potential problems to evolve before introducing any of these plants to your existing stock.


To prevent unsightly markings appearing on the petals, do not spray the plants with insecticide, fungicide or even clear water once they are in bloom.

There are chemical solutions on the market that deal with the majority of any pests you are likely to encounter while cultivating fuchsias.
It is most important to follow the manufacturer’s directions very carefully.
Ensure that the underside of the leaves are sprayed as well as the top.
Thoroughly wash your hands after using any chemicals.