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Fuchsia Gall Mite.


Last week I gave info from AG on downy mildew in Busy Lizzies, this week AG have done an article on Fuchsia Gall Mite.

I have written this in response to what I feel is an unbalanced article on Fuchsia Gall Mite and may cause decline in the purchase of fuchsia plants. There is no info given on how to protect your plants, how it came to the UK, what we can do to try and stop the spread or how other countries are dealing with it.

In the Gardening news section the Headlines read as:

Bleak fuchsia for bedding.

Fuchsias may decline in popularity. (not what you want to hear if you are fuchsia grower or nursery that is already struggling in the current economic climate

And the opening paragraphs:

FUCHSIAS ARE (typed exactly as in mag) being hit by ‘devastating’ new pest that is set to spread through out Britain.

Fuchsia gall mite, which was unheard of in the UK before 2007, has become widely established along the south coast and is heading north..

There is a lot more in the article, but short of scanning the article without permission to reproduce I will not attempt to retype the whole.

note:FGM has been in the USA for many years and they have learned to live with it.

You may want to go and buy the mag and read for your self or your can follow the sites listed below and form your own judgement.

If you are interested in fuchsias or just buy a few for your pots then the following sites will give you a very good insight to FGM and hopefully will encourage you to continue to grow fuchsias. (scroll down the first page until you come to FGM) (you should have blog by Derek Luther)

Very informative page about friend or foes and gives some very good photos of FGM and many other little bugs and pests.

If you are a Fuchsia fan why not join either the BFS or your local society and get support and information on growing and caring for your fuchsias.

For anyone in West/South Yorkshire I am a member of Wakefield Geranium and Fuchsia Society. We meet at 7.30 at Ossett Football Club every 2nd Monday in the month. Everyone is made very welcome.

Each month we have a guest speaker, topics range from growing veg – to roses and Fruit trees.

this months speaker is: Mr J Smiles – National Vegetable Society Judge and Exhibitor. “Growing Vegetables”

contact club secretary: Chris Parry 01274 872398 for more info.

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I wrote about this to Hywel Bilbo as I had read it in the paper a few weeks ago!

30 Jan, 2012


grandmage, it seems that FGM is getting a lot of bad press at the moment. I have contacted my area rep for the BFS and he is going to raise the matter, whether they will publish something positive remains to be seen.

I know Hywel is very found of his fuchsias and has a lovely collection.

30 Jan, 2012


This is very useful. As we live in south west Wales quite near the sea I will keep a look out for it. If you hadn't alerted us I would probably have cut off the affected shoots if I saw any but wouldn't have known about keeping them isolated.

30 Jan, 2012


I think the photos on facebook are very useful as I'm sure most of us wouldn't know what gall mite looked like. Many of the samples sent to defra and RHS were in fact chafer beetle infestations.

30 Jan, 2012


Thank you Bilbobaggins. I will keep an check on my plants incase any of them get it. I suppose it's something we'll have to live with and try to controll ourselves.
I remember your message Grandmage.

30 Jan, 2012


Hywel I was worried about your colln. hope it doesnt happen. :~)

30 Jan, 2012


I hope so too, but it's something we'll have to cope with.

30 Jan, 2012


@Bilbobaggins - It was Capsid bug and not Chafer Beetle.

31 Jan, 2012


like the fuss over Hemerocallis gall midge and lily beetle.

Care and good husbandry needed.

Journalistic hype to some extent.

read the article and thanks for the links Bilbo.

31 Jan, 2012


This pest has become a problem in the areas where there has been an outbreak and these are only along the south coast from Essex to Cornwall. I have been gathering information on these outbreaks and so far the worst areas are around Portsmouth, Isle of Wight and Poole, so far I have plotted 47 confirmed outbreaks, but I believe that there are many more that have gone unnoticed.
It is said that the pest will not tolerate a temperature below 5ºC but the temperature in the Poole area in 2010/11 fell below freezing on every day of December, and on one day did not rise above freezing for 24hrs. The lowest temperature during this period was -9ºC. Although fuchsias in the Poole area had been subjected to these low temperatures they soon showed signs of gall mite damage during the late summer of 2011. In these gardens fuchsias are grown as garden shrubs.
There is no known effective pesticide available to combat this pest, which cannot be seen with the naked eye. It secretes itself within the scales of the buds and as the flowers and leaves emerge it causes distorted swellings which on close inspection look hairy. Some affected varieties take on a very pink hue. The only advice to try and overcome the pest is to cut the plants back to below the damaged area and to spray with an acaracide (a spray for mites) every three or four days for at least twelve days to try and break the egg laying cycle. Dispose of the trimmings by burning or land fill. DO NOT compost them. I heard tell of one grower who put the trimmings into a polythene bag and micro-waved them.
The problem with this pest and its control is that fuchsias are too popular for their own good and many people who are not fuchsia enthusiasts, or even gardeners, grow them because they are easy to grow and are very showy. Many of the owners do not spray anything in their garden let alone fuchsias and do not even know they have a problem. My view is that we have to try and inform as many as possible in the areas affected to try to contain and slow down this problem.
For a photo:

The word devastating is accurate if it has become a problem in your garden. To be informed is the best defense against any pest as long as you have identified it correctly. DJL

31 Jan, 2012


Hi Deejayell, firstly welcome to Goyer. You are correct it was indeed Capsid Bug, had just been reading about this pest hence the cross over in my brain, the little grey cells get a little confused these days.

You are correct it is important that people are kept up to date with any new threat to our gardens, I feel it is very unhelpful when articles are printed only giving one side of a story and include very little if any factual evidence. It would have been much more beneficial had AG
spoken to respectable fuchsia growers or the BFS and produced a balanced article.

The fact that FGM is 6th on the list of pests, I think is because growers professional or other wise have sent many samples to defra for identification, as so few people knew what they were looking at.

I do wonder, when lay people become more knowledgeable and can recognize this pest, whether the number of reported case will decrease.

Until there is either a control for this pest or fuchsias which are resistant (this does not mean immune) to FGM are available (I believe that the USA have bred some resistant species, not yet available here), it is imperative that the public are kept informed in a knowledgeable and sensible way.

I posted your link in my blog along with two other links.

thank you for a very useful and informative reply.

As a final note I would ask anyone not to pick fuchsia cuttings from hedgerows, other peoples gardens and do not bring any back from your holiday, and to remain vigilant.

31 Jan, 2012


I decided I wanted to add this to favourites but can't see where to click. What am I missing?

2 Feb, 2012


Steragram: It should be at the bottom of my blog, before any comments.

2 Feb, 2012


I thought it should and it is now, but I couldn't see it before. I will take more water with it next time.

5 Feb, 2012


I'm a bit like that. I really should go to Specsavers instead of buying the cheapo reading glasses.

6 Feb, 2012

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