The Q&A Archives: Fuchsia

Question: I have two fuchsia hanging plants. One's flower buds are dying (turns blackish) before blooming, the leaves are healthy. The other one has no buds at all and the leaves and branches dry out and wither. I don't see any visible insects and I do water them regularly.

Answer: Fuchsia's are perfect for hanging baskets in shady spots. They require lots of water and need good air circulation to keep them healthy. They are susceptible to root rots if the soil remains soggy, and they can get a disease called 'bud blight', which causes the buds to blacken. You may be able to restore the health of your fuchsia's by pinching or cutting out the stems affected by the blight, which will encourage the growth of new and healthy stems. If your second fuchsia isn't blooming, perhaps it got too big a dose of nitrogen fertilizer. Nitrogen encourages green vegetative growth - at the expense of blossoms. Or, it may not like the spot it's growing in. Try pinching it back, misting with water every day (to increase humidity without oversaturating the soil), and putting it in a brightly lit but shady location. Hope they perk up for you!

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