Cape Fuchsia: Leaf Curl

Updated June 26, 2017

Cape fuchsia is a tender perennial that often grows as an annual or houseplant in zones cooler than U.S. Department of Agriculture zone 7. Phygelius is the botanical name for this attractive evergreen plant that belongs to the snapdragon family. Leaf curling can result from a number of conditions that affect the foliage of various plants, including cape fuchsia.


Inadequate water is one of the main causes of curling leaves in both indoor and outdoor plants. Also known as leaf roll, drought stress can cause the fuchsia leaves to curl inward, especially around the edges. Although fuchsia grows best in full light, intense sun can scorch the leaves and cause them to shrivel. Provide filtered light or partial shade, especially during the heat of the afternoon. Keep the soil slightly moist near the roots to discourage this type of leaf curl.


Overspray or accidental contact with herbicides can also cause the leaves of cape fuchsia to distort and curl. The affected leaves may appear cupped and twisted, while other leaves appear healthy. Avoid this type of leaf curl by discontinuing the use of herbicides or applying these chemicals on a dry, calm day to avoid wind dispersal and overspray.


Aphids are one of the most common insects on many ornamental and vegetable plants. Aphids suck the juices from inside the leaves, creating curled foliage that may lead to wilting. Aphids appear as small, pear-shaped insects in shades of green. Insecticidal soaps and oils can help remove the aphids from cape fuchsia plants and help restore the beauty and health of these tender perennials.

Viral Conditions

Mosaic viruses and spotted wilt viruses are frequent problems in vegetable plants, such as tomatoes and cucumbers, but they can also affect other varieties of plants, including perennial flowering plants. The presence of these viruses may include symptoms of leaf deformity and leaf curling. The entire plant may appear stunted and lack vigour. Viral diseases are difficult to treat and often require removing the entire plant to protect other plants in the vicinity. Avoid planting a new cape fuchsia in a location previously inhabited by a diseased plant. Rotating garden and landscape plants can help discourage viral infections in host plants.

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About the Author

Piper Li, a professional freelance writer, began writing in 1989. Her articles appear online at Biz Mojo, Walden University and various other websites. She is the co-editor for "Kansas Women: Focus on Health." With a bachelor's degree in journalism from Mesa State, Li enjoys writing about health, horticulture and business management.