Fuchsias are an asset to any garden. The colourful, delicate flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies. However, they also tend to attract aphids. Aphids are a serious pest. They multiply rapidly -- one aphid produces up to 80 offspring in a week. They suck sap out of your plants, causing yellowing and stunted growth, and secrete a sticky substance that encourages the growth of an ugly fungus. It is no wonder that many gardeners look for ways to safely clear their gardens of this pest. A simple home remedy can rid your fuchsia of aphids, while maintaining the beauty of the plant.
Check your fuchsia regularly. Aphids can appear practically overnight and quickly overwhelm and kill your plants. Check on new stock and the underside of leaves.
Aphids tend to favour new growth, so check that first.
Fuchsias that are overwatered or have high nitrogen fertilisers (which encourages new growth) are especially susceptible to aphids. Don't overwater, and use a generalised fertiliser.
Bring Out the Hose
Shoot a strong spray of water at your plants. A dislodged aphid often cannot find its way back to the plant. Spray the underside of the leaves -- this is where the bugs like to hide.
Prune Off the Infected Section
Aphids prefer new growth, so if you have an infestation, simply cut off the infected section of fuchsia. This won't stop the infestation, but it will slow it down.
You can easily make a spray using 2 tsp mild dish soap or laundry soap and adding that to lukewarm water. Spray this on the fuchsia, especially on the underside of the leaves, a few times a week until the aphids die off. The soap destroys the waxy coat covering the aphid and it dehydrates.
Alternately, mix one part vegetable oil to three parts lukewarm water and add a couple drops of soap. This suffocates the aphids.
For best effect, alternate both mixtures throughout the week.
Encouraging natural aphid predators is a great way to keep the pests out of your garden. Ladybirds and green lacewings effectively remove the aphids from fuchsias.
Mint, fennel and dill naturally encourage the predatory bugs to move in -- but you can also buy them for release in your garden.