Here's some basic info: I bought a beautiful bright pink and deep purple fuchsia in a plastic hanging pot 3 weeks ago. It was one of about 50 at a local greenhouse
. Most of them were weak and wilted, which I may have mistaken for not enough water. I picked the healthiest plant - not wilted, leaves and flowers
in good shape. (I paid $19 !! - the most I've ever paid for a hanging plant!) The plant is still in its original 12" hanging pot. It is hanging under my fabric-topped gazebo (in the middle near the air vent) on my deck which faces northwest. Our weather has been intensely hot, so I've watered almost every day - in the evening after it cools down. I've used Miracle-Gro Starter fertilizer once.
The problem is my beautiful fuchsia is sick - the leaves look bug-eaten - not just on the edges, but all over the leaves. The leaves drop easily. The blossoms are weaker. The larger leaves are dry and curled on the ends and edges. There is lots of new growth at the top, but the leaves are much smaller. New blossoms are forming and opening, but they don't last long. (I am deadheading the spent blossoms) Two days ago, I took the plant down to check the soil - I discovered hundreds of little off-white beads on top of the soil - at first I thought they were fertilizer pellets, but when you pinch them they pop open and white goo comes out. I'm positive they are some kind of bug egg - I don't know what. I don't know if these eggs were there when I bought the plant.
I spent two hours with a teaspoon, picking out all of the "eggs." Then I dusted the plant with Sevin dust, the only thing I had around the house. The plant seems to be a little stronger after 2 days, but the blossoms are still weak and leaves are still dropping.
What in heavens name are these eggs from? Should I repot? What insecticide should I use (concerned about hummingbirds and beneficial bugs)? What fertilizer and how much. How much water? Antifungal? I'm determined to save my beautiful fuchsia.
Sorry so long-winded, but I wanted to give you as much info as possible.
Any help is greatly appreciated.