Monday, February 1, 2010

Thomasina


'Thomasina' is one of my favorites because of the deep orange tones to the corolla it has. And of course it is a simple skirt. It doesn't grow as fast as some uprights, or maybe it would have already if it hadn't of battled the fuchsia gall mite for the first two years I had it. The gall mite was attacking a number of fuchsias in my neighbors yards back then. Fortunately they began to use the necessary insecticides to battle the mite and my efforts were rewarded as well. The hummingbirds bring the mite from infected fuchsias and the growth will look as though something has gone very wrong genetically. Sometimes it will look like the leaves and flowers had been melted together as if they were wax. I don't mind doing battle with the gall mite in order to have the varieties of upright fuchsias I love. Gardeners have to put even more effort into growing roses or a nice lawn! It just requires regular preventative spray or a time released granules such as the one Bayer puts out. If you do see evidence of the gall mite, cut off the infected area immediately, don't touch your other fuchsias before washing your hands and tools, and spray every 7 days until you can see that new growth is mite free. Again, many of us spend even more time and resources growing many other types of plants because we enjoy them so much. My 'Thomasina' survived and is going very well now. The one thing I do try to do though, for the sake of my hummingbirds, is to spray so late in the afternoon that it is almost dark and they will not be flying around, nor drinking from the flowers. New flowers will open the next day for them.
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