Fuchsias

Fuchsias

The Fuchsia remains one of the most loved garden plants around the world. More than 800 gorgeous fuchsia hybrids have been developed from the 100 or so species found in mountainous areas of South and Central America and New Zealand.

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The mostly pendulous flowers range from tiny 5mm singles to large 6cm doubles in every imaginable shade and combination from white, through pink to deepest red and magenta. Their foliage is a lush green, bronze or variegation and growth range from upright, bushy or trailing, making them ideal to grow as standards, in pots or hanging baskets

Fuchsia Fast Facts

PLANT TYPE:  Shrub

SEASON:  Deciduous/dormant in areas with frost.   Evergreen in temperate areas.

HARDINESS:  Hardy

PLANTING POSITION:  Cool sheltered spots in dappled shade or in south- or east-facing areas that receive morning sun only.

SIZE:  Varies according to growth type.

GROWTH RATE:  Fast

GROWTH HABIT:  Varies

FLOWERS:  Variations and combinations of white, pink, red and magenta

FLOWERING SEASON:  Early summer to late autumn

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Planting:

The best time to plant fuchsias is either mid- to late autumn or early spring after the last frost date.

Fuchsias need rich, moist, slightly acid and well-drained soil. Prepare the planting hole with plenty of compost and a small handful of bone meal or organic 2:3:2 per hole.

If planting in pots or hanging baskets use a good quality potting soil to which you have added bone meal and water-retention blocks or crystals. Do not use bonemeal if you have dogs who have access to your fuchsias.

Soak the plant thoroughly in its container before planting and water again after planting.

Ensure good air circulation around the plants. This will help to prevent a red spider mite or white fly infestation.

Surround with a thick layer of mulch, leaving a few centimeters free around the stem.

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Care:

Keep your fuchsia moist at all times, but not waterlogged. Water every day or even twice daily in summer if necessary, especially plants in pots and baskets.

Fuchsias need plenty of essential nutrients and respond quickly to feeding. In late winter / early spring top up the mulch layer and feed with an organic 8:1:5 or 5:1:5 fertiliser. Apply an organic 3:1:5 fertiliser after 4 weeks and repeat every 6 weeks throughout the growing season. Feed with a liquid foliar feed or drench every fortnight.

Fuchsias in containers should be re-potted into larger pots during August and September.

Fuchsias flower on new growth formed during the current season. In early spring, when all danger of frost has passed, cut the plant back by two thirds. Also remove any dead, diseased or weak growth. Once the plant has started shooting, pinch out the growing tips. Repeat this several times until mid-October, by which time shrublet should be compact and bushy. Flowering should start about 8 weeks later and last until late autumn. Remove all faded blooms, seed pods and damaged leaves regularly to encourage further blooming.

Uses in the Garden:

Fuchsias will add colour just about anywhere in beds, borders, window boxes, containers and hanging baskets in the garden and on sheltered patios and balconies. For more on our easy-to-follow hanging basket recipes click |HERE|.

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