Fuchsia Plant – Info and Care
The lovely Fuchsia with hanging flowers resembling a ballerina’s skirt is a wildly accepted decorative perennial plant from the Onagraceae family, which came to our homes from shady and wet areas in Central and South America and New Zealand.
Since the 17th century, when Fuchsia for the time it first came to Europe, it has been an almost unavoidable decoration of backyards, window sills, and terraces around the world.
Today, due to cultivation and crossbreeding, you can choose among about 2000 varieties in different sizes, flower colors, and growing habits.
Fuchsia Flowers and Growing Form
Its charming, bell-shaped flowers can be single or clustered, simple or complex, with various color combinations, starting with pink, yellow, white, purple, blue, red, and all their shades.
Each flower lasts up to 10 days, and the flower show, depending on temperature and other growing conditions, starts in late spring and lasts until deep into autumn.
In its natural habitat, fuchsia grows in the form of a bush or tree, and some varieties in new Zealand grow to impressive twelve feet tall and 6 feet wide scrubs.
Fuchsia we grow in our homes usually is a small, bushy plant reaching a maximum of 1.5 feet in height and the same width.
Creeping varieties have cascading forms and look pretty in hanging baskets with stems reaching two feet in length.
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How To Care For Fuchsia
Fuchsia is neither demanding nor difficult to maintain and it is suitable for both – garden and indoor growing.
Of course, as a plant of tropical origin, fuchsia can spend the winter outdoors only in climate zones 10 and 11. In colder areas, you can treat the plant as an annual or provide it with adequate protection during the winter.
However, if you want to grow a healthy plant full of hanging flowers, pay attention to the following:
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Fuchsia does not like dry substrate and therefore it is important to keep the soil moist, especially during the period of intensive growth, from spring to autumn.
It means that, in the hottest part of the year, you might need to water the plant every day!
Yet, it is best to check the soil with your fingers: If the surface is dry at the depth of one inch you could hydrate the plant
During the winter reduce watering to once a month just not to be completely dry
Fuchsia prefers permeable, ph neutral, well-drained, and loose soil. You can plant it into ready-made peat or humus-based substrate for tropical plants or blend standard substrate with sand or perlite in a ratio of 1:4.
Fuchsia is a plant that prefers indirect lighting and is sensitive to the blazing sun. If you grow it on a window sill, choose the north or east window where it will be out of reach of the midday sun. In the garden or terrace, also choose a shaded area, trying to provide at least half of the day of shade.
Fuchsia grows best in an environment with temperatures between 55 and 80 Fahrenheit. At temperatures above 80F, it stops flowering, and at temperatures below 55, it enters the dormant phase. The lower minimum that fuchsia can withstand is 40 F, but even that temperature can kill the plant it lasts more than two or three weeks.
You should fertilize your fuchsia throughout spring using a fertilizer with a higher nitrogen content before blooms appear. Afterward, you can use a fertilizer with more potassium and phosphorus. You could stop fertilizing at the end of August since the plant enters the dormant phase.
The best way is to propagate it from green cuttings. Here is the procedure:
- Take 2 to 3 inches long cuttings with three pairs of leaves.
- Remove the lower leaves and let the cuttings take roots in water or a mixture of peat and sand.
- After a couple of weeks, move them to pots.
Fuchsia is best planted during spring when the minimum temperature is 59F. You can also grow new fuchsias from seed, but this is a complex and time-consuming process that is better left to professionals.
If you have preserved the plant over the winter in the spring, prepare it for the new season by pruning the dried and weaker parts of the plan.
It stimulates faster growth and development and helps keep the desired form and height of the plant. For example, if you want a fuchsia in tree form, tear off all the soots, leaving only the best developed one, and let it form a canopy.
Overwinter Potted Fuchsia
It is best to store your plant in a room with a temperature from 46 F to 50 F, such as halls, garages, or basements.
Fuchsia needs to rest in a cool environment to sprout young shoots and bloom profusely. Therefore you should not place it in the living room with a temperature of 60 F!
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