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Fuchsia Care and Planting Instructions

 

The first thing one needs to know about upright fuchsias, is that they are very resilient plants!  They can lose all of their leaves and survive to grow again.  I don’t know how many times I have gone to toss out what appeared to be a dead start, only to find new white shoots under the surface.

 

Different varieties have different tolerances for heat and cold, sun and shade.  I wish I could tell the range of each variety now.  Gathering this information has been work in progress.  For the majority of the varieties I have been able to find, there is no information yet.  Here at Pedricks Corner, I am creating a large test garden where all of the varieties are exposed to both extremes.  Full sun and temperatures in the 100’s during the summer and freezing temperatures in the winter.

 

Fuchisas will never be able to endure the extremes of desert-like heat and sustained below freezing temperatures.  But they can handle a remarkable range.  Especially if they are planted deep enough.  When enough of the main trunk of the plants, and therefore many nodes, is below the surface of the soil, then should all the foliage above ground be either burned off or frozen off, the nodes below ground can produce new growth!

 

With a large and healthy root system, most varieties can handle the same heat as most roses.  And survive freezes which kill hydrangeas, lantanas, and hibiscus.  There are documented bushes over 100 years old!!

 

So, the first order of business is to get your new starts planted.  It is best to plant them into containers before the ground.  As most plants will initially put all of their resources into growing a new and larger root system.  When planted in containers, such as a six inch or one gallon pot, once the roots have touched the sides of the pot or the bottom, the plant will then begin producing new foliage.  If planted directly into the ground, it can seem as if they are not growing at all for a long time because they have so much room in which to grow a new root system.

 

Plant them as deeply as possible.  Bury as much of the trunk as you can.  Use a good potting soil and water in well.  Do not place them out in the full sun right away.  The young starts do get a few hours of sun each day here.  But without a larger root system, they cannot endure more than that.  Your plants need time to adjust after being in a box for a few days.  They should be kept in the semi-shade where they will only get early morning sun or later afternoon sun, until you can see they have begun to grow.

 

Fuchsias prefer never to get dry.  But they should never, ever be allowed to sit in standing water.  Good drainage is a must, even when they have graduated to being planted into the ground.

 

They are a fast growing perennial and benefit from a regular feeding schedule.  I feed every two weeks during the growing season.  Tapering off in the fall.  Then only once a month during the winter if you are in a zone where they are still growing and especially if they are still blooming.

I hope you will be enjoying your fuchsias for decades to come! 

 

'Barbara Hanson'

Links To My Favorite Resources

DavesGarden.com

NWFuchsiaSociety.com

Over time I will be adding links to more of my favorite resources.

Including a new site with a searchable database of upright fuchsias.

A blog.

Photos of full sized bushes.

Information on how to grow fuchsias.

The history and classification of fuchsias.

And much more!