In My Garden: Fuchsia

Monday, September 28, 2015

I discovered Fuchsia at my local garden center this year. I first noticed the bicolored blooms in bright pink and purple, and then was drawn in by the fact that it looked other worldly. I’ve been growing it in shade on my front porch in a small plastic pot. It has steadily bloomed all Summer but hasn’t grown at all. I’m determined to figure out why, and once I do, I’ll let you know!

Fuchsia plant in bloom // www.thejoyblog.net
Potted begonia and fuchsia plants / www.thejoyblog.net

Basics

Sun: Shade to part sun
Water: Good drainage constant moisture
Hardiness: Zones 10 and 11
Other: Great for containers

About Fuchsias

Fuchsias are nicknamed “lady's eardrops" because of their drooping blooms. Their bright, bicolored flowers give them an otherworldly or exotic appearance. Fuchsia plants are frost-tender perennials that grow in USDA hardiness zones 10 through 11, with a few varieties hardy down to USDA zone 6. In cooler climates, you can grow them as annuals. Their shrublike shape make them perfect for hanging baskets or containers and when grown as annuals they’re typically only 1 to 2 feet tall. Planted outside in frost-free areas, it grows into small to medium-sized shrub. The Fuchsia genus includes 122 species of fuchsia and a large number of hybrids.

Growing Fuchsias

Fuchsias will grow as a perennial in frost-free climates, and prefer morning sun with afternoon shade. They can also tolerate full shade. They need soil with good drainage and consistent moisture. They look great alone or combined with other plants.

Fuchsia Growing Guide Image // www.thejoyblog.net
In zones below their hardiness level, you can grow fuchsia as annuals. Plant fuchsia in spring after the risk of frost has passed. Either plant fuchsias from seed, or buy plants at the beginning of the growing season. Pull out and toss the plants after the first killing frost in winter. When planting from seed, either direct sow the seeds in the garden when the soil warms to at least 59 degrees Fahrenheit or above, or start seeds indoors in late winter. Fuchsia seeds germinate best in a temperature between 59 to 75 F.

Growing fuchsias in pots and bringing them inside during the winter is a way to have them as perennials in cold weather. Bring potted plants inside in the fall and keep them in a warm, humid room, like a bathroom or greenhouse. You can also force fuchsia plants to go dormant during the winter by cutting back the stems and storing the containers out of direct light at 40 F, (a garage wold work) for the winter. In winter, water only when the soil dries out and avoid fertilizing until the following growing season.

++ Any other tips or tricks for growing fuchsia? Share them below in the comments, I'd love to learn more.


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