The fuchsia family consists of 100 species of trailing and upright plants. The flowers come in almost every color except true blue and yellow, and often the plants have two colors in one bloom. Fuchsias are only hardy down to USDA zone 10, which means that they will not survive outdoors in temperatures that drop below freezing. In most of the United States, therefore, you must pot these plants to keep them alive or grow them as annuals. Knowledge of how to create the right environment for this plant will help you keep it blooming and healthy.
Fill a plastic pot with a good potting soil mixed with perlite or vermiculite. Fuchsias need well-drained soil and will not do well with heavy soil. Plant the flowers so that the top of the root ball is even with soil level.
Place the fuchsias in a shaded area outdoors protected from the hot afternoon sun. If you wish to keep the plant indoors, place it in a south, west or east facing window with a sheer curtain for filtered light.
Water the fuchsias deeply after planting. Keep the soil moist, but not soaked, during the growing season. For a plant that gets more sun, be sure that it does not dry out.
Fertilize the fuchsia every two to four weeks with a complete, water-soluble fertilizer. Look for a fertilizer with 20-20-20 on the label, which means it consists of 20 percent nitrogen, 20 percent phosphorus and 20 percent potassium. Fuchsias are heavy feeders that flourish with the added nutrients.
Pinch the seed pods off the plants after the flowers fade. This will insure that the fuchsia's energy goes into producing more flowers instead of seed pods. If you do not do this, flowering will end early.
Reduce watering in the fall to prepare the plant for dormancy. Stop fertilizing two weeks before you bring the plant indoors. Cut the fuchsias back to 6-inch stubs for the winter with scissors.
Overwinter the fuchsias in an area where the temperature stays between 45 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Water sparingly, only enough so that the potting medium does not dry out completely.
Bring out the fuchsia in the spring and resume watering regularly. Re-pot the plant when new growth begins to appear.