Many gardeners consider the colorful fuchsia a standard for hanging baskets and other growing containers. While fuchsias typically grow well in these locations, they can also grow energetically in the ground as a shrub in USDA Zones 9 and 10. Plant fuchsias as shrubs and give them attentive care at the beginning of the growing season. Your fuchsia plants will respond energetically and will grow into full and colorful shrubs in your landscape.
Prepare a growing area for a fuchsia shrub that receives morning sun and afternoon shade. Fuchsia plants that receive the strongest midday sun will suffer. Cultivate the planting area with the garden spade, working it to a depth of 5 to 6 inches. Add 2 inches of compost and approximately 1 cup of bonemeal to the planting area, and work these ingredients in well with the garden spade.
Dig a hole for the fuchsia plant with the shovel. Make the hole approximately the same width as the root system of the plant and deep enough to enable you to plant the fuchsia 2 inches below the soil surface.
Remove the fuchsia plant from its temporary container, and place it carefully into the prepared hole. Fill soil in around the plant roots, and pat the soil down gently with your hands.
Provide a thorough watering of the fuchsia plant immediately after planting it. Keep the fuchsia shrub watered well, especially during dry conditions.
Fertilize the fuchsia once per week by mixing the fertilizer with water according to package recommendations for the size of your shrub. Pour the fertilizer carefully over the soil around the fuchsia without allowing the fertilizer to splash onto the plant foliage.
Pinch back the fuchsia plant when it begins to put forth new shoots. Every time you see new growth with two leaves, look for the protruding stem that will grow two additional leaves. When this new stem produces the third set of leaves, clip the third set of newest leaves off with the pruning shears back to the junction of the next leaves. The fuchsia will respond by producing two new stems at this point where there was only one.
Continue pinching the fuchsia back every time two new sets of leaves form on the newest growth and the stems will multiply and the fuchsia plant will become a full and bushy shrub. Stop pinching the fuchsia after approximately four pinches of each stem to allow it to blossom.
Deadhead the fuchsia blossoms when they fade to promote continued blooming and to keep the shrub neat and attractive.