An exotic-looking plant, the fuchsia is often grown in hanging baskets or placed on shelves where the draping stems can cascade over the edges, providing delicate color. This long-blooming summer plant with large, two-toned flowers originated in Mexico, Argentina and Chile and loves warmer weather. It is not able to tolerate extreme cold conditions.
Hang the plant outside in a shady location such as a porch or patio. If growing indoors, place in a west- or south-facing window where it will receive bright but not direct sunlight, which can scorch the leaves.
Keep the growing temperatures around 60 to 70 degrees F during the day and about 10 degrees lower at night. Flowering will cease if the temperatures consistently stay above 76. Outside plants may need to be moved inside if the weather becomes too hot.
Water fuchsias consistently from spring through fall to keep the soil moist, but provide adequate drainage so the soil is not waterlogged. Watering every other day is usually sufficient, but always check the surface of the soil, and if it feels dry, it is time to water.
Apply a balanced fertilizer, 8-8-8, every two weeks beginning in spring and continuing through summer. Use a liquid fertilizer and dilute to half the recommended amount. Stop fertilizing after August to allow the plant to begin its dormancy stage for winter time.
Pinch back new growth in the spring after a new shoot has developed two sets of leaves. Using either your fingers or a pair of sharp clippers, pinch or snip off the top of the new shoot directly above leaves. This will encourage more shoots to form and create a fuller plant with more abundant growth.
Bring an indoor plant inside for the winter to protect it from the cold temperatures. Cut back on watering to once or twice a week, allowing the soil to dry out in between. Place in front of a large window so it receives adequate lighting. Put the back outside in the spring if desired once the temperatures are staying consistently above 45 degrees F.