Fuchsias, commonly called ladies' eardrops, are grown by most of the United States as frost-tender container plants, indoor flowering plants or specimen annuals. But they also are grown as perennial shrubs in USDA Hardiness Zone 10. Their flowers, which bloom midsummer in every color except true yellow and true blue, have fleshy petals that look like old-fashioned hoop skirts. The flowers attract hummingbirds and bees with their bright colors. Proper location, compost, watering and drainage are essential for successfully planting fuchsias as shrubs.
Choose a site that receives partial shade to protect your fuchsia from too much sun and too much frost. The ideal spot also should be protected from strong winds.
Dig a hole with a shovel that is 6 inches wider and as deep as your fuchsia's current pot. This will give the fuchsia's roots room to spread as it becomes established.
Amend the soil with compost or well-rotted manure. Fuchsias are heavy feeders, according to the American Fuchsia Society, and amending the soil at planting will give your shrub a quick start.
Place the fuchsia into the hole, making sure the plant's crown (where the roots meet the trunk) is at the original soil level. Burying the crown too low can lead to rot. Add the soil back to the hole, tamping it down firmly to remove any air pockets.
Water thoroughly. Continue to water two or three times a week until the plant is established. Plan on watering at least twice a week during the summer months. Fuchsias are not drought-tolerant. Make sure your soil is draining well, as fuchsias don't like soggy soil.
Mulch heavily if your winters are cold. The American Fuchsia Society recommends mulching your fuchsia with bark chips, chopped-up leaves, a thick layer of newspapers (black and white only) or lawn clippings.
Fertilize through the spring and summer with general-purpose 20-20-20 fertilizer.