Fuchsias belong to the evening primrose family. There are about 100 species of fuchsias and 3,000 to 5,000 different types. Fuchsias originate in Chile, Argentina and Mexico. This plant likes warm days around 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit and cool night temperatures that are 10 degrees cooler than the daytime temperature. Once the temperature constantly stays above 76 F, then fuchsias stop flowering. Fuchsias thrive in the wild along the Pacific coast in the United States. They are popular in hanging baskets and grown mostly as a container plant.
Place your fuchsia in an area with bright, indirect sunlight. Fuchsias are more of a shade plant and suffer in the heat of direct sunlight. Keep the soil evenly moist during the growing season.
Feed the fuchsia with half-strength all-purpose liquid fertilizer every two to four weeks. Fertilizing fuchsias needs to be done only between the last spring frost and the first fall frost. Stop fertilizing two weeks before putting the fuchsia away for the winter.
Remove dying flowers and any berries that have formed to promote blooming. A fuchsia will continue to produce blossoms all summer unless it is allowed to go to seed.
Cut all the branches back to 6 inches at the end of September or at the first frost, whatever comes first. Pick any remaining leaves off the stems to prepare the fuchsia for winter.
Place the fuchsia in the garage or a shed. The fuchsia needs to stay cool but not freeze. Only just a little indirect light is needed at this time. Give the fuchsia a cup of water at the beginning of each month while in cold storage. This is just enough to prevent the soil from becoming bone dry.
Start giving the fuchsia a little more light and more water around mid-March. Repot the fuchsia when new growth appears.
Pinch back the tips of the branches in late April to promote a full, bushy plant. The branch should have two full sets of leaves before pinching. By May, the fuchsia should be a full blossoming plant ready for the summer season.
Things You Will Need
- Fuchsia in a container
- Pruning shears
- Grow a hardy variety like Riccartonii or magellanica directly in the garden for a fuchsia that requires less work. Plant the fuchsia in a protected area in your garden. In the fall, the tops of the branches will die back. Protect the fuchsia by piling 5 inches of sawdust around the base of the plant. The hardy varieties of fuchsia will survive an occasional freeze and still grow in the spring.
- Fuchsia gall mite is a major pest for fuchsias. This insect attacks all types of fuchsia and spreads by creating webs to move from plant to plant. Just dump or burn the fuchsia plant to get rid of the gall mites before they spread to other fuchsias.
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