2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited
Mrs Popple fuchsia produces showy, scarlet and purple flowers that hang from arching stems June to October among slender, deep green leaves. This vigorous, single flowered fuchsia makes a lovely feature plant for a partially shady border.
Keep your fuchsia looking lovely by following these simple fuchsia care tips. With proper fuchsia plant care, you can enjoy your best fuchsia year ever.
One of the first tenets of fuchsia care relates to temperature. Fuchsia plants are some of the earliest ones sold in spring. Why? Because these extravagant bloomers prefer cool air. For many types, their ideal growing temperature is 55° to 80°F. Some fuchsias stop forming flowers at higher temperatures. In regions with naturally cool summers, fuchsias thrive easily. In warmer regions, fuchsia plant care must be on target to keep these bloomers happy.
Fuchsias are fussy about soil. It can’t be too wet, too dry or too hot. In containers, use a commercial bagged potting mix developed for the close confines of a pot. These mixes are soil-less, lightweight and drain well. Mix in a handful of compost to enhance soil fertility. To keep soil from overheating, site your fuchsia where the pot is shaded through much of the day. A porch, north-facing deck or partially shaded location works well. You can also create some shade by surrounding your fuchsia pot with other containers that shade it.
Successful fuchsia plant care requires attention to soil moisture. Avoid letting soil in containers dry out completely. Keep soil moist, but don’t overwater. The best gauge for knowing when to water is shoving your finger into soil or lifting the container. Wet soil is heavy; dry pots are light.
One hallmark of fuchsia care is fertilizing. With fuchsia in hanging baskets, many garden centers and growers add slow-release fertilizer to soil. This fertilizer carries the basket until about July 1. At this point, add more slow-release fertilizer to the soil surface. Many garden centers hand out a packet of fertilizer with every basket. If you’re planting fuchsia into a mixed container garden, blend a handful of slow release fertilizer into soil prior to planting.
Another way to provide the feeding component of fuchsia plant care is by using liquid fertilizer once a week. For most water-soluble fertilizers, mix 1 tablespoon per gallon of water. Apply 2 to 3 cups of this solution per 10- or 12-inch basket. Try liquid bloom booster fertilizer to increase flower numbers.
To overwinter fuchsia, bring plants indoors prior to the first hard freeze. Cut plants back by at least half. Place them in a cool location, like an unheated bedroom or basement, where the temperature hovers near 45° to 50°F (temps near 60° F are okay). Water occasionally—just enough to keep roots from drying out. Leaves will drop until you have a pot of bare stems.
In spring, after all danger of frost has passed, carry your pot outdoors. Replace the first inch or two of soil with compost-laced potting mix; water thoroughly. As new growth appears, trim branches. Pinch growing tips until first flower buds appear. Pinching results in bushier plants. Overwintering works best for fuchsias you planted yourself in a blend of potting mix and compost. It’s tough to overwinter hanging baskets because the soil mix they’re in tends to dry out and won’t rehydrate.