Embrace the beauty of fuchsia flowers by adding a pot—or three—of these extravagant bloomers to your garden. Fuchsia plants pack the flower power, opening hordes of blooms over a very long flowering window. From spring to fall frost, fuchsias keep the flowers coming. Blossoms open in many hues, including purple, pink, red, white, lavender, yellow and orange. There’s easily a fuchsia flower color to please every gardener.
The traditional flower form on these blooming beauties features an outer skirt surrounding an inner petticoat. These two flower parts are most often different colors, giving fuchsia blooms a festive feel. Sometimes the inner petticoat layer boasts rich ruffles. Fuchsia flowers easily steal the show when they’re on display, and they’re also a hummingbird magnet.
Fuchsia plants are native to Central and South America, Australia and Tahiti. While most are grown as annuals in the United States, a few hardy fuchsias survive in regions with mild winters. Fuchsia magellanica, known as hardy fuchsia, survives in Zones 6 to 9. Also known as bush fuchsia, this fuchsia grows 4 to 10 feet tall and 3 to 6 feet wide.
To succeed with fuchsias, give them bright indirect light in most regions with protection from afternoon sun. In foggy areas of Coastal California or the Pacific Northwest, where summers are cool, full sun is fine. Fuchsias perform well in containers on porches or north-facing patios.
Protect containers from prolonged sun exposure because fuchsia plants dislike hot soil. When temperatures slip into the 90s, many fuchsia flowers drop and plants stop blooming until lower temperatures return.
To encourage fuchsia flowers to form in record numbers, pinch out growing tips until flower buds form. This works if you overwinter fuchsias or buy small seedlings. Removing stem tips causes stems to branch and become bushy. More branches mean more flowers.
For plants in full bloom when you buy them, keep the flower show going strong by watering with a water-soluble bloom booster fertilizer every 7 to 10 days. Slow-release bloom booster fertilizers work, too, but for fuchsias in containers, plants need more nutrients more often than a slow release delivers. Pair a slow release bloom booster with a weekly dose of water soluble bloom booster at half the recommended rate.
The last step in encouraging fuchsia flower formation is to remove the berry-like fruits that form on plants. They’ll appear as hard green fruits at first, then slowly ripen to a softer, often purple fruit. All types are edible, although many are flavorless or have an unpleasant aftertaste. Fuchsia splendens is supposed to have the tastiest fruit that folks use to make jam.