Fuchsias are a firm favourite with UK gardeners in the summer months mainly due to the delicate fairy-like flowers they produce.
Fuchsias are mainly grown as summer annuals to be used in bedding schemes, pots and hanging baskets.
They can be planted outside with the rest of your summer bedding plants in late-spring or early-summer when the danger of frost has passed.
Hardy varieties of fuchsias can also be planted in early and late summer, but if planting in late summer more watering will be required to help establish your fuchsia.
Even though some varieties of fuchsias are hardy planting in spring or autumn makes them vulnerable to damage from the cold and they may not survive their first season.
Where To Plant Fuchsias
Fuchsias prefer well-drained and will thrive in a sunny position or where there is light shade.
If planting in containers and/or hanging baskets then a good moisture-retaining compost should be used.
As with most of your summer bedding plants, regular watering will keep your fuchsias healthy and will help promote an abundance of fairy-like flowers that you desire.
Watering your fuchsias in dry weather is essential, but do not keep them waterlogged.
Fuchsias planted in containers and hanging baskets will benefit from a regular high potash liquid throughout the summer to promote better and longer-lasting flowers.
Hardy fuchsias planted in the ground should be given a feed of a general-purpose fertiliser in the spring and then again sometime in the summer.
In the spring hardy fuchsias should be cut back to just above ground level, preferably just as new growth is starting to shoot.
Fuchsias planted in late spring are grown as annuals, when in fact they are a half-hardy plant. If transported into a frost-free place in autumn, before the temperature drops below 5°C (41°F) they can be overwintered.
Hardy fuchsias can be left in the garden over winter but they may need some protection in cold regions of the UK.
Protect the crown and roots of your fuchsia by applying a thick mulch in autumn. Don’t cut back your plant until spring, when new growth begins to shoot.
Taking Fuchsia Cuttings
Fuchsia are quite hard to grow from seed, the easiest way to propagate them is by taking hardwood cuttings late autumn.
- Cut pencil-length woody stems (The stems should be covered with brown woody bark to protect it from rotting over winter, so avoid green stems).
- Make a horizontal cut at the base just below a pair of leaves, then trim the top with a sloping cut so water can run off and you can tell which is the top.
- Fill a 6 inch (15cm) pot with peat-free cutting compost and firm lightly in place.
- Push in the cuttings, spacing 3-6 evenly around the pot. The cuttings should be half in and half out of the compost.
- Place them in a cool, frost-free location over winter, such as a greenhouse, keeping the compost just slightly damp to the touch.
- New shoots should appear from the cutting in spring and these can be potted into individual pots in late spring.
- Planted out in early summer, when the risk of frost has passed.