How to grow Fuchsias
Fuchsias are a versatile flowering plant suited to growing in the garden as well as in pots and hanging baskets. Preferring dappled shade and some protection from extremes of heat and cold these flowering beauties are originally from the rain forests of Central America. With many varieties of Fuchsia available for sale in Australia remember that Fuchsias are also easy to grow from cuttings. Fuchsia Club NSW is a great place to learn all about Fuchsias
Basic Fuchsia Care
There are two basic myths about Fuchsias: they grow in full shade and they need a lot of water. If Fuchsias are grown in full shade they are unlikely to flower and if they are overwatered their roots will rot and the plant will die.
Fuchsias originate in alpine forests in Central and South America. Therefore they like dappled shade, a moist, free draining rich soil with lots of humus and other rotting materials.
There are many species and hybrids of Fuchsias and given the right conditions they grow easily and flower continuously for six months.
Fuchsias are suitable for baskets, pots or in garden beds. They are particularly useful in small courtyards but also adapt well to large gardens in mixed borders.
Sun and heat for Fuchsias
Fuchsias like morning or very late afternoon sun and dappled shade for the rest of the day. They need protection from extreme heat, frost and wind. They respond well to all fertilizers but especially like organic fertilizers. In pots and baskets the soil needs to be kept moist, but not wet and garden beds need to be well mulched to provide humus but also to retain moisture.
Above all else do not overwater in extreme heat conditions just place pots and baskets on the ground in shade and mist the foliage until the heat passes.
How to plant Fuchsias
Planting Fuchsias is simple. Use a good, well drained potting mix with added blood and bone and/ or slow release fertilizer for pots and baskets. Do not use saucers to ensure water does not stay around the roots. In the ground dig a hole tice as wide and twice as deep, place the plant in the hole then fill up to the pot rim leaving a saucer like depression. The depression will fill up over the summer and when well mulched will protect the roots from heat and cold.
Fuchsias flower on new foliage. A good prune, reducing the foliage by one third to half, once a year and a light prune in summer will encourage the plant to grow lots of new foliage .Fluff up the soil and add a nitrogen rich fertilizer to newly pruned plants to encourage leaf growth.
Pests and Diseases
Pests such as white fly, thrips, mites etc. and fungal diseases such as rust or botrytis do not often affect healthy plants. However, any problems can be dealt with by organic means or by using a safe systemic insecticide or fungicide.
Article by Janice Devine (President) Fuchsia Club NSW Inc.