Fuchsia Plant Care Guide
This gardening care guide for the fuchsia plant, known by gardeners as one of the most difficult flowers to grow, is provided for you by gardening experts. The romantic, vibrant-colored fuchsia plant has lovely blossoms that dangle beautifully from flower pots, hanging baskets, or over the soil in a flower garden.
The fuchsia flower is a prolific bloomer all summer long, and it can even be grown indoors with proper care. If you're not familiar with fuchsia, let me teach you all you need to know about this beautiful perennial plant.
What You Should Know About Fuchsia
- How did this unique flower get its name? The fuchsia plant is named after Leonhard Fuchs, a German doctor who lived in the early 1500s. Where did they come from? Almost all the fuchsia varieties we know of today come from South and Central America, New Zealand, and Tahiti.
- Originally, nearly 100 varieties of fuchsia were known, but they have been hybridized so much that today there are actually countless varieties on the market.
- Fuchsias are low-growing, bush, or sometimes tree-like plants. We still cultivate many varieties as indoor plants, and one of them is so hardy that it can grow in the winter (in the South). Most of the cultivated fuchsia varieties are hybrids, which may be low, rather droopy flowering plants, semi-tall trees, or shrub-like plants. People often prop them up with support sticks or a trellis to allow the beautiful flowers to hang freely from the leaf crown that radiates from a slender stem.
- What I love most about the fuchsia is that it is so very rich in color. The eye-catching colorfulness of the fuchsia flower is due to the fact that the sepals, leaf lobes, and petals are all richly colored.
- Fuchsias are the most beautiful when kept in rather cool conditions in half-shade. Too much warmth and sunshine leads to rapid flower loss and severe evaporation from leaves and stems. Always make sure that the fuchsia plant gets the water it needs during the growth period.
- All varieties of fuchsia do require special care, but they will reward all your hard-earned efforts by forming lovely new flower buds on the tips of their stems for you to admire.
Should You Buy One or Plant From Seed?
It's always easier to buy an already established plant, but you can plant from seed when growing a hardy fuchsia if you like.
This is a truly wonderful, drought-tolerant, 4–9" perennial plant that offers striking pink and purple hanging blooms. It is hardy to zones 6–9 and is frost tender. It flowers from mid-summer through mid-fall.
What to Look for and When to Buy Fuchsia
- Fuchsia plants are usually best purchased in the early spring, before all the pretty flowers burst forth from their buds.
- When purchasing, make sure all the parts of the plant are fresh and juicy. Also, be sure and check for bugs, pests, and disease. Do make sure that the stems of any existing flowers that may have already bloomed are not flaccid, too.
- If you buy your plants online or from a garden magazine, be sure and check that the retailer offers a refund if the plant arrives damaged or diseased.
Colors and Scents
It's hard to believe that such a pretty flower like the fuchsia plant has a weak fragrance. Fortunately, the stunning flowers make up for what it's lacking in the scent department and come in almost every beautiful color shade imaginable (except a true blue). My favorite is the beautiful pink fuchsia color. What's yours? Tell us in the guest book below.
(Note: All fuchsia plants bloom from the months of May through September.)
How to Water and Feed Fuchsia Plants
Fuchsia requires regular watering, and liquid plant food should be added to the water during the growth period: April through September. (I find that Miracle-Gro works really well.)
It is an easy plant to grow, as long as it is given a light, cool spot and kept shielded from the blazing sunshine.
Fuchsia Lifespan, Size, and Growth Rate
Fuchsias can last for many years if given a period of stable conditions before planting or placing them among other plants in your garden.
It comes in almost every size and shape. Some of them can remain outdoors all year round, but most of them are cultivated as house plants or for re-planting outdoors in summer only.
Light and Temperature for Fuchsia Plants
Fuchsias grow most beautifully in half-shade. Indoors, it prefers a west-facing window. The temperature should suit the amount of light, which is moderate in summer and cool in winter.
How to Prune a Fuchsia Plant
All fuchsia varieties need pruning or pinching back to attain an attractive shape. Growth of the fuchsia plant is naturally bushy, and the plant may turn out leggy. However, it is easy to propagate the fuchsia by pinching back ungainly shoots throughout the summer. If you forget, winter pruning is still possible.
Create a Small Fuchsia Tree
To create a fuchsia plant with a tall stem, just remove all the side shoots and branches until the desired trunk height is achieved. The hanging varieties in particular are very attractive as tall-stemmed plants or trees.
Now pinch back the crown by removing unwanted shoots throughout the summer (or, by winter pruning) to ensure the desired bush shape.
Tying may be necessary. Tying can prove as important as pruning. Many of these plants flower so profusely that the stems are almost overwhelmed. Pruning doesn't help in such cases, but a stick to support the plant in this period is often indispensable.
Hardy Red Fuchsia
Hardy Red Fuchsia makes a nice addition to your garden. It puts on an unbelievable display of red pendant flowers that attract hummingbirds from early summer to mid-fall.
These beautiful, extremely ornamental plants can grow up to 6 feet tall! Best of all, this one is completely cold hardy. Additionally, rabbits don't like them.
Hardy Red Fuchsia is evergreen in southern climates and deciduous in colder parts of the country. It does well in full sun to partial shade. In USDA zones 3, 4, and 5, it needs to be heavily mulched.
What's your success rate growing fuchsia?
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.