How to Grow Fabulous Fuchsias'
The world of Fuchsias’ is vast and almost unlimited. There are so many variations and colors it makes my head swim. The nurseries in Ohio and Alabama, when I live there, were full of opportunities to own a fine bushy specimen, then I moved to Las Vegas, and what NO fuchsias’ anywhere. Not going to happen, the one box nursery we have, I don’t think they have heard of the plant. Thank goodness for the internet. There is a plethora of sites to buy fuchsias. My favorite is The Earthworks in Covington, Wa. The price is so reasonable you can’t help yourself to order in multiples. Below is my list for this year and I can’t wait for delivery.
1. Grown as garden shrubs and potted plants, fuchsia (fuchsia spp.) is a colorful genus of flowers containing around 100 different species and at least a few thousand cultivars. The most commonly grown types of "tender" hybrid fuchsias tolerate United States Department of Agriculture Hardiness Zones 9 and warmer. However, some "hardy" and "half-hardy" fuchsias can survive winters outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 6 and warmer areas. Gardeners hang them in baskets on front porches during warm summer weather. The flowers have a bell shape that many people find attractive.
3. Test the soil pH before planting fuchsias outside. Fuchsias prefer a pH of around 6. If the pH is too high or too low, mix in peat to lower it or lime to raise it, or use commercial preparations for this purpose. Potting mixes should come with a pH acceptable to fuchsias.
4. Plant fuchsias in a well-drained potting mix in pots or an outdoor garden. Plant them after the last frost. Fuchsias prefer a deep planting depth that allows the crown to sit 4 to 6 inches beneath the surface of the soil.
5. Place potted fuchsias in an area where they receive plenty of bright and mostly indirect sunlight. In areas with summer temperatures above 76 degrees Fahrenheit, place the fuchsias in a shaded area. Their flowers stop growing when they encounter daily temperatures above 76 degrees.
7. Fertilize the fuchsias about once per week with a soluble balanced fertilizer to keep up with their high demand for nutrients. Apply at the rates recommended by the fertilizer manufacturer or use about 1 tablespoon of 20-20-20 fertilizer per gallon of water.
8. Bring potted fuchsias indoors before the first frost in climates colder than USDA Hardiness Zone 9 Slowly give them less and less fertilizer throughout August, and stop fertilizing altogether in September. Move the fuchsias into the house or put them in a greenhouse or shed. They don't require much light during their dormant season, but they do need enough misting to keep the soil from drying out.
10. Prune the fuchsias in early spring to encourage flower-producing new growth. Cut the stems down to about 6 inches long or prune them to just inside the rims of their pots.
11. Place potted fuchsias back outside in a well-lit area after the danger of the last frost passes.