|Here is our guide to growing fuchsias, full of expert advice to help your fuchsias thrive
Fuchsias are versatile, hard working shrubs that will flower virtually all summer long. For a reasonably small amount of effort, you’ll be rewarded with a glorious show of pretty pendant flowers.
Fuchsia plants grow happily in sun or partial shade, whether planted in borders, beds, window boxes, hanging baskets and containers. In fact, they bring colour to almost any position that you can shake a trowel at. You can choose between evergreen or deciduous varieties.
Many people don't know that the small purple fuchsia fruits are edible – although some are more palatable than others! Fuchsia splendens is considered to have one of the best flavours; the citrus-flavoured berries have a peppery aftertaste that works well in jams. Just another reason to consider these beautiful plants for your garden.
|Several varieties of fuchsias will happily grow in hanging baskets.
A great addition to large or small gardens, fuchsias can trail and climb, as well as grow in beds, borders or baskets. Here are the main types:
|This new standard fuchsia is perfect for containers or borders
Image: Fuchsia 'Angela' from T&M
There are so many types of fuchsia that it can be difficult to choose – take a look at our quick video to see some of the best fuchsia plants on our trials ground.
Spoilt for choice? Here is a list of some of our all time favourites:
|Get your fuchsias started in warm, frost-free conditions before planting out.
Fuchsia plug plants should be potted up using a good quality, well-drained compost and grown in warm, frost-free conditions. Trailing fuchsia plug plants, meanwhile, may be planted directly into baskets, window boxes and containers. These should also be grown on in warm, frost-free conditions until they’re well-developed.
To promote busier growth and more flowers, pinch out the growing tips of each plant while they’re still small. If you need a few tips on how to pinch out the stems, watch our helpful video:
When all risk of frost has passed, gradually acclimatise fuchsia plants to outdoor conditions over a 7 to 10 day period, before moving them (or planting them out) in their final positions.
When planting your hardy fuchsias in the ground, the base of the stem should be 5cm (2 inches) below the soil surface. This will help to protect the crown of the plant during cold winter weather.
Fuchsias are wonderfully versatile and will happily grow in sun or partial shade in any fertile, moist, well-drained soil. However, they do appreciate some shade during the hottest part of the day and a bit of shelter from cold winds.
|Moist but not waterlogged conditions are ideal.
Fuchsias like to be watered regularly; you want to maintain moist but not waterlogged conditions.
Those that are grown in containers will need frequent watering, depending on the weather conditions, and those in hanging baskets should be watered at least once a day during hot summer weather. Fuchsias that are planted directly into borders should be kept moist, but will quickly become more self-sufficient once established.
Although many fuchsia plants are naturally floriferous, feeding them every few weeks throughout the summer with a soluble fertiliser (especially those grown in hanging baskets and containers) is well-worth the few minutes of effort. After all, regular feeding will encourage an endless supply of flowers. Deadheading the plants frequently will also prolong the flowering period.
|Prune your fuchsias in spring.
How you prune your fuchsia depends on the variety. But it’s fairly simple either way:
|A little effort to create a standard fuchsia creates a superb plant
Image: Fuchsia 'Elma' (hardy standard) - new from T&M
Growing fuchsia standards isn’t difficult, but it can take up to 18 months to train your plant correctly. To achieve a spectacular specimen plant which has a clear main stem topped with a dense head of foliage, you’ll need to practise ‘pinch pruning’. Here’s how:
|Some fuchsias benefit from wintering in the greenhouse.
Wintertime can be tough for many plants, but hardy fuchsia plants are usually happy in sheltered borders all year round. Whether you’ve chosen a neat compact variety, such as Fuchsia Tom Thumb, or Fuchsia Magellanica, which can reach colossal heights, hardy fuchsias are best planted deeply in the ground to protect the crown during cold winter weather. But you can also give them added protection during this time by applying a deep mulch of bark chips, leaf mould or straw in late autumn each year.
Half-hardy fuchsias tend to be grown as annuals in many UK gardens, but they can be easily overwintered in a dry, frost-free greenhouse during the coldest months. Many of the most popular fuchsia cultivars for hanging baskets and patio pots are half-hardy fuchsias.
Standard fuchsias will need to be moved to a frost-free position during the winter months to protect their vulnerable stem from frost damage. You should do this regardless of how hardy the variety is.
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How do you grow fuchsia plants?
Fuchsias are incredibly versatile plants that grow happily in sun or partial shade, and can be planted in borders, beds, window boxes, hanging baskets and containers.
What is the best fuchsia to choose?
There's a wide choice of evergreen or deciduous fuchsia varieties. For hanging baskets choose a trailing fuchsia. Upright/bush fuchsias are ideal for growing in borders and patio containers. And climbing fuchsias can be trained onto obelisks or against walls and fences for a spectacular vertical display
When do you prune fuchsias?
Prune upright/bush fuchsias in spring - simply cut back the stems to a permanent low framework. For climbing fuchsias prune out the oldest stems in spring when the fresh buds begin to break, and reduce remaining stems so their vigorous growth is restricted to the space you have available.
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