Caring for fuchsias – tips for abundance of flowers and splendor of colour

Fuchsias belong to the evening primrose family and amaze with an incredible variety of varieties and species. With this plant genus, a passion for collecting is easily awakened and it is not uncommon for a hobby to develop. Originally they come from the mountain forests of South and Central America and are perennial as herbaceous and woody plants with appropriate overwintering. The species were named after the botanist Leonhart Fuchs, who is considered one of the ‘fathers of botany’. Planted in semi- shade, the seasonal plants delight with lush flowers all summer long. Most varieties cannot stay in the garden in winter, but overwinter well in cool rooms.

Useful information Location Planting Care Watering Fertilizing OverwinteringSpecies Pests & Diseases FAQ

Interesting facts about fuchsias

Botanical name: fuchsia x hybrids Other names: fuchsias, hanging fuchsias Use: balcony plant, container plant, hanging plant, traffic light plant, stem Origin: Central and South America Flowering period: March to October Flower colors: red, pink, white, purple; two-tone, single and double flowers Special features:

The popular summer flowers convince with a unique abundance of flowers in partially shaded locations. Full sun is not suitable as a location. The variety of varieties is enormous, there are numerous color combinations and flower shapes to choose from. Fuchsia lignify over time and are therefore well suited for perennial crops with proper care and frost-free hibernation.

In which location do fuchsias feel most comfortable?

Fuchsias prefer a bright outdoor location from mid-May to October. This should be partially shadedand have air that is not too dry. Temperatures of 18 to 24 °C are ideal. These claims result from the original origin — in the higher elevations of the rain forests, the genera grow in the shady undergrowth, protected from direct sunlight and with constantly high humidity. The richly flowering plants thrive best on balconies and terraces that face east, west, south-west or north-west. The more similar the place is to the home location of the plants, the more lush and robust the perpetual bloomers are. Dry air increases the risk of whitefly and red spider infestations. Growth suffers in sunny locations and burns quickly occur. Only hardy varieties can remain outdoors.

How do I plant my fuchsias in the garden?

For lush growth and a rich abundance of flowers, it makes sense to repot the plants into larger pots or balcony boxes immediately after purchase. With us you will find the right planters outside. The plants are well rooted in the culture pots and should therefore be transplanted. Solitary plants or stems also develop better if they are planted in new potting soilbe set. You can buy the right potting soil from us. Place the whole plant with the pot in a bucket of water so that the root ball is completely saturated and the plant can be potted out more easily. Hanging fuchsias are particularly suitable for balcony boxes, hanging baskets or tall pots, so that they can unfold according to their growth habit. Structurally stable potting soil and expanded clay as drainage are important for repotting, because waterlogging is not tolerated. A peat-sand mixture is also possible as a substrate. Standing fuchsias are suitable for pots, balcony boxes, beds or grave plants — the soil is well loosened and prepared with potting soil. The optimal pH value of the potting soil is 5.5 to 6.5.

Our gardening tip: — Planting suggestion – At least 2 to 3 liters of soil are required per specimen. With less volume, the maintenance effort increases significantly and the plant cannot develop optimally. Container plants should be planted in a pot with a volume of at least 5 to 10 litres.

How do I care for my fuchsias?

In addition to regular watering and fertilizing, the popular summer flowers require little care. Most varieties shed the flowers on their own after they have faded. This means that you do not have to take special care of the flowers or cut them. However , eruption of the inflorescences and ovary prevents seed formation and strengthens the flowern. It is not necessary to cut the soft shoots in summer — but individual shoots can be removed for aesthetic reasons. In order to improve the crowns of the fuchsia stems, shoots are shortened, thus encouraging the plant to branch out and form new shoots. If the subshrubs are to flower again, they must be brought to a suitable winter quarters before the first frost and overwinter there. Temperatures down to 0°C are tolerated, severe frost can result in total failure.

Our gardening tip: Fuchsia only blooms well into autumn if there is sufficient fertilization. If the supply of nutrients is stopped too early, the plant will grow but will not flower.

How do I water my fuchsias correctly?

An even water supply with soft water is important when caring for fuchsias. How often it needs to be watered depends largely on the size of the plant, the location, the radiation and the volume of the soil. It is therefore difficult to make a general watering recommendation. In the summer months it may be necessary to water every day, but no excess water should be left in the saucer. Cover pots without water drainage are unsuitable because waterlogging causes root damage. It is best to water in the morning so that the water is available to the plant throughout the day. Watering in the evening can easily lead to fungal diseases of the leaves, especially in cool phases. To increase the humidity, they can be sprayed with low-lime water (e.g. rainwater). It is important here that the wetting should never take place in sunshine.

Our gardening tip: It is important that the soil dries out a little before watering again and only then watered again. On hot days, the leaves wilt due to temperature, not lack of water. If in doubt, you should therefore use your finger to check whether the soil contains sufficient moisture. However, fuchsias must never dry out, as dry soil quickly damages the roots and leaves fall as a result.

How do I fertilize my fuchsias?

If there is sufficient supply of nutrients, the summer flowers will grow and bloom perfectly. Use a long-term balcony flower fertilizer directly when planting. This gives the plants a good start and they are well supplied with the slow-acting depot fertilizer for the first few weeks on the balcony. 4 to 6 weeks after planting, it is advisable to start with liquid flower fertilizer with guano. In this way, the summer bloomers receive all the important nutrients as well as vitalizing humic substances. Dose the fertilizer according to the instructions on the package and feed your flowering plants continuously until late summer. From September you can minimize the nutrient supply and completely stop it in the winter quarters.

Our gardening tip: Long-term fertilizer sticks for balcony plants are a practical way of optimally supplying the plants with fertilizer without having to add liquid fertilizer every week. It is also a practical solution for single plants.

How do you overwinter fuchsias?

Fuchsia are woody plants. In our climate, most varieties do not survive the cold season outdoors and freeze to death at temperatures below 0 °C. If you would like to enjoy your fuchsias in the coming year as well, overwintering is possible. A frost-free place with temperatures around 5 °C and some light is suitable.With dark hibernation, the risk of failure is greater. At high temperatures in the winter quarters, the subshrubs are too vigorous and unstable in spring. From November to February, the flowering plant requires little water. From the end of February, a bright and 10 to 15 °C warm location is recommended, and the watering is increased. From the end of April, the perennial bloomer can be brought outdoors. First place the old plants in a shady place near a house wall. By gradually acclimating to outdoor conditions, you will avoid leaf damage. It is important that you protect the plants from night frost and avoid too much direct sunlight.

Our gardening tip for overwintering: Cutting back before wintering has the advantage that less space is required. To do this, cut back the plants by half to two-thirds on the old shoots. Shoots can be cut back to 3 pairs of eyes. Without pruning, the fuchsia forms long shoots and the willingness to flower decreases. The cut is always about 4 to 6 millimeters above an eye. After hibernation, shorten any existing thin shoots and thus promote bushy new shoots.

What types of fuchsias are there?

There are many different varieties of bedding and balcony plants. Depending on the growth, the form of use varies. When it comes to growth, a distinction is made between:

  • upright Types:
    mainly for balcony boxes, as solitary plants and for planting out in beds
  • hanging types:
    predestined for hanging baskets, balcony boxes and tall containers
  • semi-hanging types:
    for balcony boxes or containers

Depending on the natural growth, growth forms can be created horticulturally. Columns, trunks, solitaires and hanging baskets were created from the respective varieties. A high stem is a fuchsia grown from a vigorous cutting.

Fuchsias can be raised to a standard stem by growing a main shoot and then continuously removing all side shoots and all buds and flowers below the desired crown height. For a straight trunk, it is advisable to stabilize the shoot with a support rod. Once the trunk has reached the desired height, the upper side shoots are left on the plant and the top is cut off. This care measure initiates the branching of the crown and the fuchsia forms a dense crown. With a regular cut, the side shoots branch out, the crown can be formed and becomes denser.

Hardy fuchsias

There are also fuchsias that can be left permanently planted in the garden. This group of enthusiasts is known as the hardy outdoor fuchsia. It is mostly Fuchsia magellanica that convince with dense, bushy, graceful growth and a large number of two-colored bells. A spot in the sun or semi-shade is ideal. With a planting from the end of May, the permanent shrubs have enough time to take root and survive the first winter better. When planting hardy fuchsias, it is important that the soil is well drained, because this genus wants to take deep roots. The plants should also be in warm semi-shade. Most of the varieties in this group are similar to perennials, which means that the above-ground shoots freeze and sprout again in May. Winter protection with brushwood and foliage is required. The semi-shrub is cut back in early spring. The abundance of flowers with strong colors begins in July and lasts until the first frost. Older plants of the hardy species are more tolerant of low temperatures than freshly planted specimens.

What pests and diseases can fuchsias get?

Under optimal conditions, fuchsias are floriferous plants, but the following pests or diseases can still occur:

white bow tie

The small, white pests are a problem, especially in wind-protected, warm locations and in winter quarters. The small insects are located on the underside of the leaf. Yellow spots form on the leaves due to their sucking activity. The affected leaves dry up and fall off. At the first infestation, remove the affected leaves and dispose of them with household waste. Yellow panels are a good way to combat whitefly if there is a small infestation. The use of parasitic wasps, a natural enemy, can also help to minimize the unwanted pests.

aphids

Fuchsias are more susceptible to aphid infestation, especially in phases with less light, low humidity and restricted growth. Check plants in winter quarters regularly for animal pests. Rinse the plants thoroughly with water at the first infestation — this first measure usually helps. Natural plant strengtheners help the plant grow stronger tissue that is less likely to be attacked by sucking insects.

FAQ — Frequently asked questions about fuchsias

Why are my fuchsias blooming sparsely?

A lack of flowering is often the result of insufficient pruning or a lack of nutrients. Furthermore, an unfavorable location can be responsible for missing flowers. Fuchsia prefer bright, but not full sun places.

Which plants are suitable for combining with fuchsias?

          • All species that prefer partial shade are ideal.
          • The plants should have similar water requirements.
          • Examples of combinations are: colored nettle, noble lilies, begonias.

How does propagation take place?

Fuchsias are easy to propagate from cuttings. The best time for this is late summer. Use a knife to take cuttings from healthy plants. Fuchsia cuttings root optimally in seed trays or in a seed set with a transparent cover. A widespread method of propagation is sowing. You can use seeds you have bought or harvested yourself.

Why can fuchsias wilt even though the soil is evenly moist?

Soil-borne fungi are mostly responsible for wilting of fuchsias. Fuchsia wilt occurs suddenly and is usually unstoppable. One option is to repot in fresh soil and cut back by half. With a little luck, the popular balcony plants can be saved.

Are fuchsias important for bees and other insects?

Especially single-flowering fuchsia varieties are flown to by bees and other insects. From the beginning of June to the end of August, bees find small amounts of pollen and moderate amounts of nectar on the fuchsia blossom. In the fall, the scarlet fuchsia, a hardy species, blooms profusely and is valuable as the food supply in the garden is reduced.

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