Caring For Your Fuchsias

Watson's Staff

Before Spring Mr. Watson and our production staff fill our greenhouses with fuchsia starts and baskets so they will be full and stunning come Spring. Fuchsias are beautiful spring/summer shade loving annuals, that with proper care, will reward you with blossoms all summer long!

SOIL
Fuchsias like loose, rich soil that allows easy root penetration and good drainage.

WATER
Proper watering is extremely important for fuchsias. With fuchsias the soil should be kept moist at all times, not dry, and certainly not soggy wet. You can tell a lot from lifting the pot or by poking a finger into the soil. Water if the pot feels light when lifted. Fuchsias also enjoy light misting on the leaves.

FEED
Fuchsias are heavy feeders. We recommend a well-balanced fertilizer on a regular basis–at least twice a month. It is important to never fertilize a dry plant so make sure to water lightly at least one hour before fertilizing.

PINCH
Fuchsias do require some maintenance in the form of pinching to ensure your plant stays bushy and increases their flowering. Pinch out the growing tip of branches that have a couple of sets of leaves. Remove the tip of each branch after every second set of leaves twice more to develop laterals for blooming. Blossoms will be fully developed (6 to 8 weeks for singles, 8 to 10 weeks for doubles) after pinching the last time on most varieties. Removal of dead flowers and seed pods will help extend the flowering period.

TREAT
To prevent disease, remove dead flowers and seed pods, keep the soil surface clean, and provide good air circulation. You will also want to treat aphids, whitefly, spider mites, rust, etc. quickly. Bonide® Insecticidal Soap is great for treating bugs and is ideal for organic gardeners.

WINTER OVER
To winter over fuchsias, at the first sign of frost, fuchsias in containers should be pruned back to about eight inches and stripped of leaves and spindly growth. An insecticide drench will alleviate infestations of bugs, particularly root weevil. The plants are ready to be put in a cool, dark place for the winter. They should never dry out during this rest and never freeze. In the spring, trim off any white, sprout like growth, prune a bit for shape, water and set the container in a warm spot to grow and begin your fertilizing program.

HARDY FUCHSIAS
Don’t forget about hardy fuchsias as well! Many fuchsias are hardy in our climate when planted in the ground as a perennial, but make sure to mulch them in the late fall for winter protection. Fuchsia ‘Genii’ is a staff favorite!

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