How to grow Fuchsias
Fuchsias are easy to grow shrubs and trees, native to the rainforests of South America.
They have beautiful pendulous single, double or semi double tubular flowers that hang down like dancing ballerinas. The contrasting colour combinations and flower forms seem endless. Fuchsias brighten up a shady corner in any garden.
At a Glance:
- Height - 50cm to 2 metres
- Position - Semi shade
- Soil - Cool, moist and well drained
- Flower - Early spring to autumn
- Colours - Pink, white, red, crimson, purple
There are trailing varieties ideal as groundcovers or in hanging baskets. You can get varieties that are tall upright shrubs and trees, or miniature forms - both in leaves and flowers.
When and Where to Plant
Fuchsias are best planted in spring and summer. If planting in summer, keep well watered.
Fuchsias enjoy cool summer temperatures with plenty of moisture.
Plant in the semi shade in a sheltered position away from hot dry prevailing winds. Do not plant in full sun. Protect from frosts.
Fuchsias grow in any well drained average garden soil. Raise beds in clay soil to improve drainage or if planting under established trees.
How to Plant
Dig in plenty of compost or well rotted organic material before planting. CLICK HERE for more information on how to plant.
Fuchsias require regular feeding throughout summer to encourage continuous flowering. Use Tui General Garden Fertiliser or a soluble fertiliser such as Phostrogen or Yates Thrive Flower and Fruit.
Fuchsias are thirsty in summer and require regular watering. Overhead watering is best as this helps increase humidity, which they enjoy.
Mulch in spring to keep the roots cool and moist throughout summer.
If fuchsias are not regularly pruned they become leggy and woody with very few flowers. Prune in winter (May to July). In cooler climates, prune in early spring when frosts have passed.
Pruning usually involves removing dead wood and spindly growth.
Regular pinching of the new tips encourages bushy growth and more flowers.
Remove spent flowers so berries do not form as this reduces flowering.
Pests and Diseases
Thrips are small black sucking insects that cause speckled silvery leaves. Spray with Mavrik or Confidor. Prune back affected foliage.
Mites are minute sucking insects found on the underside of leaves that cause distortion, speckling and silvering of leaves. Spray with Mavrik.
Aphids are small sucking insects on new growth. Hose them off or control with Confidor.
Leaf Roller Caterpillars chew holes in leaves and flowers and roll themselves up in the leaves with webbing. Squash the caterpillar with fingers, or spray with Mavrik.
Rust can be seen as orange or red raised spots on the underside of yellowing leaves. Spray with Yates Bravo or Shield.
Fuchsias are versatile. They are great in containers for the patio and deck or placed around the garden in pots to brighten a shady spot. Keep well watered in summer.
The trailing varieties can be grown in hanging baskets.
They make great hedges, are suitable to use for topiary, responding well to pruning and shaping into a standard, and can be espaliered along wires against a shady wall.