Fuchsias provide colour and interest from mid-summer to early frosts with their diverse blooms that make great additions in bedding displays, containers or borders.
In their latest video, our friend Martin Fish of Pots & Trowels is at the Harrogate Spring Flower show speaking to specialist fuchsia grower Colin Jones of Roualeyn Nursery in Snowdonia, Wales. You can watch the video below, or keep reading for handy tips and tricks for keeping your fuchsias looking their best for seasons to come, from feeding to pinching out and taking cuttings from existing plants, with this fuchsia masterclass.
How often should I feed my fuchsias?
Fuchsia’s natural season is from around June, and then they flower right through until the first frost, and can even be as late as November.
What’s the trick to keep them flowering all that time, even when growing your own fuchsias at home? It’s all down to feed, says Colin. Once they’re out growing in natural daylight, he recommends a little and often approach to feeding fuchsias to keep them flowering at their fullest potential, with a diluted high potash feed around three times a week so that there’s a constant supply of food to the plants.
How to take a fuchsia cutting
You can take cuttings of fuchsias now while the growth is still nice and young. To do so, grab your gardening knife, take a full shoot from your growing fuchsia and then cut the top off the end of the shoot – it’s as simple as that! That small cutting from the top is all you need to get started, and you don’t even need to remove any lower leaves. Put it straight into a little pot of compost for it to root in and let it grow, and in about eight weeks you should already have a tall and healthy looking plant!
How to train your fuchsias
To train your cutting into a standard fuchsia, leave the main leaves on to help feed the stem and help make it fatter, but remove the side shoots so that all of the energy can be focused into helping the stem get stronger. It’s much the same as a tomato plant!
To help your fuchsias grow taller, you can remove a couple more of the more established shoots from the stem (these can also be used for more cuttings!).
Once your plant has reached the desired height, count and ensure that you have five pairs of shoots at the top of the plant before you pinch out the very top of the plant itself. This will create the head of the plant and these shoots will begin to bush out.
When you have a more established plant with a head of plant growth, you can go in and continue removing any side shoots from the bottom of the stem. You can also go in and pinch out some of the side shoots on your main head growth to help encourage further bushing out to create some more lovely dense growth on top.
As a rough rule of thumb, it will take around 8 weeks from pinching out for your plant to produce flowers. So in theory, if you start now with a young fuchsia plant, you’ll have a standard by the end of the summer!
Colin recommends Bella type fuchsias for a lovely compact plant that’s great for patios and containers. Bred by the Dutch to be compact and very floriferous, the rule with potting multiple of these plants into containers is that if you can physically fit them in – then you’re not overdoing it! Again, continue to pinch out the flowers to encourage more bushy and flowery growth. Deadhead any spent flowers throughout the summer (if they don’t drop off naturally), and be sure to remove any seed pods off around once a week to help the plants to continue flowering.
Frost-hardy vs tender fuchsias
More frost-hardy varieties of fuchsia tend to be more difficult to get to flower this early in the year, but naturally the more hardy varieties are lower maintenance than the tender varieties and therefore are more popular. It’s all about finding which variety works for you and your garden. Tender varieties can withstand temperatures down to 0 degrees, but will obviously start to struggle with anything below that, so overwintering them in a summer house, glasshouse, or even a well lit spare room will help keep them happy and healthy. As a rule cool is better than too warm, as otherwise you’re going to get leggy plants and stringy growth.
When to prune fuchsias
Give fuchsias a good hard prune in the spring. Don’t prune them in autumn or winter, leave the twigs and sticky bits all through the winter and then grab your pruners and have a nice tidy up in the spring. When your shoots are about an inch long, they’re telling you it’s time to cut the rest off.
So, now you know how to care for your fuchsias all year round, from feeding to pinching out to deadheading! Now all you need to do is get yourself some fuchsias planted out, keep them well looked after and before you know you’ll be having beautiful summer blooms.
Where to buy Darlac Tools
Make life a little easier for yourself by using the right garden tool for the job. You can find our Darlac products in store from your local garden centre, or you can buy selected products direct online from our website. Find your local Darlac stockist here.
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