Fuchsias

Cold comfort for hardy plants

Hardy fuchsias can be left outside during the winter, but they need protection from the frost. In spring, when all danger of frost is past, set out young, well hardened plants, burying them deep to give extra protection to the crowns.

In autumn, when they have finished flowering, leave the stems unpruned and pile dead leaves or earth over the bases of the plants as an added defence against frost.

Overwintering fuchsias
Half-hardy fuchsias need to be overwintered in a frost free place such as a garage, greenhouse or shed. Before bringing them inside, prune each stem back to just above the third joint. Until April, water only if the stems appear to be drying up, then increase watering to restart growth.

Fuchsias for foliage
Although fuchsias are grown for their long lasting flowers, there are a few worth growing for the beauty of their foliage alone. Among the hardier ones are Genii and Sharpitor.

Growing new plants
Fuchsias grow easily from cuttings which can be taken at any time of the year. Cut about 5cm from the tip of a non flowering shoot. Cut just below a joint and remove the lower pair of leaves. Dip the base of the cutting in hormone rooting powder and pot in cutting compost. Water well and stand in warm place out of direct sunlight.

Keep the compost moist and in a few weeks the cutting will have rooted and can be potted on into potting compost.


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