How To Care For The Appealing Fuchsia Plant

The Fuchsia plant is an easy care plant. Fuchsia can also be trimmed and fashioned into bushy plants to form lovely arrangements and hanging baskets. Because of their vibrant colours, they are also appealing indoors. They also make great patio blooming plants in pots.

Fuchsia Hardiness Zones

Fuchsia “Chillerton Beauty” is a hardy upright free-flowering Fuchsia native to Oregon and Washington. This tropical and sensitive perennial is hardy in USDA zones 8-11.

A close up of a Fuchsia Chillerton Beauty flower
Chillerton Beauty Credit: Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz, via Wikimedia Commons

Honeysuckle fuchsia also grows in USDA Hardiness zones 9-11. This species requires protection for long spells of temperature under 32° degrees Fahrenheit.

Zauschneria, or California fuchsia, is another evergreen shrub under the Onagraceae family. It loves well-drained soils in full sun and attracts a large number of hummingbirds. The funnel-shaped crimson blooms emerge in late summer and early autumn.

A Zauschneria of California fuchsia with bright red flowers
Zauschneria or California fuchsia courtesy of John Rusk from Berkeley via Wikimedia Commons

There are a few dozen types of fuchsia. We recommend this page on the site Wikihow.

There are numerous types of fuchsia flowers and many colorings. There are:

  • Immense double flowers
  • Large singles
  • Medium and small doubles
  • Medium and large singles

Each fuchsia type is beautiful and they all have their own special merits. You will find the singles bloom much more abundantly. Fuchsias come in almost every color with new flower color combos being released every season.

Fuchsias need coolness above all else. They prefer that temperatures never go over 65° degrees Fahrenheit but they can stand higher ones providing the humidity is high, too. I once had a plant that inadvertently got set outdoors in early spring and was forgotten until it burst into full bloom.

As an experiment, I left it where it was all summer, and despite almost full sunlight and hot days, it did remarkably well. Mostly, I think, because the nights were cool and dewy, and during the daytime, I showered it with the hose every time I got near it.

The Origins of the Hardy Fuchsia

Fuchsia magellanica is one of the progenitors of today’s fuchsias. It is a hardiness zone 6 – 11 plant. Some are being grown in zone 5. Other fuchsias were discovered years later in South America, off the coasts of South America, and in Mexico. These hardy Fuchsia types all produced very few blooms that were really lovely. The original fuchsia plant has undergone numerous modifications throughout the years, and it is doubtful that the ancestors of today’s lovely fuchsia would recognize their progeny.

A close up of a Fuchsia Magellanica with its wonderful pink and red flowers
Fuchsia Magellanica Credit: Christopher Down

Watering Fuchsias

Fuchsias are thirsty plants. They should always be kept wet with daily watering. They want a lot of water, but make sure there is adequate drainage.

These are plants that like moist conditions, which may be produced by misting the leaves with a fine mist of water. The plant should be sprayed at least twice a week. During the hot summer months, a daily spray will be quite useful. The heat drains moisture from your plants’ leaves, which fuchsias will not tolerate. By spraying, you may increase humidity, keep your plants in good developing condition, and ensure a constant abundance of blooms.

If you notice any insects on your plant when spraying, you can use a forcible spray to jar loose any insects that might be trying to get a foothold.

When you water with a spray, the root ball is not fully hydrated. When watering, make sure to moisten the soil. It is preferable to water less frequently and thoroughly than to skim over them once in a while. Water must penetrate the soil surface in order for all of the roots to be hydrated.

What Pests Like Fuchsia Plants?

Fuchsias can attract whitefly, fuchsia gall mites, and red spider mites. Slugs are also feeding on the new growth. Aphids like to feed on fuchsias. Get rid of these insect pests with the methods described here.

Pruning Fuchsia Plants For “Perfect” Shape

You can prune your fuchsias into beautiful hanging baskets.

  • After your plant has formed four or six sets of leaves, pinch out the top of the plant. A stem and branch will grow from each remaining leaf.
  • After these branches put out four or six sets of leaves, pinch out the center of each of these. This will produce a nice, bushy plant.
  • Fuchsia’s hanging basket varieties still need more pinching. Follow this pinching process until you have a nice bushy plant before you let the branches hang.

In the fall or early spring, prune your fuchsias. Upright growers are best cut back to about 8 or 10 inches from the ground. This gives you the main stem of new, healthy wood and keeps your plant in bounds. Your new wood is the flowering wood, and you will have more flowers by pruning in this way.

Fuchsia Care – Sun or Shade?

Fuchsias prefer shade, but there are several types that will thrive in the sun. Your orange and red varieties will fare better in the sun than your pastels or double kinds. They do considerably better in semi-shade or early morning light. Sun-grown plants require regular monitoring and frequent watering, particularly spraying.

However, it is best to keep the plants out of direct sunlight.

Fuchsia Plants Are Excellent for Pots

Growing fuchsias is very easy as they can grow so quickly and they start to bloom when young. They are also good specimens for a garden because of their beautiful leaves and flowers. Like other plants in the genus Fuchsia, they require pruning in order to keep them within bounds, or else they’ll take over the whole garden! The long stems terminate into four reflexed lobes that expose flower petals – usually five or more per stem, but sometimes just one at each end – in shades from white through pink to deep red.

Starting Fuchsia in Pots

Never overpot small plants when starting them. Continue to use the next-largest pot as required. This method will allow your plants to develop faster and have a much healthier root system. Remember to pinch your young plants, feed them carefully, water them well, give their leaves a wash, and treat them with a strong pesticide if you want to develop great fuchsias.

Don’t Over Pot, When Repotting Shift To Next Size Pot

When you start, small plants should not be overpotted. Keep shifting to the next larger pot as needed. Your plants will grow faster and have a much better root system if grown this way. Remember to pinch your young plants, feed them well, water them well, give their foliage a bath and spray with a good insecticide, and you can grow fuchsias that are outstanding.

When is Fuchsia Ready for a Hanging Basket?

When your fuchsia has grown to be a healthy bushy plant in a four or five-inch pot, it is ready to be placed in a hanging basket.

How to Care for Fuchsia in Hanging Baskets and Pots

When potting Fuchsias:

  • They like slightly acidic and moist soil.
  • Choose a pot with good drainage.
  • Water daily, being mindful of drainage; don’t permit the soil to get soggy.
  • It is full sun to partial shade.
  • Fuchsias are strong feeders and should be fertilized once a month with a decent commercial slow-release fertilizer or a general purpose liquid fertilizer. Cow manure dressing is really useful.
  • In hanging baskets, prune the fuchsia level with the bottom of your container. You may have to shift your plant to a larger pot, and the best time to do this is after you prune your plant.

Feeding will result in a plant that is brimming with lovely blossoms.

Growing A Beautiful Fuchsia Hanging Basket

A hanging basket of fuchsia plants with pink and white flowers

A hanging basket of fuchsia plants with pink and white flowers

Planting basket fuchsias in a wire hanging basket is a lovely technique to cultivate them. Line your basket with sphagnum moss, then fill it with potting soil and plant your fuchsia. Hang your basket and work the roots of Baby Tears Moss into the sphagnum moss and beneath the wires. The baby tears will quickly take hold and spread throughout your basket, resulting in a lovely green basket.

Fuchsia Plant Care During Winter

In the winter, place your fuchsia in a very cold but frost-free spot.

  • From October through December give them only enough water to keep the wood from shriveling.
  • Then in January move them to a minimum temperature of 50 degrees, and give them more water. As soon as all the live “eyes” can be located, trim the plants to shape and remove all dead wood.
  • Next step – take them out of the pots, wash all the soil from the roots, and repot in the same size pot using fresh soil.
  • Increase the amount of water given as the plants require it, pinch two or three times before the end of May, and either shift to larger pots when necessary or begin supplemental liquid feeding when roots have filled the soil.

When the plants finally become established in the pot size you want them to flower in, use a liquid plant food in place of every third watering, fuchsias are heavy feeders, and soon spindle out unattractively unless kept well fed.

Video – Fuchsia Plant in Pots

Propagating Fuchsia From Seed and Cuttings

Plants may also start from seed in January or February.

From cuttings, cut newer growth. The best cuttings are from suckers which spring up from the base of the plants. They should be about three to five inches long, with leaves removed from the lower 2 or 3 inches of the cutting.

Option 1: Plant the seeds or cuttings in a potting mix. Add extra sand to the potting mix for drainage purposes. Give them shade, a temperature of no less than 60 degrees, keep the soil moist, and softly spritz them if they show indications of withering. Handle them as you would newly acquired tiny plants after they are properly rooted.

Option 2: Add rooting hormone the stems, although fuchsias often root well without it. Because fuchsia cuttings wilt fast if not immediately rooted, store them in a tight plastic bag or soak the ends in a glass of water until ready to use.

In Closing

If you give your plants plenty of root space in rich, gritty soil, feed and water them freely, and keep them as cool as possible, your fuchsias will live for years and years, expanding in beauty and size all the time. You’ll want more and more of them as you discover how to raise them properly.

Visit a Botanical Garden For Unique Experiences.

More on Gardening Calendar