Beginning with today’s article, we’d like to introduce you to a new series we’ll be publishing from time to time, written by our own on-hand fuchsia expert, Jackie LaVerne. In this series, “Fuchsias 101,” Jackie will be sharing many of the invaluable things she’s learned over the years as a grower of hardy fuchsias.
Jackie owns Magellanica Gardens nursery specializing in hardy fuchsias, and is a regular contributor to garden publications and a popular presenter at garden events. Jackie is also busy here at PowellsWood as a gardener and consultant.
Please let us know what other kinds of information you’d like to see in this space. Do you need information about container planting? About care of perennials? About pest control? This blog is for you–so please share with us your thoughts and comments!
by Jackie LaVerne
For all of the people who love fuchsias, but have been frustrated finding information on how to care for them, this article is for you!
Basket and Container Fuchsias
Basket and container fuchsias are a wonderful gift for spring events; however, as the season progresses, they become unsightly, long and stringy and full of berries. Many folks complain about the amount of watering they have to do to keep their baskets alive during heat waves. Here are the basics of basket and container care:
1. When buying a basket or container fuchsia, it is better to buy one that is NOT IN BLOOM! Fuchsias do not naturally bloom in May; they bloom late June through the summer and into the fall until we have a hard frost.
2. Pinch your baskets or containers by removing the small two-leaf tip at the end of each branch; this generates more growth throughout the entire basket, giving you a plant with twice as much foliage, and twice as many flowers to enjoy.
3. Once the fuchsias begin to bloom, it is wise to rotate your plants one-quarter turn each week to help with even growth, and even light. This also helps encourage even blooms.
4. When the blooms have faded, and begin falling off, you must remove the entire berry and the stem of the berry in order to keep the plant in bloom; this saves you having to clean up the berries off of the porch.
5. When watering your baskets or containers, add fertilizer to the water every time you water. This ensures good nutrition for the plant both in the soil and on the foliage. Any basic fertilizer that is balanced will work, i.e. 20-20-20, or 10-10-10, even 10-8-10 will work, as long as the numbers are close together. Fuchsia fertilizer, sold in most box and specialty stores, is a complete waste of money, as the only thing that these fertilizers do is boost blooms, and you need to take care of the entire plant.
6. Water your plants when they need water. During hot spells, water early in the morning or late in the evening so as to reduce evaporation and scalding of the leaves. If your plant looks limp during the day, don’t panic–the plant is just too hot; just like us, it can go limp. Check the weight of the pot; if it is light, move it to a cooler, shadier location and water. If the pot is heavy, don’t water it. DROUGHT AND DROWN LOOK THE SAME ON A FUCHSIA. Mist the plant lightly with a cold water spray to reduce the stress on the plant, and maybe find a cooler location to hang it.
Do all these things and you can enjoy healthy blooming fuchsias all season long!This entry was posted on 07/07/2010 in How to Care for Fuchsias, Northwest Gardening Blog by PowellsWood