Come to PowellsWood on Saturday, July 10, from 1 pm to 2 pm for a special presentation given by fuchsia expert Jackie LaVerne. Jackie—who owns Magellanica Gardens Nursery specializing in fuchsias, and who also is a gardener and consultant here at PowellsWood—will be on hand to share her expertise on the care of hardy fuchsias. Jackie is a regular contributor to garden publications and shares her latest article below on summer tips on caring for your new fuchsia plantings and fuchsias in containers. Happy gardening!
The Fuchsias are on Fire!
by Jackie LaVerne
Here it is dumping rain outside and I am going to talk about heat and fuchsias. But summer is here and heat is coming. We have had extremely hot days and very cold days all mixed up together so far this year and our fuchsias seem a little confused, and so do we. With all the strange weather, the fuchsias do not seem to know what to do — bloom to survive or grow and get big? Well, they will do both if the weather will be changing up. But, with July and August on our feet, the weather will be heating up. Fuchsias love the sun, and they show their appreciation by blooming their hearts out. We should show our appreciation by taking the precautions necessary to avoid damage to our plants while still being able to enjoy ourselves this summer.
First, especially if you have new plants, correct planting is necessary. Plant your new plants deep, just like a tomato. This helps them to produce a good root system and become established more quickly. Second, planting deeply protects them from hot summer temperatures, as they are cool-, not cold-weather plants. Next, a nice thick 2″ layer of mulch will help cut back on watering, wasting water, and protect them from the dehydration that can occur when they are left for long periods of time without any water at all, like when you go on that dream cruise that lasts for a month to Tahiti to find the mythological incredible yellow fuchsia that we only see in pictures.
For your fuchsias that are in pots (hopefully being grown for all the shows that you are entering!), you need to take more care. They can be grown in the sun, and I strongly encourage you to do so. They need to be checked daily for signs of stress and dehydration. Water as is necessary, fertilize every time that you water. But remember, never fertilize a plant that has completely dried out as fertilizer will burn the stressed roots and cause burn on the leaves. If your plant does dry out completely and the leaves are all limp, do not despair. Take a bucket of water and drop your whole pot in the water for a couple of hours, remove it from the water and set it in the shade for a day or so to rest, hopefully it will perk back up. When it does, slowly move it back to the sunny position it was in before and proceed with daily checks for good moisture. Remember to turn your plants everyday one-quarter turn, and remove all debris to help keep your fuchsia healthy and disease-free.
If you do all these things, you should be well on your way to beautiful fuchsias in flower, with blooms so thick that they seem to be on fire with color. Remember, if I can do it, you can too!
[This article was previously published in the British Fuchsia Society newsletter and the Northwest Fuchsia Society’s Fuchsia Flash–PW]This entry was posted on 07/01/2010 in Fuchsias 101, Garden Journal by PowellsWood