Trailing fuchsias come in every colour combination imaginable. There are so many choices, from elegant single flowered fuchsias such as Fuchsia ‘Mandarin Cream’ to flamboyant double forms with carefree, ruffled blooms such as Fuchsia ‘Quasar’. They are particularly useful for bringing impressive displays to summer hanging baskets, window boxes and containers. Their lax stems gently cascade over the side of containers, allowing the dangling blooms to be viewed at their best. These versatile plants cope equally well in semi shade as they do in full sun. This makes them an ideal choice for brightening up those shadier corners of the patio.
Some forms can produce colossal blooms reaching up to 10cm (4”) across eg Giants Collection.
Fuchsias are superb value too, flowering over a long period from early summer right through to September.
Growing trailing fuchsias really couldn’t be easier. Plant trailing fuchsias directly into baskets, window boxes, Flower Pouches™ and containers, in any well drained compost. Grow them on in warm, frost free conditions. Pinch out the growing tips of each plant while they are still small to promote bushier growth and more flowers. When all risk of frost has passed, gradually acclimatise fuchsia plants to outdoor conditions over a 7 to 10 day period, prior to placing them in their final positions in sun or semi shade.
Throughout the growing season keep them well watered. It’s well worth feeding them every other week with a fertiliser such as Incredibloom® to promote an endless supply of flowers. Deadhead faded fuchsia flowers to prolong the flowering period.
These reliable plants are stalwarts of summer garden, bringing colour and movement to hanging baskets whether grown individually or as part of a mixed container.
Growing fuchsia standards is not as difficult as it might appear. Fuchsia standards have a clear main stem topped with a dense head of foliage created through pinch pruning and make superb specimen plants. However patience is required as they may take up to 18 months of careful training to achieve.
Here are my top tips for growing fuchsia standards;
• Allow a young fuchsia stem to grow upright, whilst removing all of the side shoots as they develop. Do not remove the leaves from the mail stem however, as these will feed the plant.
• Tie the main stem in to a cane to provide support as it grows.
• Once the fuchsia plant reaches 20cm (8″) taller than the desired height, pinch out the stem tip.
• New side shoots will be produced at the top of the plant and these will form the head of the standard. Pinch out the tips of each side shoot when it reaches 2 to 4 sets of leaves. Continue pinch pruning until a rounded head has formed.
• The leaves on the main stem will be shed naturally in time, or can be carefully removed.
To overwinter standard fuchsias, they will need to be moved to a frost free position during the winter months to protect their vulnerable stem from frost damage, regardless of how hardy the variety is.
There are few plant groups that are as diverse as the fuchsia. There is a lovely range of hardy fuchsias in the market, many with different colour foliage and form.
Fuchsia Genii is a more unusual fuchsia variety, with distinctive yellow foliage. The flowers have inky blue petals backed by magenta tepals, and these blooms are set against golden, glowing foliage. Genii is an easy to grow shrub that will grow happily in sun or part-shade giving your borders a magnificent display.
Fuchsia Hawkshead is a customer favourite and has been awarded RHS Garden Merit. Hawkshead is an upright and bushy cultivar which blooms non-stop from early summer to autumn making a lovely addition to your beds and borders.
New and exclusive to Thompson & Morgan is Fuchsia ‘Pink Fizz’, the best climbing fuchsia you will grow. The vigorous upright stems can extend by up to 1.5m (5ft) in a single season, making it perfect for covering walls, fences, arches and obelisks.
How to care for hardy fuchsia plants in winter
Hardy fuchsia plants are ideal for growing in sheltered borders all year round. These cultivars range from neat compact varieties such as Fuchsia ‘Tom Thumb’ that reaches just 30cm (12″) tall, up to Fuchsia magellanica which can reach a colossal height and spread of 3m (10’) in ideal conditions. Hardy fuchsias are best planted deeply in the ground to protect the crown during cold winter weather. Further winter protection can be provided by applying a deep mulch of bark chips, leaf mould or straw in late autumn each year.
There are few plant groups that are as diverse as the fuchsia. These exotic looking beauties are firm favourites for their pendant flowers in a wonderful range of colour combinations. Fuchsias may be deciduous or evergreen depending on their variety and growing conditions. They’re versatile too, growing happily in sun or semi shade. These hard working shrubs will flower virtually all summer long, filling borders, beds, window boxes, hanging baskets and patio containers – in fact, they will bring colour to almost any position that you can think of.
How to grow Fuchsias
Pot up fuchsia plug plants using a good quality, well drained compost such as John Innes No.3, and grow them on in warm, frost-free conditions. Trailing fuchsia plug plants may be planted directly into baskets, window boxes and containers. These should also be grown on in warm, frost free conditions until they are well developed.
Pinch out the growing tips of each plant while they are still small to promote bushier growth and more flowers. When all risk of frost has passed, gradually acclimatise fuchsia plants to outdoor conditions over a 7 to 10 day period, before moving them (or planting them out) in their final positions. Watch our helpful video to learn how to pinch out Fuchsia stems.
Fuchsias are very versatile and can be grown in sun or semi shade in any fertile, moist well drained soil, although they will appreciate some shade during the hottest part of the day. Choose a position that offers shelter from cold, drying winds.
When growing hardy fuchsias in the ground they are best planted so that the base of the stem is 5cm (2″) below the soil surface. This will help to protect the crown of the plant during cold winter weather.
Feeding and watering fuchsias
Water fuchsias regularly to maintain moist, but not waterlogged conditions. Fuchsias that are grown in containers will need frequent watering depending on the size of the container and weather conditions. Hanging baskets should be watered at least once a day during hot summer weather. Fuchsias that are planted directly into borders will become more self sufficient once established.
Although many fuchsia plants are naturally floriferous, it is well worth feeding them every few weeks throughout the summer, especially those grown in hanging baskets and containers. Use a soluble fertiliser such as Chempak Fuchsia Feed. Regular feeding will encourage an endless supply of flowers and frequent deadheading will also prolong the flowering period.
Raspberry ‘Ruby Beauty’® is a dwarf variety that is claimed to grow to just 120cm (36”) – the perfect size for a patio pot, or a sunny place in even the smallest veggie plot. I’ve decided to put this to the test and see just how well they get on when planted in the ground vs. containers. This weekend I spent a few minutes planting my raspberries with some help from my Deputy Gardener. She’s quite new to all this but was keen to get involved!
We chose a large ceramic container and filled it with John Innes No.3. This is a loam based compost that makes a good choice when planting mature shrubs in containers. It has more ‘body’ to it than peat based multi-purpose composts, offering better drainage and stability. It also contains higher levels of nutrients, making it well suited to plants that will be growing in the same container over a long period. I also mixed in a few handfuls of slow release granular fertiliser to help the plant establish and keep it well fed into next spring.
The other plant was destined for the vegetable plot. I found a nice sunny, sheltered position, sandwiched between some older raspberry canes and the strawberry patch. There were quite a few weeds but my helpful assistant soon sorted that out (she’s closer to the ground than I am!!).
The soil is quite light and fertile in this part of the garden – just perfect for raspberry growing. In fact, the other raspberries have gone mad, sending up suckers all over the place! I shouldn’t complain as we have had a really good crop this year, and there are still more fruits to pick. Hopefully, Raspberry ‘Ruby Beauty’® will be just as productive next summer.