It takes two – Fuchsia planting partners

The world is your oyster when it comes to choosing companion plants to go alongside your fuchsias. The seasonal tender types blend so well with other summer bedding plants that you really are spoilt for choice. The same applies to the hardy types, which work well in combination with other shrubs and perennials in mixed borders and shrub plantings.

Container Displays

It is perhaps more important to think about other flower colours rather than the types of plant that you set with your fuchsias in container displays. While there is no right or wrong when it comes to using colour in the garden, the majority of fuchsias bloom in shades of pink, purple and white, and it pays to think of those colours when you choose your companion plants, particularly in the confines of a patio pot or hanging basket.
While petunias and geraniums are perfect basket partners for fuchsias, the wrong colour combination could detract from the display. The trick is to decide whether you want a contrasting or complimentary colour mix, or whether you want to go all out with a riot of mixed colours.
For kaleidoscopic colour, simply go for a different flower colour on each plant in your display. For contrasting and complimentary mixes, familiarise yourself with the colour wheel – contrasting pairings (like purple and yellow) are found on opposite sides of the wheel, while complimentary colours (like purple and blue) sit next to each other.

companion planting fuchsiasTop 5 container companions for fuchsia:

Petunia
Geranium (Pelargonium)
Lobelia
Begonia
Busy Lizzie (New Guinea)

Border Displays

Established border fuchsias can display hundreds of flowers at any one time, so setting them with other flowering shrubs can lead to over-fussy displays. Companion selection in the border comes down to setting the right balance between foliage and flowers. There are two ways to go about this. If flowers are your thing, go for two thirds flowers and one third foliage (one foliage shrub for every two flowering shrubs). For a more natural look, reverse this ratio, opting for two thirds foliage and one third flowers (two foliage shrubs for every flowering shrubs).

companion planting fuchsiasTop 5 border companions for fuchsia:

Fatsia japonica (for foliage)
Choiysa ternate (for foliage)
Nandina domestica (for foliage and flowers)
Weigelia (for flowers)
Phygelius (for flowers)

Kris Collins
Kris Collins works as Thompson & Morgan’s communications officer, making sure customers new and old are kept up to date on the latest plant developments and company news via a wide range of media sources. He trained in London’s Royal Parks and has spent more than a decade writing for UK gardening publications before joining the team at Thompson & Morgan.

Companion planting

Companion planting has been around for a long time and is a really good way of using Mother Nature to deter pests and improve pollination.

Companion planting

Monoculture

We’ve put together a Companion Planting Guide which you can find on the Thompson & Morgan website and use to help you plan your vegetable patch.

The guide, written by our horticultural experts, is full of great advice when it comes to growing your crops. For example, many of us grow vegetables in rows, known as ‘monoculture‘. However, pests generally have a favourite crop and this method helps them locate and infest it. Mixing plants up confuses the pests and you’re more likely to have a more successful harvest.

Intercropping is another way to make the most of the available space and is particularly useful when growing Brussels sprouts or parsnips which take a long time to grow. Sow the seeds and while you’re waiting for the them to germinate and grow, sow fast-growing vegetables like salad leaves and radishes and not only will you save a lot of space, you’ll be keeping weeds at bay – less weeding can only be a good thing!

Companion planting

Grow marigolds with tomatoes

Herbs are a great weapon against insects – their pungent scent deters them. Try growing basil, mint and chives near your tomato plants, as well as marigolds, to deter whitefly and aphids. Be cautious when growing mint though, it’s invasive and grows quickly, so it’s best in a container where you can, well, contain it!

Growing onions next to carrots benefits both crops – carrot fly is repelled by the smell of onions, and onion white fly is put off by the scent of the carrots.

Rebecca Tute
Rebecca works in the Marketing department as part of the busy web team, focusing on updating the UK news and blog pages and Thompson & Morgan’s international website. Rebecca enjoys gardening and learning about flowers and growing vegetables with her young daughter.

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