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.
Plants and gardens have always been a big part of my life. I can remember helping my Dad to prick out seedlings, even before I could see over the top of the potting bench. As an adult, I trained at Writtle College where I received my degree, BSc. (Hons) Horticulture. After working in a specialist plantsman’s nursery, and later, as a consulting arboriculturalist, I joined Thompson & Morgan in 2008. Initially looking after the grounds and coordinating the plant trials, I now support the web team offering horticultural advice online. I have a keen interest in drought resistant plants and a passion for perennials, particularly hardy Geraniums. I previously stood as regional secretary for the International Plant Propagation Society which gave me lots of opportunities to see what other horticulturalists were up to in their nurseries and gardens.