Growing a fuchsia standard is a great way to show off these elegant, jewel-coloured flowers while adding height and colour to your border. Also ideal for containers, standard fuchsias make a statement on your patio, balcony or positioned either side of your front door. Here’s how to train your own fuchsia plants into striking standards.
What is a fuchsia standard?
Fuchsia standards have a clear main stem topped with a dense, round head of foliage. Created through pinch pruning, they make superb specimen plants. However patience is required as it can take up to 18 months of careful training to achieve the lollipop style shape required. Here’s how to get yours started:
- Allow a young fuchsia stem to grow upright, whilst removing all the side shoots as they develop. Don’t remove the leaves from the main stem, as these will feed the plant.
- Tie the main stem 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 produces 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 over time, or can be carefully removed.
- To overwinter standard fuchsias, they should 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.
Check out our fuchsia hub page for more information and links to online resources about growing and caring for your fuchsias.
Author: Sue Sanderson
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.