CARING FOR FUCHSIAS

Fuchsias may be used in many different ways in the garden and greenhouse. Some are excellent for hanging baskets; all make fine pot plants for the greenhouse or window-sill, flowering over a long period; many will grow happily outdoors, during the summer, either as specimen plants or as part of bedding schemes, or in tubs, vases, urns, w indow-boxes or other containers.

They are not difficult to grow. You can start by obtaining young flowering plants in the spring or. Early summer, either from local sources or, if you want less common varieties, from a specialist nurseryman.

To ensure that the plants make plenty of flowering growths they must be ‘stopped’, that is the growing tips of the shoots must be pinched out. The first stopping should be done when the young plant is potted into its first pot. This will make it produce two or more side-growths. The tips of these are pinched out later which will cause more side-growths. During the growing season regular weekly feeds with dilute liquid plant foods will keep the plants growing and flowering freely.

In November they should be rested by reducing the amount of water given, and then laying the pots on their sides in the greenhouse or a frostproof shed and piling damp soil, peat or weathered ashes over them. There they should remain until they are started into growth in February or March by bringing them into the greenhouse and watering them. At this stage last year’s shoots should be pruned to three or four leaf-joints from the stem. After growth has started properly plants must be repotted.

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