FUCHSIA

Fuchsias – evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs – have tube-shaped hanging flowers which provide glorious colour in garden beds, tubs and hanging baskets. There is a large range of hybrids to choose from.

Suitable site and soil. A sunny or semi-shaded site is best in an ordinary soil enriched with some peat or leafmould. Weeping fuchsias look good in hanging baskets, more erect ones are good in tubs or beds.

Cultivation and care. Plant out in late spring or early summer. In colder parts of the country fuchsias have to be cut to ground level in late autumn or spring and the roots protected.

In milder regions hardy varieties can be left alone but remove any dead wood in early spring. Water often in dry spells, especially tub or basket-grown fuchsias.

Propagation. Can be propagated from tip cuttings taken in early spring and also from seeds sown in spring.

Recommended varieties. Some selected fuchsias are F. ‘Tom Thumb’, an erect shrub 50cm – 20in high and wide with small red and dark mauve flowers and F. ‘Lady Thumb’, similar but with red and white blooms. F. ‘Cascade’, is a trailing shrub good in hanging baskets with pinky-white and deep pink flowers. F. magellanica, can grow to 1.8m – 6ft. Other good varieties are F. ‘Mrs Popple’; F. ‘Ting-a-ling’ which has white flowers; F. ‘Madame Cornelissen’; and F. ‘Brutus’.

Pests and diseases. Aphids may attack plants.

PINCH YOUNG GROWTH

You can make a magnificent specimen from fuchsia grown year to year by pinching out the leading shoots in young growth. This way the plant becomes well-shaped and bushy.

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