Fuchsia x hybrida

Fuchsias are native to Central and South America, where they grow in forests up to elevations of 3,000 m (10,000 ft).

A few species are found in New Zealand and Tahiti. They have been cultivated since the late 18th century. They are very rewarding plants, and their diverse flowers and the colour combinations of their sepals and petals are universally admired. There are about 100 different species and innumerable cultivars. The flowers have a long tube; the sepal colour is usually red and the petals are white. They range in size from very small to quite large. They may be simple, semi-double or double.

It grows well indoors in plenty of diffused light, but does not tolerate direct sunlight. In summer, it can be transferred outdoors to a garden or balcony. Water regularly and do not allow the compost to dry out, for then the leaves drop. Feed every two or three weeks during the growing period. Overwinter in a cool, light place at a temperature of 6°-10° C (43°-50°F). Water once every one to two months in winter. In February resume normal watering and repot the plants. To promote branching, pinch out the shoots. Propagate by tip cuttings, which will root within 10-20 days at a soil temperature of about 20° C (68° F).

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