Fuchsias (Hardy) – Fuchsia magellanica

Colours and shapes of hardy Fuchsias are not as varied as the more tender greenhouse type, but they will go on from year to year without taking up winter storage space.

F. magellanica originated in Mexico, Peru, Chile and the Falkland Islands. The pendant, bell-shaped flowers are 3.5-5cm (1 ½- 2in) long, with a crimson tube and sepals, and purple petals with protruding stamens. Flowers appear from July through to October.

Half hardy hybrids have been evolved by crossing F. magellanica with F. fulgens, a tender shrubby species, and many are suitable for growing outdoors, provided the roots are protected in winter. In northern areas all the top growth.may be killed off by frost in winter but new shoots will appear again in late spring.

Hardy Fuchsias can grow to form a bush 1.2-1.8m (4-6ft) in height with a spread of up to 1.2m (4ft) and are often used for hedging in milder areas where they can reach 3m (1 Oft). Hybrids will vary according to variety but in southern areas some can = reach 1.8m (6ft) and 1.2m _1 (4ft), and even in colder areas height and spread can reach more than 60cm (2ft) after being cut back to ground level by frost during the winter.Fuchsias (Hardy) - Fuchsia magellanica

Varieties

Some of the hardiest Fuchsias for growing outdoors include ‘Mrs. Popple’, with red sepals and purple petals; ‘Margaret’, with semi-double crimson sepals and violet-purple petals; ‘Chillerton Beauty’ which has pink sepals and violet petals; ‘Alice Hoffman’, with carmine sepals and double white petals; ‘Brutus’, with red and dark purple, ‘Abbe Forges’ cerise and lilac, and ‘Riccartonii’, crimson.

Through The Year

April

Hardy Fuchsias need pruning as soon as any new growth appears. Remove all the dead stems, cutting just above a new shoot. Where main branches survive and shoots appear up the stem, prune all side shoots to one or two buds from the main stems. Cut away all weak shoots. New shoots will appear during spring.

May—September Fuchsias should continue to flower through- out this period. Make sure that pots are kept well watered. Daily watering is needed in hot weather. Feed once every two weeks throughout this period. Dead head flowers.

October—March

Roots should be protected as they are specially at risk from frost. Place bracken or straw between two layers of chicken wire and surround the pot with this. Do not water or feed plants left outside throughout the winter.

Propagation

1 Take 15cm (6in) cuttings from side shoots. Cut off a shoot close to the main stem and pull off the lower leaves. Cut again, just below the lowest leaf node. Trim off the tip above a leaf to leave a 15cm (6in) cutting.

2 Place 3-5 cuttings in a 7.5cm (3in) pot with a moist mixture of equal parts peat and coarse sand or perlite. Cover with a polythene bag and place in a light but shaded position at a temperature of 16°— 18°C (61°-64°F).

3 Gradually acclimatize them, then repot one month later. Plant out in the spring.

Pests And Diseases

Lower leaves turn yellow and fall. If excessive, the plant is too dry. Treatment: Water more regularly. Fuchsia needs plenty of water in warm summer weather.

Fuchsias are attacked by whitefly.

Treatment: Check under leaves regularly. Spray with insecticide every 3-4 days. Separate plant from others until recovered.

PLANT CARE

Hardy Fuchsias are easy to look after and, provided roots are protected by a thick layer of leaf mould, ashes or peat, they should survive most winters. They should be cut back in spring and any frost-affected branches should be removed.

  • Potting: Use a well drained and humus-rich soil-based potting compost and repot in May or June.
  • Fuchsias need a lot of water. Make sure that the potting mixture is kept moist at all times. For plants in pots this will mean daily watering in sunny weather.
  • Feeding: Use a standard liquid fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season, starting when new shoots appear.

BEST GROWTH ENVIRONMENT

  • Light: This is a plant that grows best in a bright, filtered light. Avoid long periods of direct sunlight.
  • Temperature: Normal summer temperatures are fine for hardy Fuchsias. If protected from too much full sun, they should last through most normal winters.

Buying Tips

  • Like tender Fuchsias, buy in late spring when buds are beginning to open hut do not put out until all danger of frost is past. Available from most nurseries and garden centres.
  • Buy compact plants with lots of buds and check plants for any signs of pest or disease.
  • Hardy Fuchsias should last several years if protected in winter.

Hardy Fuchsias come in single and two-colour effects in 1 pink, red, purple, lilac and white, but unlike their more tender relatives, they will survive most winters outdoors.

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