Gardening

Hardy Fuchsia: Eye Catching Flowers That Are A Hummingbird Magnet


Hardy Fuchsia: Eye Catching Flowers That Are A Hummingbird Magnet

Hardy Fuchsia

Photo Compliments of Bill Barber

Fuchsia genii or hardy fuchsias are noted for their pendulous flowers and represented in a genus of over 100 species of small or medium sized shrubs. Their growing habits are categorized by being prostrate, trailing, upright (fountain shaped), and truly upright.

Flowers are usually borne in clusters along the tips, usually hanging and often bi-colored.  Flower color choices are white, pink, red, or purple although greens, peaches and even yellows are beginning to appear in nurseries. When talking about fuchsia flowers the terms sepal, tube, and corolla should be used.  The sepal and tube are the exterior portions and the corolla is the interior. Spent flowers turn into an edible fruit which has the flavor of grape spiced with black pepper.

Leaves can be opposite, alternate, or whorled; foliage is radiant lime-yellow and found on contrasting red stems. The light colored foliage of this plant creates a striking contrast with deep green plants and will surely liven up a shady area in your garden.

Fuchsia genii or Hardy Fuchsias are a wonderful, herbaceous garden perennial that will bloom all summer and fall.  You can find varieties of this shrub to fit your garden location; if you are looking for a shrub that is upright, spreading, tall, or short, you can find a fuchsia that fits into your garden.  Height typically ranges in height from 4 to 10 feet depending on the variety chosen and should be spaced 3 to 6 feet apart, again depending on the variety you choose.

A hardy fuchsia will thrive in zones 6 through 9, but can also be grown in a greenhouse as a potted plant in less mild climates. The ideal soil pH range is between 5.5 and 7.5.

How To Make Your Hardy Fuchsia Thrive

Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system.  If you are growing them in containers, check often to maintain moist conditions.  The rule is soil should be kept moist, but never soggy.  You should plant your fuchsia in an area that has shade to partial shade with rich, well-drained soil.  Add plenty of loam and compost or manure to the soil prior to planting.  You can also sprinkle a general fertilizer in over the area and use a pitchfork to thoroughly mix with the soil.  During the growing season, you should feed your fuchsia shrub every two weeks using a liquid fertilizer and following the instructions on the package for proper application.

On the West Coast and in the Pacific Northwest they usually need no extra protection in the winter once established.  Hardy fuchsias should survive winter temperatures down to -10 degrees.

Winter Care

Let frost kill the leaves; remove any remaining leaves that have not fallen.  Cut back any non-woody growth (about 1/3 of the plant).  Winterize the base of the plant with a thick layer of dry leaves, straw, mulch, or compost.

Spring Care

When green shoots appear at the base of hardy fuchsias you can then prune back the plant hard.  You should work into the soil a general fertilizer and add a mulch of compost to soil surface.

General Hardy Fuchsia Information

Pests And Diseases

There are no serious insect or disease problems. You do need to be watchful for aphids, spider mites and whiteflies.

Propagation

Propagation of the hardy fuchsia is best done by cuttings; cuttings should be taken in July or August time frame.  In a shady area, insert each cutting into sandy soil in a closed frame or the cuttings may be individually covered with a bell-glass.  It should take several weeks for the cuttings to root. During this time water so the soil does not dry completely before watering again. When you notice significant growth, gently tug at the stem. If it wiggles or seems loose, leave for a while longer. If it firmly withstands this treatment, its roots are strong and it is ready to be transplanted. Once your cutting has put down roots, it should be transplanted into an individual pot until it is ready to be planted in your chosen garden location.

Pruning

Don’t prune your hardy fuchsia during winter months; this not only prevents any disease entering the wounded stems caused by late pruning, but the extra cover will also help to give them a little protection during the coldest months when it is most needed. The best time to prune outdoor fuchsias is during early spring after new shoots appear.  Cut back every branch just above a pair of leaf buds to within three or four inches from the surface of the ground. This type of hard pruning will spur new growth from below ground level.  You can repeat this procedure every year.  Do not prune any outdoor fuchsias until you are sure that all you have seen the last frost.

Garden Uses

Ideal as a choice for use in niches in rock waterfalls, or in a situation where you can let the branches hang over the edge of a water garden.  Your hardy fuchsia is perfect for edges of mounds, and retaining walls, or in raised planters, as well as in containers.

Quick Facts

  • Plant Type: Shrub
  • Deciduous/Evergreen: Deciduous
  • Hardiness Zones: Zones 7  to 9
  • Light Needs: Full to partial shade
  • Water Needs: Keep soil surface moist, but not soggy.
  • Average Size: Arching stems form a shrub approximately 4 feet tall and wide
  • Growth Rate: Moderate
  • Flower Colors: Red, pink, lavender, white
  • Bloom Time: Summer
  • Key Feature: Summer Flowering
  • Special Features: Attracts hummingbirds (they love this plant)

Varieties

Northwest Fuchsia Society: Plant listing for the Pacific Northwest

Dave’s Garden: Plant listing For Zone 6

Photo Search

Google – Hardy Fuchsia

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10 Comments

  1. Video doesn’t seem to work.
    Linda Jones recently posted..Life of a Purple ConeflowerMy Profile

  2. Thank you for sharing, Charlie! I love, love fuchsia.

  3. The flowers are beautiful but, since -25 is common and -35 possilble, it wouldn’t make it here.

  4. I’m in hardiness zone 7–but have not heard of a hardy fuchsia. They are my favorite for hummingbirds. I live on the East Coast in the Mid Atlantic, and use them during the summer season. Alas, they must go for our winters. Thanks.

  5. Could I transplant a fuchia I have in a balcony planter into the ground now, in October? Or should I wait until after the frost in the spring? I live in Vancouver, BC, Canada, but have similar climate to Seattle.
    Thanks for any tips you may have!
    Simone

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