4 tricks for healthy and full fuchsia plants

The dramatic beauty of fuchsias has made them a top choice for growing in pots kept near outdoor living areas. Here are four simple tricks for healthy and full fuchsias.

4 tricks for healthy and full fuchsia plants

[Image credit: iStock.com/elenaleonova]

About fuchsias

Healthy plants on the brink of bloom are widely available at garden centres in spring.

  • With good care, they will stay in bloom all summer long, but unless you live in a milder coastal climate, it's best to regard them as summer annuals and not try to keep them from year to year.
  • Fuchsias readily accept morning sun, but they prefer partial shade.

1. For best blooms, spoil your fuchsias

For vibrant blooms, you should spoil your fuchsias with rich, premium-quality potting soil.

  • Keep the soil evenly moist, but don't overwater.
  • Feed container-grown fuchsias with a balanced fertilizer once a week all summer long.

2. Pinching is essential

Pinching is essential to get the most from your fuchsia.

  • For lush fuchsias, pinch back their stems after they have produced flowers during the first few weeks of summer.

Pinched plants produce more side shoots, which in turn produce more flowers. You can stop pinching as often after midsummer when your plants will have developed a strong, symmetrical shape.

3. Use fuchsias for baskets

Fuchsias' pendant flowers make these plants very popular for outdoor hanging baskets.

  • To increase your supply of plants, take eight-centimetre stem-tip cuttings, dip the stems in rooting hormone powder and then place them in a container filled with damp seed-starting mix or sand.
  • Cover cuttings with glass or plastic, keep the cuttings in a warm place and, in three to five weeks, they will be rooted and ready for their permanent pot.

4. Beware of mites

In the early 1980s popular fuchsias became infected with fuchsia gall mites. Because of their popularity at the time, cuttings were being transported all over the world at the time, taking mites with them.

  • If you suspect one of your fuschia plants has mites, throw the plant away before the mites spread to the others.
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