Grow fuchsia

Information and botanical notes

The genus Fuchsia includes over one hundred species of shrub or arboreal plants belonging to the Onagraceae family. Originally from Central and South America, fuchsia was imported to Europe at the beginning of the 19th century as an ornamental and apartment plant. The leaves of fuchsia are deciduous and lanceolate, often with a serrated outer margin and a bright green color. The characteristic flowers have an elongated and deep calyx, are pendulous (in some countries they are called «lady’s earrings») and with double petals. The colors vary from fuchsia (the name of the color derives from the flowers of this plant) to pale pink, up to intense purple and fiery red. Of the over one hundred species of fuchsia, the most common and cultivated in Europe is Fuchsia magellanica,

Reproduction of fuchsia

For the reproduction of the fuchsia one generally opts for the growth through cuttings. In spring, a branch of about 8-9 centimeters with buds is taken from the mother plant, suitably cleaned at the base of superfluous leaves. To facilitate rooting and thus engraftment, it is advisable to use a rooting hormone. The cuttings are to be planted in pots filled with universal nutritive soil and draining material such as perlite or vermiculite; fuchsia in fact fear water stagnation, so care will be taken to offer them a highly draining substrate. They should be placed in a well-lit place and hydrated from time to time with the aid of a nebulizer. The soil should never be dry, but neither should it be soggy.

Grow fuchsia outdoors

Once we have ascertained the robustness of the stems and roots, we will opt for the transfer of a sunny area, facing south, since the fuchsia needs light to be able to develop at its best. The growing medium will be mixed with other draining components, such as pozzolan or abundant vermiculite. Once planted in the garden, if necessary, you can apply a vertical support on which to tie the plant for the first time. Generally, fuchsia withstand adverse temperatures, but in areas with too harsh winters many varieties do not resist outside, so consider the species to be planted well and, if necessary, have a large plastic sheet to protect it from the elements. In summer we will take care to provide abundant watering, while in winter it will not be necessary, if not some spray when the ground is excessively dry. Pruning is necessary in February-March to thicken the branches and prevent them from growing too much, but fuchsia also lends itself to the creation of ornamental hedges of various shapes.

Grow fuchsia in pots

Fuchsia lends itself very well to cultivation in pots, and it is possible to keep it both at home (as long as it is placed in an area full of light) and outside, in courtyards or greenhouses in winter. The precautions will be the same as those reserved for fuchsia grown in the garden, with the difference that those in pots must be pruned much more often and transferred at least every two years in increasingly capacious pots; the root system of fuchsia, in fact, is intricate and tends to grow a lot. Varieties of fuchsia grown in suspended pots are very common, since many species, especially the smaller ones and shrubs, tend to grow downwards. The final effect will be vases full of hanging leaves and flowers, ideal for balconies, porches and gazebos.

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