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How to grow Hardy Fuchsias

Last year we grew 6 varieties of Hardy Fuchsias, including Brutus, Chillerton Beauty, Garden News, Lady Thumb, Mrs Popple and Snowcap. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit to each of these varieties. When potting up the hardy fuchsia plugs we use a good quality free draining compost. The compost we use is a mix of John Innes No2 and perlite in a ratio of 3-2. The plants were watered by sitting them in a tray of tepid water for a few minutes, and then allowing excess water to drain away. The hardy fuchsias were then placed in a cool, well-lit area out of direct sunlight, but not too warm, as this will encourage weak, leggy growth. During the first few weeks whilst the plants start to establish themselves water sparingly trying to encourage the roots to seek out moisture.

Fuchsias will grow toward light, so turning the pots every couple of days will help to ensure even all round growth. The word Fuchsias is often misspelt, fuschia, fuchia and fushia are common mistakes so bare this in mind if you are Googling for more information.

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hardy fuchsia plugs

7th March 2013

With the exception of Mrs Popple the hardy fuchsias were stopped (removing the growing tip) whilst young plug plants, this process will maximise the amount of sideshoots. This might seem a little drastic on such a small plant, but stopping or pinching out will create additional growing stems and therefore will eventually produce more flowers.

The hardy fuchsia plug plants were potted up into square 7cm pots during the third week of February and all are putting on good growth. Mrs Popple does look a little "leggy" compared to the others, this shows the benefit of pinching out early. We have not watered the plants since potting up as the compost is still moist.

This week has been almost spring like with temperatures reaching 13 degrees C in the South East and so the fuchsias have been moved outside for 5 or 6 hours during the day in order to maximise the amount of light they receive, they have of course been moved back inside overnight. The weather forecast for Monday 11 March to Sunday 17 March is for unsettled weather gradually turning colder with frost predicted so the fuchsias will remain inside.

hardy fuchsias

25th March 2013

The weather over the last couple of weeks has been below the seasonal average, with the BBC stating March has been the coldest for 50 years. Snow, frost, rain, high winds and daytime temperatures below 5 degrees C have prevented us from putting the young fuchsia plants outside, even for a couple of hours.

Whilst the fuchsias are inside we are turning the pots every other day to prevent lob-sided growth. The plants have now been watered by placing the pots in a tray of tepid water for a few minutes - we are keeping the compost just moist to encourage the roots to search out the moisture.

By mid April we would have expected the hardy fuchsias to be at least twice the size they are now and ready to be pinched out a second time. But with the weather not expected to significantly improve in the next 10 days or so this is unlikely. Roll On Spring..


Hardy fuchsias


23rd May 2013

The weather continues to be cold with reports that it has been the coldest May since 1979. However, we have been placing the hardy fuchsias outside whenever the temperature is above 5 degress centigrade and they have now hardend off. We have potted on the fuchsias into 9cm pots and have continued to pinch out, although we shall stop the pinching out process this weekend in order not to delay flowering to long, generally we would expect an 8 week period from pinching out to the first blooms.

Garden News has put on the most growth but was originally propagated one month earlier than the rest, we would expect the other varieties to catch up later in the summer. Chillerton Beauty seems a little leggy but we saw this last year and it filled out and become a lovely plant.

Hardy fuchsia Snowcap
Hardy fuchsia Chillerton Beauty
Hardy fuchsia Garden News
Hardy fuchsia Lady Thumb
Hardy fuchsia Mrs Popple
Hardy fuchsia Brutus

18th June 2013

Today we dug over a couple of small raised beds and planted out Mrs Popple, Garden News, Brutus and Snowcap. The beds are approximately 1.2 metres square and we planted 10 of the hardy fuchsias in each. Mrs Popple and Garden News in one bed, Brutus and Snowcap in the other. The raised beds have good drainage which should help the fuchsias survive winter. We dug in a little pelleted chicken manure fertilizer and once planted we added a mulch of cocoa shell to help reduce moisture evaporation and snail damage.

Hardy fuchsia Lady Thumb is the most delicate of the hardy fuchsias we are growing this year so have decided to pot them up into 2 litre pots and give them more time to develop. Chillerton Beauty will be planted out in a narrow bed within a low wall to the front garden.

The photo below is Chillerton Beauty that we grew last year, this plant survived the winter outside in it's pot without much protection other than being situated in a fairly protected position close to the house. The plant is now 50cm tall (measured from the top of the pot), and planted in a 9 litre 27cm wide pot.

Hardy fuchsia Chillerton BeautyBrutus

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