Among the most spectacular summer flowers, Fuchsias are outstanding garden plants with their continuous display of ravishing, dancing blossoms, dangling in clusters like prize jewels. Often blooming from late spring until the first frosts, they are available in a wide range of colors, from luscious pinks and purples to whites and even peach. Attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds, Fuchsias require little care and their various growing habits, from trailing and cascading to upright and bushy, make them the champions of hanging baskets, window boxes and containers. They are also wonderful in summer-bedding schemes, as flowering hedges, in permanent plantings or as standards.
There are thousands of cultivars and about 110 species to choose from.
- The flower form varies greatly between slender singles (4 petals), semi-doubles (5-7 petals) and fully-skirted doubles (8 or more petals). The top petals (actually sepals) protect the inner petals (corolla) from damage. Once the sepals open, the true petals are revealed. Their up-swept petals and long stems add movement and grace whether grown in a pot or a border. The blossoms usually display two different-color sets of petals, creating wonderful color combinations.
- Some Fuchsias are tender and tolerate USDA Hardiness Zone 10-11. Others are half-hardy Fuchsias and survive winters in USDA Hardiness Zones 9-10. These Fuchsias are generally used as annuals in hanging baskets, containers or in summer beddings.
- Other Fuchsias are quite hardy and can withstand temperatures down to -10ºF (-23ºC) and grow in USDA Hardiness Zones 6. They are useful in permanent plantings, adding vibrant pockets of summer color and showing up particularly well against dark evergreen shrubs. They are perfect to light up a dull, shady border. They sometimes die down to ground level in a hard winter, but usually grow back again.
- Fuchsias are fairly easy to grow. Full sun to part shade lovers, they are best grown in moist, fertile soil, well-drained soils. Fuchsias do not tolerate well high heat and sun exposure. In warmer climates, make sure your plants have shade from the afternoon sun.
- Water Fuchsias regularly during the warmer seasons as they grow. It may be necessary to apply water 2 or times a day during very hot and dry weather.
- Provide a deep winter mulch and shelter from cold drying winds.