How to Grow Fuchsias
With their elegant, nodding flowers looking like graceful ballerinas in frilled tutus, fuchsias
add colour and style to pots and hanging baskets. Easy to grow and very low-maintenance,
they flower for months in summer and early autumn, growing happily in shade and
brightening up dull spots. Trailing fuchsias, with their long arching stems, look fantastic in
hanging baskets, and the bushier, upright varieties are beautiful in containers. Although
many fuchsias are tender, the hardier varieties will survive light frosts and can even be used
as informal hedging in mild areas.
When your plants arrive
Unpack your plants immediately and check the compost to ensure it has not dried out in
transit. Water with a fine spray, or sit the plants in a tray of shallow water if the compost is
Pot on plants as soon as possible (preferably within 24 hours) after they have had time to
Potting on and planting out
- Handle each plant by the plug root ball, rather than the stem to avoid damage.
Pot each plug into a 7.5cm (3in) pot using a good multi-purpose compost or a
Grow on for a few weeks in a greenhouse or a bright, frost-free place, but avoid
Keep moist but do not over-water. If very cold weather is forecast, cover with a layer
Once there is no more danger of frost, the plants can be moved to their permanent
Harden off your plants before planting them out by placing the pots outside during
the day and bringing them back in at night. After 7-10 days, the plants will be ready
to plant out.
How to care for Fuchsias
Plant fuchsias in partial shade, in a well-drained soil or in pots filled with a good
multipurpose compost. Fuchsias need shelter from strong winds which can damage
Pinch out the tips of young half-hardy fuchsia plants in spring to produce bushier
plants with more flowers, cutting just above a leaf joint where new shoots are
- Water regularly, especially in dry periods.
Once fuchsias start to flower, feed fortnightly with a high potash liquid feed such as
Mulch hardy fuchsias with a thick layer of garden compost or well-rotted farmyard
manure in autumn. As well as improving soil structure, this will help protect the
roots against frost.
Prune hardy fuchsias in spring when new growth is visible, cutting back to buds low
down on the stems
How to overwinter tender fuchsias
- Move tender fuchsias into a frost-free greenhouse or conservatory in autumn.
Cut back by approximately half their height and reduce watering to encourage the
plants to go into a dormant state.
Once the plants have dropped their leaves, they can be stored in a frost-free shed
until spring. Water very sparingly, just enough to stop the compost drying out
In spring, repot the plants into fresh compost and keep them in a frost-free
greenhouse or conservatory until the frosts are over.
Pests and diseases
Fuchsias may be prone to the following pests and diseases. Read more about how to control
common plant pests and diseases here.
- Vine weevils
- Glasshouse red spider mite
- Grey mould