Honestly, I don't know why commercial companies even make the feeble attempt at
offering seeds except to possibly to fluff out spring orders from people who
just don't know these plants. Almost all the fuchsias you see in nurseries are
complex hybrids and don't come true except from cuttings. And those strike VERY
If you do want to try a few seeds for the fun of it, you'll most like likely
have to collect your own from some ripe berries. Do make sure they're planted
fresh, be aware that they're prone to damping-off... and be prepared to be very
disappointed with the results. Also, breeders will sometimes make a cutting of
the seedling as they feel a stronger plant is produced much faster.
PS If you're in the US I can give you the URL's for the three best specialists
that offer hundreds of the most tempting cultivars by mail. Because of the
summer heat, though, it's a little past the season for ordering by mail.
Thanks. Reading up on them, I did find that most of them are hybrids,
but I didn't realize they were so tough to bring up by seed. I found a
nice one this weekend and broke down and bought it. Now I have to read
up on care and feeding (um, maybe I should have done that before?
Are there any general rules for fuchsia? I was told by a nursery man
they were shade plants, but the one I purchased specified bright sun.
And what's the best time to take cuttings? I figured in the Fall, but
what do I know?
Generally, most fuchsias do best in a bright position with lots of indirect
light. Too much shade and they grow leggy. Morning sun is great but they do
appreciate protection from the heat of the afternoon to keep them cool. A high
tree canopy is sort of the ideal "natural" condition they thrive in. They'll
usually take more sun if planted in the ground (the "uprights" are good for
bedding) and the root zone is kept cool, well drained, and evenly moist. The
so-called triphylla hybrids, with flowers that look like honeysuckle blossoms,
can also take a bit more sun.
Keep most fuchsias evenly moist but not wet. Good watering is key. Lots of
fuchsias are lost by letting them dry out too much or too often. They might
eventually recover but will probably lose flower buds and/or shed leaves from
the stress. There can also be a problem with overwatering as the roots
eventually rot from the water-logged soil. Do especially watch watering when
temperatures start getting into the 80's, especially if it's also humid, as
fuchsias stop transpiring and the roots will suffer. That's why fuchsias don't
really do well in the humid South. Frequent, light misting of the leaves helps
to keep them cool during the heat. Fuchsias are heavy feeders and fertilizing
should be done more frequently than with a lot of other plants, but also more
Fuchsias really are insanely easy to root. The best time is when they're
resuming active growth in the Spring (they are woody shrubs and can be easily
overwintered in a semi-dormant state), but I don't let other seasons stop me.
Different cultivars act differently but most will root almost anytime
Quickly, here's what I do: I take a cutting that's about two or three inches
long and has at least two leaf nodee. I pinch out the tip to encourage quicker
branching, remove any leaves from the bottom of the cutting as well as any
flowers or buds, and stick it into a small, narrow pot with a sterile soiless
mixture. Many fuchsia cultivars have branches where the leaves occur in sets of
three. Look for those when taking a cutting as the new plant will be bushier. If
the leaves are larger, cut them in half.
I cover the pot with a small plastic bag poked with a couple of holes and cinch
it around the top of the pot with a rubber band. This I place in a bright spot
out of direct sunlight. I keep it evenly moist but not wet. The cutting should
be up and growing in a couple of weeks. You can tell when it's rooted as it will
start growing quickly. When you remove the bag do make sure to properly harden
Pinch out the tips of the new branches every two or three nodes a few times to
make the new plant bushier. Deepending on the cultivar, flowering will be about
8-12 weeks after the last pinching.
If you're experienced at rooting things you'll catch on right away. Otherwise
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.