How to take fuchsia cuttings and care for your plants
The fuchsia is the second best-loved flower of the nation after the rose. One of the reasons it is so popular is that it is easy to grow.
They are capable of growing from a cutting into a bush in one season. They also flower throughout the summer and on into the autumn.
Some fuchsias are hardy and can be grown outside all year round. Others need taking indoors over winter. All require some sun but will tolerate shade and prefer not to be exposed to the midday sun.
To encourage bushiness in both upright and trailing fuchsias pinch out when there are three pairs of leaves. From a young plant this should be done at least twice during the spring.
Plants must not be allowed to dry out and regular feeding throughout the summer is required.
Use Baby Bio, Phostrogen or Miracle Gro. When fully in flower a high potash feed is beneficial, for example Tomorite. Remember to deadhead regularly to encourage new flowers.
Propagation is usually by cuttings. Take non-flowering shoots in spring or summer of approximately three inches in length. Use a good quality seed and cutting compost. Pot on into 9-12cm pots when well rooted.
Outdoor or hardy fuchsias can be left out throughout the winter. Cover the crown with a mulch or even a little additional soil.
Non-hardy fuchsias must be taken in when there is a risk of frost and allowed to dry out, but not completely. They will de-foliate and go into a resting period.
Watering is resumed when the days lengthen and signs of new growth appear. Chop down the stem to maintain a good shape.
On the whole fuchsias are healthy plants but aphids, white fly and red spider mite may be a nuisance.
A systemic insecticide such as Provado will rid plants of these pests as well as the dreaded Vine Weevil. For fuchsias grown indoors, biological control is highly effective.