Botanical Name: Fuchsia x hybrida, or Fuchsia hybrids
Origin: Fuchsia Plants originate from Argentina, Chile and Mexico.
Height: Regular Fuchsia hybrids grow up to heights of around 90 cm (3 ft). Dwarf varieties are naturally significantly smaller.
Soil: This house plant will do well in any general purpose, quality potting mix.
Light: Fuchsias like lots of bright light, but do not take kindly to direct, full sunlight.
Humidity: Fuchsia hybrids prefer moderate levels of humidity, so it may become necessary to raise levels slightly to keep the plant happy.
Temperatures: For most of the year, Fuchsias like to be kept fairly warm - at temperatures ranging between 16 and 21 degrees C (60 to 70 degrees F) - during the day, but a little cooler during the night, when temperatures should not exceed 10 to 13 degrees C (50 to 55 degrees F). In winter, the plant requires a cool rest, with minimum temperatures of around 7 degrees C (45 degrees F).
Water: The soil for Fuchsia hybrids should be kept evenly moist throughout spring, summer and autumn. As plants in hanging baskets tend to dry out quite rapidly, it is therefore necessary to check frequently, especially if the basket is kept outside. In winter, when the plant goes into dormancy, watering should be reduced.
Fertiliser: A liquid, balanced fertiliser needs to be diluted to half its strength and should be given to the plant once every two weeks during the months of spring and summer.
Propagation: Spring is ideal for propagating Fuchsias from 7 cm (3 in) long stem tip cuttings placed into moistened potting mix.
Description and Care Tips
With adequate care, Fuchsia hybrids will provide a dazzling display of magnificent blooms from spring through into late autumn for many years. Fuchsia blooms are spectacular, with pistils and stamens extending from bell-shaped single, double or semi-double petals toped by four flared sepals, which are often in colours contrasting with those of the petals.
There are thousands of stunning hybrids, offering a choice of many rich colours - including red, pink, white, lavender and purple - in varying combinations. While most of the varieties sold in nurseries and garden centres are trailing, some varieties do have upright habits, although there is nothing quite like a mass of Fuchsia flowers cascading out of a hanging basket, or a container on a pedestal.
To provide adequate light, it is best to keep Fuchsias near a window, although they should never be exposed to direct sunlight. Moved into a shady spot outside, they will really thrive, but it is vital to return them indoors before temperatures are likely to drop below 7 degrees C (45 degrees F), as this plant does not tolerate frost.
Pinching out the growing tips during spring (or, at the latest, in early summer) will encourage the Fuchsia to branch out, giving it a much fuller appearance. The pinched out tips can, by the way, be used for propagation, as they will root easily. Spring is also a good time to prune this plant, using sharp pruners to cut stems cleanly just above leaf axils and at an angle of 45 degrees. This will help to give the plant an attractive shape and encourage new, vigorous growth. Naturally, it is important not to remove any flower buds during pruning.
After giving the plant a cool rest with reduced watering during the winter months, it can be repotted in spring. As Fuchsias have shallow roots and will bloom best when they are slightly pot-bound, the new pot should not be more than one size larger. Once the Fuchsia has reached the desired size, it can be kept in the same pot, although the soil should be refreshed regularly (once a year, in spring).