Container Growing A Fuchsia
The fuchsia is a popular container plant since its low, drooping growth falls elegantly in a hanging basket. The fuchsia's two-toned, delicate flowers look great in any container, not just hanging baskets. Container growing offers gardeners artistic freedom to rearrange plants throughout their yard, patio or home.
Fuchsia Growing Facts
Sun Exposure: Fuchsias don't like the full afternoon sun and thrive in partial to full shade. Fuchsias prefer humidity, so mist plants regularly in areas with dry heat.
Soil Requirements: Fuchsias prefer moist, acidic soil that drains well.
Watering Needs: Fuchsias are often thirsty. Water daily or twice daily in the summer.
USDA Zones: Ideally in zones 7-10 when planting in outdoor beds. With containers, zones 5 and 6 are possible, but take care to keep inside until danger of frost is over. Unless growing in zones 9-10, fuchsias are an annual.
Fertilizer Needs: Fuchsias are often hungry in the summer, so feed them a liquid fertilizer weekly once the buds are visible, but not before. Fish emulsion is good or something high in potassium. Stop fertilizing in September to prepare for winter.
Container Growing Tips
- Be sure the container has plenty of draining holes in the bottom.
- Vary the types and colors of containers.
- Combine your fuchsia with two other plants in your container. Container designer often calls for three different plants, the focus plant, a filler plant, and a spiller plant that tumbles over the sides. Fuchsia can be the focus plant, or you can buy a hanging variety to use as the spiller.
Step 1: Choose your Container and Fuchsias
First, decide whether you want to use a hanging basket or other container. Container design is a personal choice, but planting several trailing fuchsias at the edge and an upright fuchsia in the middle will insure your container fills out well. The red and pink Anna, red and white Claret Cup and red and purple Muriel are great for hanging baskets. Choose trailing plants of the same variety so that they grow evenly.
Step 2: Prepare your Container
Line the bottom with newspaper so that soil doesn't fall out the draining holes. Fuchsias roots will rot if soil doesn't drain well, so layer several inches of gravel on the bottom. This will also help to balance out the heavy quick growth that will occur. Next add a compost mixture of equal parts garden loam, peat moss, and dried manure.
Step 3: Planting
Fuchsias are fragile, so don't move them outside until May. When planting, scoop out a hole slightly larger than the root ball. Push soil back in place.
Step 4: Caring for Your Container Fuchsia
Deadheading your fuchsia will result in more blooms. The flower should drop off, but you will need to pinch off the seed pod (the base of the flower). Weekly fertilizing and daily watering is essential. Wilting flowers are a sign that you aren't watering often enough. In the winter, induce a dormancy stage by cutting back and moving the plant into a cool dark place (about 45 degrees). Pull out of soil and cover roots in peat moss.
Enjoy your fuchsias more often by planting in containers!