Fertilizing A Fuchsia
Fuchsia plants create beautiful, downward hanging flowers that are easily identified by their unique shape and vibrant colors. While they can be grown in the ground, these subtropical plants are most popular in hanging pots where the foliage and flowers can drape over the side, dangling streams of pink, red, purple and combinations of all of the above. There are a few tricks to keeping a fuchsia healthy, but the foremost of them all is to fertilize.
Fuchsia's are heavy feeders. Most kinds come from the rich soils of South America. In the small pots that most are kept in, it is vital to keep the nutrients available, especially if you want to enjoy those vibrant flowers all summer.
In the Early Spring
As your fuchsia begins to grow in the new warmth of spring, provide it with a nitrogen rich fertilizer. Many flowering plants, when fed a nitrogen fertilizer will expand their green growth at the expense of their flowers. This is not true of the fuchsia. The flowers on a fuchsia occur only on new growth, so heavy growth is vital for a full spray of flowers.
Late Spring into Summer
Once the initial growth is underway, the nitrogen rich fertilizer is no longer necessary. However, this does not mean you should stop feeding your fuchsia. Just about any type of fertilizer will do, though as the summer progresses a fertilizer with potash and phosphorous is a good idea.
Fall to Winter
You can slow down the feedings as the weather cools and your fuchsia goes dormant. However, do keep the soil moist and provide some nutrients through the winter to keep the plant alive. If the soil becomes dry, your fuchsia will die by spring.
How to Fertilize
Since Fuchsia's love their nutrients, supply fertilizer regularly.
- The most popular method is to mix the fertilizer with water at 1/4 strength (read the instructions on your fertilizer brand for the proper concentration, but 1 tsp per 1 gallon is often the norm). Water with this mixture daily.
- Another method is to fertilize every 1 to 2 weeks at full strength and water daily with plain water.
- A last option is to add time release capsules to the soil.
An advantage to the first method is that the watering will replace any fertilizer it leaches from the soil as it passes through. This is a specific risk for potted plants. They can lose all nutrients in their soil from the passage of water if the owner is not careful.
The first option is also the most popular method of fertilizing with those who cultivate fuchsias for sale.