Propagating A Fuchsia Propagating A Fuchsia
The beautiful two-toned, double-flowered fuchsia, a South American native, can be propagated to recreate your favorite varieties and lower your garden costs. Propagating a fuchsia is usually done from cuttings, since most fuchsias are hybrids. Propagating from seeds is generally more difficult, but fuchsia cuttings root easily.
Step 1- Choose the Fuchsia
Propagating can be done at nearly any time, but early spring (beginning of March) is the best time. Most importantly, choose a healthy plant with green leaves, green stem, and a good root system. Look for a plant that has several stems growing low on the main stem. Feed the fuchsia liquid fertilizer weekly for a couple weeks before propagating
Step 2- Prepare the Pots
If possible, plant each cutting in its own 7 cm pot. Fill with potting compost. To keep the soil moist, place the pot in a pan with a couple inches of water. You can also water the soil with a watering can.
Step 3- Make the Cutting
Be sure to use a sharp knife to insure a clean cut that won't damage the stem. Cut a stem about 4 inches long. Cut so that there are 3 to 4 sets of leaves on the cutting. Try to cut just below the node for the bottom set of leaves.
Step 4-Trim the Cutting
Trim off the bottom set of leaves at the base of the node. Cut off an inch or so off the ends of the remaining leaves of the cuttings. If there is an stem left below the bottom node (where you just cut off the leaves), trim the bottom of the cutting to just below the bottom node. Most of the time, fuchsias root easily, but to be sure you can spray with rooting hormone, although this is probably not necessary.
Step 5- Plant the Cutting
Use a pencil or dibber to make a hole in the soil and place the cutting about an inch into the soil until the bottom remaining leaves are just above the surface. Be sure that the leaves are not touching the ground. Use your fingers to press the soil down firmly around the stem. Enclose the plant in a clear plastic bag or propagator. Place in a warm (around 70 degrees Fahrenheit), lighted room, but do not place in direct sunlight for several weeks!
Step 6- Pinch out the Buds
The fuchsia should have rooted and flower buds should be developing in about a month. Pinch out the flower buds to encourage the plant to spread out.
Step 7- Replanting
Repot after about 6 weeks from the first cutting into a larger 15 cm pot. Continue pinching out, watering and fertilizing weekly. About 6 weeks after transplanting into the pot, the plant should be ready to move into the garden or into a hanging basket (around late May).