Fuchsias – splashes of colour in the shade

There are no better plants for shady corners than fuchsias. The genus includes about a hundred species and was first mentioned in the 16th century by the German botanist Leonhard von Fuchs after whom the genus was named. Fuchsias are native to South America and Mexico where they grow as perennial half-shrub, shrubs or even as small trees. They are particularly popular because of their magnificent flowers that may be single or double and grouped in axillary bunches or panicles. The four sepals are usually a different colour from the four petals. They have eight long, striking filaments and a pistil that projects far beyond the corolla.

When cultivated as bedding plants and container plants, fuchsias are usually grown as annuals. However, they are easy to over-winter, even in a dark cellar. In such a situation the temperature must not exceed 10°C (50°F). If kept in a temperate conservatory, they will continue flowering for a while longer. F. magellanica is considered ‘hardy’ in regions with mild climate. For containers, upright-growing species are better than hanging or trailing ones, because of their growing habit. Upright species can also be trained as standards.

Fuchsias can be propagated from softwood cuttings, which can be taken between autumn and spring and rooted at 20°C (68°F). Regular pruning is recommended, especially in spring, to ensure bushy growth. The flowers are produced at the ends of the growing shoots and appear between six and ten weeks after pruning, depending on the species.

The varieties mentioned here are representative of a very large number of possibilities.

15. April 2014 by admin
Categories: Tips and Advice | Comments Off on Fuchsias – splashes of colour in the shade

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