Fuchsia plants are traditionally grown as ornamental features in both the home and garden.
These plants are annuals in the majority of countries, and prefer bright, indirect light. They’re often placed on shaded porches or in hanging baskets as a result, and can add an instant burst of colour indoors and out.
The history of Fuchsia Flowers
The very first fuchsia flower was discovered in the late seventeenth century in the Dominican Republic by Father Charles Plumier, a missionary and botanist. He titled the plant Fuchsia triphylla coccinea, naming it after the German botanist Leonard Fuchs. This particular specie of fuchsia is still grown today under the name of F. triphylla.
After the First World War, the popularity of Fuchsia flowers continued to grow. This was particularly the case in the United States, and in 1929, the American Fuchsia Society was founded. Members of the society travelling to Europe took back a number of varieties, which breeders then created even more varieties from – offering a range of plants with bigger and brighter blooms.
There are now many variants of fuchsia flowers available, including:
Fuchsia Magellanica: A wild species, which boasts a great number of types, comprising the Fuchsia Magellanica variety ‘Alba’ – this usually comes in the shape of a single flower with four petals, a semi double flower with five, six or seven petals, or a double flower brandishing eight or more petals. The bloom grows out of a leaf axil, which sits on the stem of the plant on a stalk, which is called a pedicel. The seed pod (also known as the ovary) can be found at the end of the pedicel.
Glazioviana: This particular species is native to Brazil, and comes in the shape of a beautiful evergreen with delicate, yet abundant flowers, which are extremely versatile. It can be trained as both a climbing plant and as a compact shrub. In cultivation it reaches an impressive six to 12 feet long, making it a good choice for topiary and hanging baskets. If you prefer a climber plant, simply leave it unpruned.
Fulgens: Often nicknamed the flame fuchsia, due to its hot-hued, orange-red flowers complete with chartreuse tips. Hummingbirds, just as they are attracted to many species of Fuchsia flowers, greatly enjoy this one. It’s able to bloom in the winter months, and can reach a height of three to four feet tall. It also boasts tuberous roots, which are able to store water during dry seasons.
Microhylla SSP. Aprica: This little-leaved specie offers delicate, pink and red flowers, which each measure half an inch long. If you wish to grow your fuchsia plant indoors or in a containers, this is an ideal option.
Paniculta: This energetic type can grow to 24 feet high in the wild, and about 12 feet in cultivation, with an impressive spread of 18 feet. This specie is renowned for its large gatherings of blooms, which measure up to 10 inches in width. It’s important to note that this type of Fuchsia plant is resistant to fuchsia gall mite, however, even though the pest won’t harm the bloom, it uses it as a home. It’s therefore important to take care when choosing where to place this plant, as you should avoid putting it near susceptible varieties.
Microphylla SSP. Hidalgensis: This smaller, spreading shrub boasts white flowers and rich, glossy green leaves. This specie is particularly ideal for smaller spaces.
Fuchsia plants come in a rage of different hues, in the shape of delicate flowers in shades of lavender, white, red, pink and yellow. The flowers perch like jewels on the plant’s arching and trailing stems, making them the perfect match for both hanging baskets and containers. If you reside in the correct climate, these plants can also grow in the ground and can be used as groundcover.
Habitat of fuchsia flowers
The majority of fuchsia species are native to tropical forest climates, such as those in Central and South America. A few varieties are also found in New Zealand and Tahiti. In cultivation, they’re able to flourish in cool summers, with frost-free climates, and can be found in the United Kingdom, Northern California and the Pacific Northwest. In colder climates, fuchsias are often treated as potted plants or annuals, and can be stored dormant over the winter months.
Exposure and environment
It’s important to provide fuchsia plants with plenty of shade, especially during the summer months as too much heat can cause the plant to fade. Avoid both high temperatures and drying winds, and ensure you water and mist the plant on a regular basis to encourage growth.
Using the correct soil
Whether grown in containers or in the ground, fuchsia flowers are a big fan of well-drained soil. In addition to good soil, a weekly feeding with a half-strength, water-soluble fertiliser will ensure they thrive and grow to their full potential.
Fuchsias can be developed from softwood tip cuttings; with the rooting varying from two to four weeks. For faster growth, use cuttings from the more energetic species, which means the growing time will be reduced to a single season. Certain species can also be grown from seeds, which fuchsias produce in the shape of pretty berries that arrive post flowering.
The majority of fuchsia species boast a strong resistance to ailments such as gall mite. Those that are attacked by this pest will showcase deformed leaves and blooms. The species most likely to suffer are the hybrid varieties. This disease is difficult to regulate without the use of strong pesticides. Aphids are another common ailment which are able to upset the leaves of a fuchsia plant, yet they are easier to control as they’re visible to the naked eye.
If you’ve had success when growing Fuchsia plants in your garden or indoor space we’d love to hear your stories so we can share them with our readers.