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Mad about fuchsias!

  • Mad about fuchsias!
  • Mad about fuchsias!
  • Mad about fuchsias!
  • Mad about fuchsias!
  • Mad about fuchsias!
  • Mad about fuchsias!
  • Mad about fuchsias!

OK, I admit it, I am crazy about fuchsias!
I used to say that roses was my passion, then I got completely hooked on lilies and although I still grow both roses and lilies in my absolutely tiny, postage stamp size London garden – fuchsias has become my real passion. In a way, they suit my garden much better than roses, as my garden is west facing with a tall wall at the end so I have a lot of shade, part of the garden is in complete shade. Over the years I have bought some bog standard garden-centre fuchsias, and to my surprise seen that what they call tender or annual fuchsias are perennial in my garden.

A few years ago I started buying from nurseries and got some more unusual varieties, and this year I have complemented my collection with some really unusual ones including some miniatures – they are so incredibly dainty and beautiful and so different from the huge flowers of some of the trailing fuchsias I have.

The photos show:
2. Fuchsia 'Snowburner'
3. Fuchsia 'Bella Rosella'
4. Fuchsia bacillaris 'Cottinghamii'
5. Fuchsia 'Fuksie Foetsie'
6. Fuchsia 'Annabel'
7. Fuchsia 'Velvet Crush'

The first photo shows the ‘nursery shelves’ in my garden, as I don’t have a greenhouse or a shed or even a garage, everything I grow has to spend all winter outside in my garden. The shelves here at the side of my house have several degrees higher temperature than out in the garden and I keep the cuttings here over winter without any protection – not that I had to worry about this last winter, I actually didn’t have ANY frost at all during the winter, my thermometer never dipped down to zero or below.

As a consequence of that, my fuchsias didn’t go into dormancy, they all stayed in leaves, most of them flowered throughout the winter and only slowed down slightly through December and January. It was rather bizarre to have fuchsia flowers, snowdrops and crocuses together. I have never had ‘evergreen’ fuchsias before! And the fact that they didn’t go into dormancy presented a new problem to me, as I normally would have cut them down in February/March, but by then they all were back in full flower and growing like mad! I didn’t have the heart to cut off all those flowers so only Mrs Popple at the bottom of the garden got her usual trim, the rest got to keep their flowers and buds.

I grow fuchsias both in small pots, large containers and in the ground. I have for example 4 'Annabel' in one flowerbed, growing between evergreen bushes like dwarf rhododendron, skimmia and pieris. The idea was that the evergreens would protect 'Annabel' during the winter, but I am not sure she needs that as I have had one growing in a container for a good few years and she survives just fine every winter.

I have read that fuchsias are hungry plants, not sure my plants know about that, perhaps it depends on how many flowers you expect. I don’t use my fuchsias for exhibitions, they are here just for me to enjoy so I am happy with a steady trickle of flowers – normally 10 months a year, but as mentioned above, they never stopped this winter! I give all my fuchsias slow-release fertilisers once a year, usually in March or April. That’s it. Fertilisers are expensive and a lot of work applying, I am happy with the abundance my fuchsias are producing and my fuchsias seems happy. Those that grow in containers get new compost every other year or so and those in small pots get a bigger pot or a container when they have grown out of it. Some fuchsias grow incredibly fast!

Fuchsias are fun, beautiful and usually easy to grow, there are lots of different varieties ranging from the very tender to the extremely hardy. And the size are from tiny plants you can hold in one hand to large plants up to 12 feet tall. I have 18 named varieties of fuchsias in my garden, some I have just one plant of, others I have many plants of the same. You can find the rest of the list of my fuchsias on my grower page along with some of the other plants in my garden. I hope this got you inspired!

Comments (10)

  1. Grower

    Helene U Taylor

    Just a few more photos……I just wanted to show you one container of fuchsias in particular. This is a large pot with 3 trailing fuchsias, Fuchsia 'Snowburner', F. 'Deep Purple' and F. 'Marcus Graham'. The pot is standing on another upturned pot so the trailing branches can hang down. These fuchsias flowered throughout the winter and I had fuchsia flowers from this pot on my dinner table on Christmas Day!

    • Mad about fuchsias!
    • Mad about fuchsias!
    • Mad about fuchsias!
    • Mad about fuchsias!
  2. Grower

    Ian Gibson

    I have to agree with you completely about Fuchsias. I too am completely hooked, and when I say completely I mean completely. I have over 290 different varieties growing in my garden at the moment. This year alone I've sold over 500 cuttings via ebay and facebook. So I fully understand your fascination with them. I am more than hooked. I am completely obsessed.

  3. Grower

    Ian Gibson

    One lovely thing that most people don't realise about Fuchsias is that Slugs and snails don't like them, so you may well spot snails and slugs crawling around them, they will not eat them because they hate the taste. So if you are blighted by snails and slugs in your flowerbeds, stick with Fuchsias and they won't get eaten.

  4. Grower

    Helene U Taylor

    I am so pleased to meet a fellow Fuchsia-mad :-)
    Wow, over 290 different varieties! I have an absolutely tiny garden at 62 m2 or 667 ft2, and with all the other plants I have in my garden, I simply can’t manage to squeeze in as many fuchsias as I want. But I am sure I can find room for a few more! I have had a look at your grower page and I will be in touch.

    Another thing I forgot to mention in my main post, fuchsias are edible, so if you have small children or grandchildren you don’t have to worry if they pop a flower or even a berry in their mouth, no need to rush to the A&E. The flowers or berries might not be a huge culinary experience, most of them don’t taste much at all, but they are perfectly edible. Some fuchsia berries are quite tasty though, and grown for their sweet taste.

  5. Grower

    Amanda CW

    That's fascinating. I didn't know Fuchsias were edible but that snails and slugs turn their noses up at them. Having just had 4 Nicotiana I planted at the weekend totally demolished by slugs within 24 hours (see miserable remains of one above - more like a locust attack!), I think I'll make room for some more Fuchsia's.

    Does any other plant have such an incredible range of flower sizes (let alone the colours)? I am particularly taken by the contrast between the biggest and smallest in your post Helene.

    • Mad about fuchsias!
  6. Grower

    Helene U Taylor

    Ooooh, that’s one sad Nicotiana :-(
    The good thing about fuchsias is that you can grow them everywhere, most of them thrive in semi-shade and some in complete shade, where other plants would struggle to produce flowers, but there are also fuchsias that prefer sun. I am sure you can find some lovely fuchsias to replace your Nicotianas!

    But although they don’t get attacked by slugs and snails they can get other problems. Last summer, during the really hot period, I had a bad infestation of spider mites in my garden and some of my fuchsias growing in the sun where badly affected. That was the first time I had to battle spider mites on fuchsias.
    Some fuchsias also get aphids, so as always – watch out and treat as early as possible when detecting problems.

  7. Grower

    Ian Gibson

    The biggest problem I think you can face as a Fuchsia grower has to be Fuchsia Rust. About 2 years ago I bought one plant with it on, and not knowing what it was just left it. Within 2 weeks leaves started wilting and I noticed orange coloured powder underneath the leaves which when I blew it went all over the rest of the plants. Within 3-4 weeks every single Fuchsia in my garden looked to be dying with all their leaves drying up and falling off. It was only down to research and asking professionals that I realised what was wrong, and more importantly how to stop it spreading. Rather than blow the spores off ( which only a fool like me would do ) as soon as you see orange dust on the underside of leaves, remove the plant away from all the others, cut it right back, spray with a fungicide and burn the leaves. Do not put them in the compost bin. More importantly, spray all your plants with a fungicide and pray that it doesn't spread because once it catches hold it destroys the leaves on the fuchsias and within weeks if you haven't got it in time, your plants will look dead and in reality, the only thing they are fit for then is the bonfire because unlike most fungus, Rust doesn't die over winter, and if your plant is contaminated when you cut it back for the winter, it will be contaiminated in the spring. I learned a very valuable lesson then, and now I am looking almost daily for any signs of those horrible orange spores, and the moment I see them that plant is treated like a leper..

  8. Grower

    Ian Gibson

    Here are some pictures of Fuchsias that I had last year, to give you a little taste of what beautiful plants you can achieve, and why people like myself and Helene love them so much

    • Mad about fuchsias!
    • Mad about fuchsias!
    • Mad about fuchsias!
    • Mad about fuchsias!
    • Mad about fuchsias!
    • Mad about fuchsias!
    • Mad about fuchsias!
  9. Grower

    Ian Gibson

    and a few more...

    • Mad about fuchsias!
    • Mad about fuchsias!
    • Mad about fuchsias!
    • Mad about fuchsias!
    • Mad about fuchsias!
    • Mad about fuchsias!
    • Mad about fuchsias!
  10. Grower

    Tracy Wright

    I'm also crazy about Fuchsias. I need to find out the names of many of my fuchsias.
    Here's some photos of the ones I have.

    • Mad about fuchsias!
    • Mad about fuchsias!
    • Mad about fuchsias!
    • Mad about fuchsias!
    • Mad about fuchsias!
    • Mad about fuchsias!
    • Mad about fuchsias!

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