Fuchsia – Fuchsia – Fuchsia – Garden plants – Fuchsia plant

About one hundred species of deciduous or evergreen shrubs, originating in Central and South America and New Zealand, belong to the genus fuchsia. Usually in Italy are cultivated the species not very rustic, small or medium in size, which are used as annual or as perennial to be withdrawn in temperate greenhouse during the winter, but there are many rustic species, which can be used as garden shrubs, actually in our country are not very widespread.

These shrubs have very ramified stems, semi-woody, green or reddish in colour, which tend to lignify with the passing of the years; the foliage is bright green, and oval or lanceolate in shape, the leaves can have an entire or serrated margin; most of the species in cultivation are evergreen.

Most of the species maintain a size close to the 25-40 cm, even if the rustic species can reach the 100-150 cm; in the wild, they develop up to 2-3 m of height; there are many differences of size and appearance of the various species: for instance, a species native to New Zealand, Fuchsia excorticata, is a medium-sized tree, whilst Fucsia procumbens has a creeping appearance.

The flowers are among the most spectacular and exotic, they bloom from late spring to autumn, they are pendulous, formed by four elongated sepals, often united to form a long tubular shape; the petals are four, but there are many hybrid varieties with double or extra-double flowers.

These flowers, surely particular, commonly take the name of earrings or dancers, just for their hanging shape; the botanical species have pink or red flowers, during the years, however, have been created varieties with flowers of various colours, from the white to the orange, from the lilac to the blue, from the red to the purple. The flowers are followed by small, elongated, fleshy berries containing a few small fertile seeds; the berries of fuchsia are edible.

fuchsia

Origins, description and dissemination

fucsia It is a plant native to Central and South America, but some species also come from New Zealand. The first description was made at the end of 1600 in Santo Domingo. The name Fuchsia was given in honour of the German botanist Leonhard Fuchs. From the name of the flower comes the name of the color, a very intense pink. It began to spread widely in England from the middle to the end of XIX century.

The English immediately fell in love with it, to the point that the breeders immediately began to search for new species and tried to create new and colourful cultivars.

It also became very popular in the rest of Europe and the United States. Even today in the United Kingdom is one of the most popular plants, used on windowsills and even for the creation of flower beds, borders and hedges. The genus counts more or less 100 species. Most of them are shrubs or small trees with an erect or decumbent habit. They have single flowers or gathered in racemes, axillary. They consist of an elongated central tube and 4 side sepals with a usually contrasting colour.

They can develop a edible fruit similar to a cherry, dark red.

It is very difficult for them to produce seeds in our climates and if you want to obtain them you have to proceed to artificial pollination. In fact, they are plants that live in symbiosis with hummingbirds and only these small birds in nature are suitable for the purpose.

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  • fucsia The fuchsias are shrubs of medium or small size; the small species usually fear the cold, while the larger ones are well resistant to frost; in nursery we find with greater temperature and humidity.

Exposure

Cultivating fuchsia is not easy at all. One can certainly be facilitated if the soil and climate conditions in our area are adapted to their needs. They prefer very bright positions, but not in contact with the sun’s rays for excessively long periods of time; they can best develop even in shady areas.

Most of the species on the market don’t like cold weather, therefore they should be grown in the garden only during the summer, then they should be placed in a temperate greenhouse, with a minimum temperature close to 9-12°C.

The rustic species, such as Fuchsia magellanica, are instead utilized as shrubs, they do not fear the cold and can bear without problems the Italian winters. Very intense frosts can ruin the aerial part of the younger shrubs, which will begin to develop again in the spring. They particularly like cool climates, with a large temperature range between day and night. For this reason, they grow well in northern Italy, in the lake area and in mid-mountain areas.

Only in these areas can they bloom well and continuously from spring to autumn.

Elsewhere you can usually get a nice bloom in spring and, if they can overcome the summer heat, they bloom well again from mid-September to November. In northern Italy they can also withstand the full sun. Certainly it would be better to always give them half shade, especially in the afternoon. From the Centre to the South, however, the recommended exposure is definitely the shade, especially in the summer months.

There are many varieties of fuchsia and some can also be very rustic to the point that they can be grown in the open land in almost all of our territory (with the exception of the Alpine areas).

They can usually withstand temperatures as low as -10°C. Some examples are: Fuchsia excorticata, pumila, procumbens and magellanica. In winter they totally lose the aerial part and will return to vegetation with the return of the summer. However, it is good to protect the specimens with a good mulch of straw and leaves.

Unfortunately, they are plants that are difficult to find on our market because we are more common in the pot varieties that, generally, need to be withdrawn during the winter as at most bear temperatures around 5 ° C.

Watering

From March to October we should water regularly, avoiding that the soil stays dry for excessively long periods. Usually they fear prolonged drought; rustic species are generally more resistant to drought than species that fear the cold. During the rest of the year we can avoid watering the plants, especially those left outdoors.

The plants grown in a temperate greenhouse, with temperatures above 12-15°C, are to be watered even during the winter months, in this way we can also keep the plant in flower throughout the year. During the vegetative period, let’s supply fertilizer for flowering plants, every 15-20 days, mixed with the water of the watering.

Land

terreno fucsia They prefer soft soils and rich of organic matter, very well drained; they are usually cultivated in a good balanced universal mould, lightened with small quantities of sand or perlite. They do not need too big pots, and when repotting, they utilize containers several centimetres bigger than the previous ones.

They’re not usually very demanding. They just want the soil to be very rich. It is therefore necessary to mix in excellent mature manure or, even better, leaf soil or earthworm humus. You can also add a little sand to the mixture so that there is good drainage.

On the bottom of the pot it is always good that a good drainage layer is prepared, composed of gravel, shards or expanded clay. Fuchsias should be repotted every spring because they are very vigorous plants, which tend to grow very much. The practice is to proceed by extracting the bread from the ground and sprouting out the roots.

If you want to stimulate the vegetative recovery immediately, they will be placed in a pot similar to the previous one, otherwise you can place the plant in a slightly larger container, even if it will take a little more time before it returns to better vegetation.

Multiplication

fiori fucsia It can happen by seed, by late summer or in spring; in fact, the plants obtained from seed usually do not maintain the characteristics of the mother plant, for this reason, in summer, semi-woody cuttings are done, utilizing the stems which have not produced flowers.

Pests and diseases

The cultivation in a humid and poorly ventilated place can favour water stagnations, which often lead to fungal diseases of the foliage and of the root system; in spring, the aphids strike the young shoots. These plants can be attacked mainly by insects, such as aphids and aleurodids. They must therefore be carefully monitored and, if necessary, a specific insecticide distributed.

If we want, we can also act preventively, if we cultivate them in pots, inserting some tablets directly in the substratum. Usually the effect lasts for at least 3 months. They can also be attacked by mites (red spider mite). In this case it is important to bring the plant to an area where it is not reached by direct light and to increase the ambient humidity.

It is of paramount importance to discover the infestation in time and remedy it quickly because this parasite is very harmful and, unfortunately, at the hobby level the products available are not very effective (and tolerance to active ingredients is developed quickly).

The essence of Fuchsia

fucsia The floral essence of Fuchsia is a precious emotional draining.

It is a powerful tool for all those people who are characterized by attitudes of rejection or repression of emotions and who manifest themselves uncomfortable or unable to express their feelings and feelings.

Many people dominated by states of anxiety or who suffer because as a result of a moment of particular pain or following accepted rejections, often use it: the essence of Fuchsia in fact digs into the interior of the person, unlocking the human nature from feelings of discomfort and instead promoting states of peace, calm and serenity, in the field of relationships, in the relationship with themselves and others.

Fuchsia in winter

As we have said, almost all the hybrid varieties we find on the market are sensitive to low temperatures. It is therefore advisable to withdraw them in mid-autumn in a cold greenhouse or in an unheated room. All we need to do is not let them dry out completely, so every 15-20 days we will proceed with a light irrigation.

After the most intense cold period we will have to wait several weeks before we can put our fuchsia plant outside. When the days are finally long and mild, with minimum temperatures never below 8-10 ° C we can start to cultivate the plant again. fuchsia outside.

Substrate

Substrato fucsia They’re not usually very demanding. They just want the soil to be very rich. It is therefore necessary to mix in excellent mature manure or, even better, leaf soil or earthworm humus. You can also add a little sand to the mixture so that there is good drainage.

On the bottom of the pot it is always good that a good drainage layer is prepared, composed of gravel, shards or expanded clay. Fuchsias should be repotted every spring because they are very vigorous plants, which tend to grow a lot. The practice is to proceed by extracting the bread from the ground and sprouting out the roots.

If you want to stimulate the vegetative recovery immediately, they will be placed in a pot similar to the previous one, otherwise you can put the plant in a slightly larger container, even if it will take a little more time before it returns to better vegetation.

Irrigation

Irrigazione fucsia Originally they live in environments that during the day are very hot and humid. We can meet their needs in various ways. First of all, especially if we grow them in pots or hanging baskets, we can create a layer of peat and sphagnum moss on the bottom (before we pot them). Both help the accumulation of water that during the day is released in the form of environmental moisture.

In addition to this we can proceed by vaporizing the leaves several times during the day. Another trick may be to place the plant on a saucer filled with water and expanded clay beads. During the day, the water will evaporate, favouring an increase in the humidity in that area. For the rest it is good during the growing season to water the plant abundantly while avoiding stagnation. Going towards the cold season we can instead thin the irrigation up to just a couple of times a month.

Fertilization

In order to have abundant, long and colourful blooms, it is absolutely not necessary to neglect the fertilizations, which must be regular. In any case, it is better to fertilize every day with irrigation water, perhaps with very diluted doses, than with a single weekly solution. All fertilisers for flowering plants are suitable, but in particular those with a high potassium content.

Pruning

Potatura fucsia On the correct pruning of fuchsias there are different currents of thought. What is certain is that they are plants that bloom on the vegetation of the year and therefore must be pruned at the beginning or end of winter. The proponents of the first version argue that in this way you avoid mold and lymph loss, those of the second assert that pruning in spring promotes the resumption of vegetative growth. In any case, they are really subtleties.

The important thing is to proceed by eliminating all twisted or damaged branches and reducing the length of the others by at least 2/3. It is also very important to proceed by April to the trimming of the branches so that the plant is very dense and consequently flowered. We proceed leaving only one knot above the old vegetation. In this way, the plant will be more tended.

Multiplication

fucsia As we have said, unless we are experienced pollinators, it is difficult to get vital seeds from our fuchsias. For home multiplication, it is certainly better to do it by cutting.

It is carried out from late spring and throughout the summer. A jet with at least 6 pairs of leaves must be taken at the height of a knot. The leaves at the base must be removed and the sprig must be inserted into a rooting compound and the excesses removed. It is then inserted in a very light compound of sand, peat and agri-perlite, and the ambient humidity is kept high, with a temperature of 15-16°C.

Usually, the rooting is rather fast and already a couple of months later, we can proceed by transferring the small plants in a container with final substratum. It is very important then to proceed with several selvedges to facilitate the optimal dressing of the plant.

Variety of Fuchsia

fuchsia Fuchsia Hybrids

These are the cultivars most often found on the market. Usually they derive from crossbreeds between Fuchsia fulgens and Magellanica. They are grown in pots or suspended baskets and have an erect or decumbent posture. The colours are the most varied and very thick the colour of the petals is in contrast with that of the sepals. There are cultivars with single, seidouble and double corollas. Some even have leaves of decorative colours: yellow, bronze, variegated, golden.

They’re usually not very rustic.

Exorticated fuchsia

It is native to New Zealand and is a shrubby species. It is easy to grow, rustic and can reach 10 metres in height.

Fuchsia procumbens

This one’s also from New Zealand, it’s got a creeping gait. It is rustic and therefore in almost all of Italy can be grown outdoors even in the open air. Certainly, however, the place that enhances it most is in suspended baskets. It is also excellent for use as a houseplant.

Magellanic Fuchsia

It is very rustic, originally from Chile. It can reach 5 m. in height. The flowers are in bunches of 3 or 4, the tubes are deep red and the petals are blue violet.

Fuchsia – Fuchsia: Repotting Fuchsia

Although surviving a fuchsia in the winter of central north is not a foregone conclusion and requires a bit of experience and some indispensable expedients, it is still possible. Fuchsia suffers from the cold and therefore in winter it must be brought inside. This plant suffers from temperatures below 15-16 ° C and therefore should be placed in a warm room where there should be even light.

With these little tricks you will have a good chance that your fuchsia plant will survive the winter without even losing its leaves.

If you have already survived winter fuchsia plants and have plants of more than one year, you may need to repot your fuchsia. Repotting plants is necessary because over time the soil loses nutrients due to cultivation in pots that is not like the one in the ground because there is no supply of organic matter from any source. It is therefore necessary to repot the soil to change it and replace it with good quality soil.

This operation must be done between winter and spring and the ideal soil is a soil rich in organic matter mixed with peat and sand.