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Care For Fuchsias In Hanging Baskets & Containers

Most fuchsias like to be in a shady location, either no sun or morning sun only. However, there are some who dont mind full sun when gradually gotten used to it. They are harder to manage in full sun, and you must be diligent about watering. Full sun is best left to the hardy varieties planted in the ground and cooler regions of the US.

Fuchsias can be planted a little deeper than the soil line in the pot they are in; but never ever allow any leaves beneath the soil, pick the leaves off and discard. Use a good potting soil that is high in peat moss, Miracle Gro makes an excellent potting soil. Handle the fuchsia with care, put fingers on both sides of the plant, gently tapping the side of the existing pot to loosen and tip it out into your hands. Scrap some of the soil off the top of the plant; loosen some of the roots by gently rubbing the roots. Then set your fuchsia into it's new pot gently press soil about the plant. Water the newly planted fuchsia with a good water soluble half strength fertilizer.When caring for starter plants recently planted, water as needed. A finger in the pot will let you know. Increase watering as the plant grows.

Fuchsias grown in Hanging Baskets, Wall Baskets, and Pots need special attention. As these plants are in containers, they cannot send roots down to look for water. They need you to provide it for them. A full grown plant will need to be watered every day. A hanging basket or wall box on a very hot day will appreciate water twice a day. If direct sun is not on them, shower the leaves too. If the plant looks droopy, it probably needs to be watered or if the soil is wet, sprinkle the leaves.

Occasionally a crust will form in the soil on top of the container, preventing water to penetrate the soil. The crust will cause water to roll off to the side of the container and down the side of the container. An easy way to tell if your plant is dry and either not getting enough water or has the crust syndrome, is lifting it a little. If the container is dry it will be light in weight, if it has a crust on the top, break it up with a fork. It will need to have several applications of water applied. It should revive within a couple hours.

Never fertilize a dry plant. Always water well first, then wait awhile for the water to be absorbed. We use and recommend Jack's Classic 20-20-20 previously known as Peter's 20-20-20. All purpose Miracle Gro is good also. A once a week feeding is very beneficial. You can fertilize with every watering using a much diluted solution. We also use Apex or Osmocote  14-14-14 slow release fertilizer on top of the soil. If you purchased a hanging basket from us, by July 1, the application we applied will be used up and another application should be done at that time. 1 Tablespoon to a basket. Continue liquid feed also.

Seed Pods on the plants should be picked off after the blooms fall off.  This is important as maturing seed pods signal the plant that it does not need to bloom as much. 

Whitefly and aphid can be a problem for fuchsias. Orthene is a good product to spray with. We use some commercially available only products and talking with your local nursery will help you find some other choices too. Sometimes spider mite invades in late summer, that will require a miticide. A pesticide that contains pyrethrum works. Spider mites require a magnifying glass to see but not the damage they do. The leaves will have purple sun-burned looking blotches that will eventually cause a plant to defoliate from the center of the plant out to the ends. (Not enough water will also cause defoliation). You will need to spray once a week for 3 weeks to get all developing stages. Bayer makes a 2 in one systemic rose and flower product that can be sprinkled on the soil surface; the label states 6 weeks of protection. Read the label, it needs to contain Di-Syston to be active on mites.

A Safe Pesticide       In a quart sprayer, mix 1/8 Cup Isopropyl alcohol, 2 tablespoons of SIMPLE GREEN, and 4 cups water. This solution must be sprayed on the insect, usually found sucking the life out of your plants, on the underneath side of the leaves. Aphids hang out anywhere they want, especially on the tips of the new growth.

Hardy Upright Fuchsia Care

When you get your plant in the spring, dig a hole about a 12 deep by 12 wide, larger if the plant you got was in a bigger container. If you have poorly drained soil, you will want to dig the hole bigger and add sand or perlite to the bottom. Mix the soil you took out of the hole with peat moss or a bagged compost and fill the hole back to within 3 of existing soil level. Leave the excess off to the side.

Water the prepared hole, then wait a bit for it to drain. Plant the fuchsia in the prepared hole at the level of the soil, which will be 3 below surrounding soil. Water a bit more to settle roots in. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon. Apex or Osmocote 14-14-14 around the top of the hole. As the summer progresses, fill in the hole, but try to keep the remaining soil mixture away from the main stem during its first summer as it may cause rot.

In late fall, allow the plant to harden off and drop leaves. Do not prune at this time. When all the leaves have fallen or the weather gets really cold, mound the plant with lots of mulch up to 6 higher than surrounding soil level. Then say in an authoritative voice goodnight, Ill see you in the spring.

In mid to late April, start to pull back the mulch. If you see new growth, go ahead and pull it all the way off. If no new shoots, wait and check again in a week. When new growth appears on the old woody growth, prune these back to about 6 high. Also prune out weak growth and dead growth (it snaps when you bend it). Prune out some of the stems in the center to open up the plant.

When new growth is 2 long, spread 1 tablespoon of Osmocote 14-14-14 over the surface, not up next to the stem. When things really get growing, liquid feed with a 20-20-20 fertilizer.