Care For Fuchsias In Hanging Baskets &
Most fuchsias like to be in a shady location, either no sun or
morning sun only. However, there are some who don’t 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
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
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 it’s 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, I’ll 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 once
a week for best results.