Hardy Fuchsia: Types, How to Grow and Care (Fuchsia spp.)

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Fuchsias are a group of flowering trees and shrubs that belong to the genus Fuchsia. This genus contains over 100 species and 3000-5000 cultivars, some of which are classified as “hardy Fuchsias”. 

These are generally hardy to USDA zones 7-10 and are grown as perennial shrubs or hedges in mild climates. In cold climates, they may die back but will re-emerge the following year. 

Fuchsia flowers come in many forms and colors such as pink, red, white, purple, violet, or a mixture of these. They are often trained as hedges or topiary standards, which makes them extremely versatile and hugely popular for the garden!

Plant Facts

Scientific nameFuchsia spp.
Common namesHardy Fuchsia, Ladies’ Eardrop
GenusFuchsia
FamilyOnagraceae
Height2 ft. 0 in. – 10 ft. 0 in.
Width2 ft. 0 in. – 6 ft. 0 in.
USDA Plant Hardiness Zone7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b
OriginCentral and South America, New Zealand, Tahiti
Flower colorsPink, Red, Violet, Purple, White
Blooming seasonSummer, Fall
Plant/Flower special featuresHanging, colorful flowers

How to Plant and Grow Hardy Fuchsia Shrubs

Plant in early to late summer. Give those planted in late summer extra water to help in the hot weather. 

Growing Hardy Fuchsia Flowers in Beds

Soak the plant thoroughly, tip out and gently tease the roots. Plant in a hole as deep and three times as wide as the root ball, with the base 2 inches from the top of the soil. Water well to settle in and mulch around the base.

Growing Hardy Fuchsia Flowers in Pots

Use peat-free multipurpose compost. Dig a hole large enough for the roots and put the plant inside gently. Cover with compost, firmly press down, and water. 

Overwintering

Although hardy, topiary standard fuchsia trees need to be overwintered inside as the trunk is vulnerable to frost. Trim branches back to 3-6 inches of the main stem. Keep the soil just moist.

hardy fuchsia

How to Propagate Hardy Fuchsias

Propagate plants either from cuttings or seeds, however, those grown from seed may not ring true to the parent plant. 

Propagation From Cuttings

In late fall, take 6-inch hard-wood cuttings (brown with woody bark). Place them halfway into a tray of peat-free cutting compost. Remember to put them into the compost the right way up, and space them evenly.

Put in a frost-free location at 45 to 50ºF. Keep the soil moist, and by late spring, they will be ready to be transferred into individual containers. Plant them out by early summer. 

Propagation From Seeds

Sow seeds onto firmly compressed seeding mix, then cover with a thin layer of soil, gently press down, and mist. Keep the seeds at 70-75 ºF and lightly water them when the soil begins to dry out. Seeds will germinate in 21-28 days.

Care and Maintenance

Here are some hardy Fuchsia plant care tips:

Soil

They can be planted in most soil types but don’t like overly wet or overly dry conditions.

Water

Water regularly after planting to help with establishment. Older, established plants growing in beds will only need to be given a thorough soak during dry, hot summers.

Those kept in containers will require regular watering to make sure the soil doesn’t become too dry.

Fertilizer

Hardy Fuchsia flowers grown in pots will appreciate feeding with a liquid fertilizer every two to four weeks during mid-May-early-September. 

Feed those in beds once a year if growth is poor with a general-purpose fertilizer. Mulch every year with well-rotted manure or garden compost.

Sunlight

These plants like full sun to partial shade, but too much shade will lead to fewer blooms.

Temperature and Humidity

Hardy types are generally suited to zones 7-10, but in colder areas, they may still experience a die-back in winter – so it is only recommended to train them as hedges in mild climates.

Pest and diseases

Hardy Fuchsia shrubs can be affected by whiteflies, aphids, thrips, mealybugs, spider mites, Fuchsia flea beetles, and scales. Vine weevil grubs may also attack the roots. 

They are at risk of Botrytis blight, this is reduced by spacing them out. Fuchsia rust is also something to watch for.

Pruning

Lightly prune in early spring to tidy them up as winter can leave them looking a little messy. Cut any dead growth back to live shoots and new buds down to the stem. For those that died back fully over winter, cut all of last year’s growth back to the ground. Be careful not to damage any new shoots.

Pinch out new growth in late winter-spring to increase the number of blooms and promote branching. 

Common Fuchsia Varieties and Cultivars

Here are some popular hardy Fuchsia varieties:

  • (F. magellanica) Lady Bacon
  • (F. magellanica var. molinae) Maiden’s Blush 
  • (Hybrid) Army Nurse
  • (Hybrid) Genii 
  • (Hybrid) Hawkshead

Conclusion

Fuchsias are part of the genus Fuchsia which is made up of over 100 species and 3000-5000 cultivars. Some are “hardy” and behave as perennials in mild climates and they make great hedges and topiary standards.

Relatively low-maintenance, hardy types are easily propagated from hardwood cuttings or seeds, and when grown in beds, have low water and fertilizer needs.

Flowers come in many forms and colors, and their ornate blooms to this day are still favorites among gardeners.

~ image source: depositphotos/supaleka