Hybrid Fuchsias are a group of cultivated flowering shrubs that are part of the genus Fuchsia. This genus has over 100 species and approximately 3000-5000 cultivars. They are frost tender and either grown as annuals or overwintered indoors.
Generally winter hardy to USDA zones 10-11, they are favorites for container planting and hanging baskets. They also make very attractive topiary standards! Garden varieties grow up to 2 feet tall and have beautiful and ornate flowers.
Blooms come in an array of forms and colors such as pink, red, white, purple, violet, or a combination of these.
|Scientific name||Fuchsia x hybrida|
|Common names||Fuchsia, Ladies’ Eardrop, Hybrid Fuchsia, Tender Fuchsia|
|Height||1 ft. 0 in. – 2 ft. 0 in.|
|Width||1 ft. 0 in. – 2 ft. 0 in.|
|USDA Plant Hardiness Zone||9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11a, 11b|
|Origin||Fuchsia spp. Origin: Central and South America, New Zealand, Tahiti|
|Flower colors||Pink, Red, Violet, Purple, White|
|Blooming season||Summer, Fall|
|Plant/Flower special features||Ornate, pendulum flowers|
How to Plant and Grow Hybrid Fuchsia Shrubs
Plant or place shrubs outside in mid-late spring once there is no threat of frost.
Growing Hybrid Fuchsia Flowers in Beds
First, soak the plant thoroughly to make removing it from the pot and teasing the roots easier. Dig a hole as deep and three times the width of the root ball, and plant the shrub with the base 2 inches from the soil line. Mulch around the base and water well.
Growing Hybrid Fuchsia Flowers in Pots
Select a peat-free multipurpose compost and make a hole large enough for the roots. Place the plant gently inside the container or the hanging basket, cover with soil, press down firmly, and water well to settle in.
Overwintering Hybrid Fuchsias
Overwinter plants in a frost-free area like a windowsill, greenhouse, or conservatory. Pots are relatively easy to move indoors, but for shrubs in beds, they can be lifted, potted, and brought inside. Keep the soil of overwintered plants barely moist.
Trim back plants to leave 3-6 inch stems. For a bigger display the following year, stems can be left longer, but the bottom of the plant will be brown and woody.
For topiary standard Fuchsia trees, do the same, but cut growth back to 3-6 inches from the top of the main stem before overwintering indoors.
How to Propagate Hybrid Fuchsias
Similar to other fuchsia types, Hybrid Fuchsias are easily grown from seeds or softwood cuttings, but those grown from seeds are unlikely to be true to the parent plant.
Propagation From Cuttings
At any time during the year take 6-inch cuttings from new, green shoots, leaving the two to three top-most leaves. Put the cuttings straight into a well-draining rooting mix or in a glass of water, in a bright area with indirect light.
Expect cuttings rooted in compost to take root within 10-20 days (cuttings will root the fastest in spring or summer). For those put in water, once roots are 1-inch long, plant them in individual pots of peat-free potting mix.
Propagation From Seeds
Prepare the container by firmly pressing down on the seeding mix. Scatter seeds on top, and cover with a fine layer of growing medium. Press down firmly on the soil again and mist. Keep the tray at 70-75 ºF and if the soil looks dry, water lightly. Expect germination in 21-28 days.
Care and Maintenance
Here are some hybrid Fuchsia care tips:
These plants aren’t fussy about soil type but they do not tolerate extremes of overly wet or overly dry soil.
Hybrid Fuchsias need moist soil. Water those grown in containers and hanging baskets daily, and those in the ground weekly. Increase the watering amount by summer since plants will be larger and more established.
Flowers grown in containers are heavy feeders and need fertilizing every two to four weeks during the growing season (mid-May-early-September) with a liquid fertilizer. Stop feeding two weeks before overwintering.
They like to be in areas ranging from sunny to dappled shade, but beware because too much shade can decrease flowering.
Temperature and Humidity
Hybrid Fuchsias are generally hardy to USDA zones 10-11, though some are half-hardy and can tolerate zones 9-10. They grow best in daytime temperatures of 60-70ºF and nights that are cooler by roughly 10ºF. Cool nights are particularly important during the early growth period, and flower production will cease above daytime temperatures of 76ºF.
Pest and diseases
The most common pest to watch out for is whiteflies. But thrips, aphids, mealybugs, scales, Fuchsia flea beetles, and spider mites can also be of concern. Vine weevil grubs can also attack the roots. Before overwintering, scout and remove any insect pests so as not to bring them into your home.
Space plants out to promote good air circulation and reduce the chances of Botrytis blight. Fuchsia rust can also occur, although some cultivars are resistant.
To promote branching and increase the potential number of flowers, some gardeners pinch back new growth. This can delay flowering by up to 8 weeks, so pinch out during late winter or spring in time for summer bloom.
Common Fuchsia Varieties and Cultivars
Here are some popular F. x hybrida cultivars:
- Ballet Girl
- Ben Jammin’
- Dancing Flame
- Rose Fantasia
Hybrid Fuchsias are frost tender, full sun to shade-loving shrubs, which are usually grown as annuals or overwintered indoors. They are favorites for hanging baskets and container planting due to their hanging pendulum blooms.
They are relatively low-maintenance and are easy to propagate from softwood cuttings or seeds. However, hybrid plants that are grown from seed rarely grow true to the parent plant.
Their beautiful flowers come in many forms and a myriad of colors, making them firm favorites for summer bedding schemes or as potted plants!
~ image source: depositphotos/Kukota