The Best Way to Grow and Care for Fuchsia Plants
Fuchsia plants are one of the most unique flowers home gardeners can grow. While they come in a few different colors, the most common varieties have bright pink-and-purple petals. Their bright hues and singular appearance are just two of the things that make these pretty flowers—which are half-hardy perennials (they can't survive in temperatures below 40 degrees)—so desirable to cultivate. Ahead, discover everything you need to know about adding some of these showstoppers to your own outdoor spaces.
What Do Fuchsia Plants Look Like?
These remarkable plants are easily identifiable thanks to their upside-down flower heads, which seem to reach towards the earth instead of up towards the sun. It's these blooms that make them such an eye-catching addition in the garden. According to Mitesh Popat, a garden and lifestyle expert with PlantOGram, the secret to ensuring that you're getting plenty of blooms from your fuchsia plants is to pinch them back. "Pinching your fuchsia, or cutting back the end one-quarter to one-half of each branch, will encourage your plant to bloom," he says, noting that this variety will typically flower within six weeks of pinching.
How to Grow and Care for Fuchsia
You don't need a green thumb to help fuchsia thrive in your yard, says Popat, who affirms that these festive blooms aren't picky. "[Fuchsia is] one of the easiest and most rewarding plants you will grow," he says. "They are not fussy plants and will do amazing almost wherever you place them." You should, however, do what you can to set them up for success. Plant them in a well-draining soil mix (Popat suggests using an iteration designed for cactus), so they stay moist, but not soggy. Because fuchsias enjoy being a bit damp, he also suggests limiting the amount of time between waterings. "Do not wait for the soil to dry out," he explains. As for fuchsia's light requirements? "They are [often listed as a] shade plant, but they do well with some morning sun and afternoon shade," says Popat, noting that they don't like extreme heat (so take extra care during the summer months).
To increase your fuchsia's bloom count, give it a boost during the spring and summer growing months. "Soluble plant food is fine for fuchsias, however, I recommend Miracle-Gro Water Soluble All-Purpose Plant Food. Only use half of the recommended dose; add it to your watering can and water once per week," says Popat. When given the correct amount of fertilizer, your fuchsia plant will have all the nutrients it needs to push out beautiful, colorful florals.
What Should You Plant with Fuchsia?
Fuchsia plants work well (and look particularly elegant) in hanging baskets—but you can also plant them directly into the ground. If you go this route, Popat recommends pairing them with a few companion plants; hostas, impatiens, and baby's breath play nicely with fuchsias, and will make their vibrant color pop. If you're adding fuchsias to a container garden, on the other hand, Popat suggests working petunia, geranium, or begonia into the mix, so long as you have enough space for all varieties to thrive.