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18 messages
24/04/2014 at 10:50

I've been gardening professionally for nine years and always pruned Fuchsias to ground or near ground level at the end of April, this year I've been told by one of my customers not to prune them because they have so much new growth on top.

Any feedback from others with greater experience than myself of previous mild winters where this has occurred and what the outcome may have been appreciated.

Please all feel free to comment, the more the merrier.


24/04/2014 at 12:13

It is perfectly acceptable not to prune fuschias if they have retained their top growth. Force of habit means I have done mine even though many of them kept their leavs throughout winter.

24/04/2014 at 12:40

Toady.....I agree with the doc. I prune mine every year too but not through force of habit.  Even with top growth on fuschias just look better and flower better if pruned hard every year.  Down here fuschias are everywhere as large, almost tree like, specimens but when too big they look ungainly and woody.  

They are so easy and quick to prune annually too and pruned fuschias fit in better with other plants in the border. 

24/04/2014 at 13:17

I prune to keep a nice shape but not too hard in case we have a late frost.

24/04/2014 at 13:46

I cut back most of mine March time, however I have three Hawkshead which still had lots of leaves. I decided to leave them as I wanted them too look bushier, they are newish plants about 2 years old. . Sadly a very late frost nipped them so they look very shabby. I've reluctantly decided to leave them for this year but will revert to giving them a hard haircut along with the rest in March....not out of this Spring and already talking about Spring 2015!

24/04/2014 at 17:44

I cut back hard as well. I always feel tempted to leave higher growth but I think it makes the plant leggy, or at least not as bushy unless you give them a hard Spring prune. My thinking is that they will always produce new growth where you cut so it's best to retain the shape of the plant by cutting all the plant down to about 3" max.

24/04/2014 at 21:29

Thanks all, will leave them this time and observe the outcome, serves as an experiment too!

24/04/2014 at 22:18

I am conducting an experiment myself. half and half. the unpruned ones are already  putting up buds but the pruned ones have not started any top growth at all.


29/05/2014 at 17:59

Well, it's not June yet and flowers already, 

29/05/2014 at 20:04

I think it is up to the individual, the fuscias I have in the garden I have a tendency to cut down to ground level. If left to their own devices the sap is slow to rise and the stems can look unsightly and this is at a time when we want the garden to start looking nice and fresh. Many of the old stems are irregular and crossing over each other, so a good prune is necessary anyway and the sap does not always reach the ends of the old stems, so they have to be trimmed off.

29/05/2014 at 20:32

I always wondered how hard to prune my hardy fuschia. Thank you.

20/03/2015 at 14:33

All the info I can find says prune in March but not until all risk of frosts  has passed. Although here in Essex we tend to be warmer than up north, I'm still  wondering if it is to soon to prune mine. Any advice please?

20/03/2015 at 14:57

I pruned mine a couple of days ago.

20/03/2015 at 15:32

I was going to do mine today but we have had very hard frosts and frozen birds water for 3 days running.

Will do the buddleas instead  you cant harm those!

20/03/2015 at 15:36

doris, last year's weather history for Southend-on-Sea says it only got down to -1 once in late March. 2013 did -1 and -2 quite a few times and had a -4 in early April. 2012 had a couple of -1s in April. 2011 just dipped that low once near the end of March. I wouldn't say all risk of frost has gone, but it seems unlikely you'll get a killer, especially as it's been an unusually mild winter and warm February.

Hmm. Who'd know better? The RHS? tender perennials such as dahlias, cannas, pelargoniums and fuchsias before the first frosts

Plant tender bedding plants out after the danger of frost has passed; this is generally late May in the south of England and June elsewhere. Always harden off plants before planting outside

If you're got a magellanica, it might not matter anyway.

20/03/2015 at 19:11

Well the unpruned Fuchsia's suffered terribly from rust last year, don't know if it was a particularly bad year for it but said customer has agreed that they be cut down to ground level this year

I always do Fuchsia's in April here in the East Midlands, we still get the odd frost right into May but the new shoots are rarely affected.

20/03/2015 at 20:15

Hi Toady

I have  fuchia Alice Hoffman and Mrs Popple in my garden. Both grow very well after a complete cut back to ground level once new growth appears mid spring. I then give them a good feed of bonemeal around the base and apply a multch and mine come back  beautiful every year

20/03/2015 at 23:04

Really don't know about the rust. Waddington seems to have had a dry Feb, Mar, Apr and a very wet May last year, but that may be irrelevant. Maybe it was lurking in the unpruned stems, and cutting them away removed a lot of it and left only vigorous growth that was too healthy for it to fight? RHS reckon it's cyclic between hosts or lurks or both. Very helpful.

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