Fuchsias are much-loved for their long-flowering period from summer into autumn, bearing hanging bell-shaped flowers in a range of colours, including white, pink, purple and red.
There’s a huge number of different fuchsia varieties available to grow – some are hardy, while others are half hardy and require winter protection. Hardy types are grown as garden shrubs, whilst half-hardy plants are ideal for using as bedding in summer displays in hanging baskets or pots.
More on growing fuchsias:
- 10 fabulous fuchsias to grow
- How to pinch out fuchsias
- How to grow fuchsias in a container (video)
- Best fuchsias for pots and containers
- How to prune hardy fuchsias
- Hardy fuchsias to grow
- How to take cuttings from tender fuchsias
Follow our detailed guide to growing fuchsias, below.
Where to plant fuchsias
Grow fuchsias in a sheltered spot, as the pendent flowers are easily blown off on the larger flowering varieties. Fuchsias can cope with any type of soil but it must be well-drained. Full sun is ideal but a scorching south-facing spot or conservatory can be too much for them. If you’re growing fuchsias in pots under glass, avoid too much direct sunlight – use greenhouse shading if necessary.
Fuchsias are often trained as standards. You can buy ready-grown plants, or, if you’re patient, try it yourself – it can take a number of years. Remove the lower side shoots in spring and support the plant with a cane. If growing standard fuchsias in containers they’re often better with no underplanting as they’ll soon fill the pot.
In this clip from Gardeners’ World, Monty Don explains how to grow a standard fuchsia in a pot:
How to plant fuchsias
Half-hardy fuchsias with a trailing habit are ideal for growing in hanging baskets or containers. Use a peat-free multi-purpose compost with added slow-release fertiliser. Water plants in well. Don’t be tempted to put out tender fuchsias until all danger of frost has passed, in late May.
When planting hardy shrubs dig in plenty of well-rotted organic matter. Firm plants in well. Hardy fuchsias are not keen on being moved, so make sure you have picked the perfect spot.
Caring for fuchsias
Prune fuchsias in spring once the plant is in active growth. Fuchsias should never be pruned in autumn – pruning before winter can open the plant up to pests and diseases and leave hardy plants open to frost damage. Hardy fuchsias can be pruned quite hard to maintain a neat shape.
Tender fuchsias should be overwintered in a cool, frost-free place out of direct sunlight. Reduce watering and top up pots with fresh compost and slow-release fertiliser in spring.
In this Golden Rules video, Mike Clare of Potash Nursery gives his three top tips for growing fuchsias. He explains how to feed and pinch out fuchsias, and describes the best spot to grow them in:
Fuchsias are easy to propagate from softwood cuttings, which can be taken at any time of year.
Growing fuchsias: problem solving
Vine weevil are a common pest of fuchsias, especially if grown in pots undercover. Adult weevils nibble notches out of the leaves. The grubs feast on the plant roots and this can kill even mature plants.
Deal with the problem with a biological nematode control applied in August. Chemical solutions should also be applied in August or September. Always read the label.
When is a fuchsia hardy?
In order for a fuchsia to earn the description of ‘hardy’ it has to survive five consecutive years growing outside all year. Find a list of plants that have achieved this on the British Fuchsia Society website. It’s worth noting that the ‘hardy’ label is not a guarantee of winter endurance in all parts of the country – it’s purely a guide.
Great fuchsia varieties to grow
- Fuchsia magellanica – a reliable hardy type that is often used as a flowering hedge. Red flowers all summer. A quick grower reaching 1.5m
- Fuchsia ‘Bella Evita’ – specially bred for containers and window boxes. Pink flowers and sepals from June to October. A half-hardy type that reaches just 40cm in height
- Fuchsia ‘Dollar Princess’ – a hardy plant that flowers from June to November and enjoys life in the border. Double dark purple flowers and bright pink sepals. Reaches 45cm in height
- Fuchsia ‘Army Nurse’ – hardy with red sepals and with semi double purple flowers from June to September. Ideal for border in a sheltered garden. 50cm in height