Grow guide - fuchsias

How to grow fuchsias

All you need to know about growing fuchsias, from planting and care to troubleshooting and propagation.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Plant
Plant

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do not Plant in March

Do Plant in April

Do Plant in May

Do not Plant in June

Do not Plant in July

Do not Plant in August

Do not Plant in September

Do not Plant in October

Do not Plant in November

Do not Plant in December

Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does flower in May

Plant does flower in June

Plant does flower in July

Plant does flower in August

Plant does flower in September

Plant does flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

Prune
Prune

Do not Prune in January

Do not Prune in February

Do not Prune in March

Do Prune in April

Do not Prune in May

Do not Prune in June

Do not Prune in July

Do not Prune in August

Do not Prune in September

Do not Prune in October

Do not Prune in November

Do not Prune in December

Fuchsias are much-loved for their long-flowering period from summer into autumn. These deciduous plants offer hanging bell-shaped flowers in a range of colours, including white, pink, purple and red.

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There’s a huge number of different 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 summer displays in baskets or pots.

More expert advice on growing fuchsias:

Here’s how to grow fuchsias.

Fuchsias are much-loved for their long-flowering period from summer into autumn.
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Where to plant fuchsias

Fuchsias need to be grown 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 them in containers under glass, avoid too much direct sunlight – use greenhouse shading if necessary.

If growing standard fuchsias in containers they’re often better with no underplanting as they’ll soon fill the pot.

Watch Monty Don’s video guide to growing fuchsias in a container:

How to plant fuchsias

Half-hardy varieties with a trailing habit are ideal for hanging baskets or containers. A multi-purpose compost with added slow-release fertiliser is ideal. Water plants in well. Don’t be tempted to put out tender varieties until all danger of frost has passed.

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.

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Taking cuttings from fuchsias

Fuchsias are easy to propagate from softwood cuttings, which can be taken at any time of year. Discover how to take softwood cuttings.

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Fuchsias: problem solving

Vine weevil are attracted to fuchsias, especially if grown in pots undercover. Adult weevils will 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 control applied in August. Chemical solutions should also be applied in August or September.

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Looking after fuchsia plants

Fuchsia 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.

Discover the three Golden Rules of growing fuchsias, in this short video featuring fuchsia expert Mike Clare:

Fuchsias should never be pruned in autumn – prune in spring once the plant is in active growth. Pruning before winter can open the plant up to pests and diseases and leave hardy plants open to frost damage in severe winters. Hardy fuchsias can be pruned quite hard to maintain a neat shape.

Tender fuchsias growing in containers will appreciate a top up of fresh compost every year and some slow-release fertiliser in spring.

Overwinter tender fuchsias in a cool, frost-free place out of direct sunlight and reduce watering.

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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. 

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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