Caring for Hardy Fuchsias

 

  

 

   There are quite a number of Hardy Fuchsias, Fuchsias that can be left in the garden all the year. Also there are many more that can be hardy in some parts of the country, it is quite surprising which varieties come through the winter in the garden. It pays to try with different varieties, in different places in the garden.
           Planting should be in early June, after any frosts and the plant should be growing in at least a 4" to 5" pot. The main point is to give the plant the best start possible. 


Fig. 1

 

Prepare the soil beforehand by digging in well rotted compost and adding a general fertiliser. It is important to plant deep enough, in the bottom of a saucer-shaped depression that is 3" to 4" below the natural level of the soil
 As in Fig. 1, Water well for a few weeks, until the plant is established. Leave the depression, for over the months it will fill in to the level of the surrounding soil. The crown of the plant will then be over 4" deep and growing strongly with shoots growing from below the soil surface.
     In autumn, after the first frosts of winter, and all the flowers and leaves have dropped off, it is tempting to tidy the plant by pruning the branch structure. Do NOT be tempted, this can cause dieback. Instead fill the base of the structure with soil by scraping the surrounding soil into a mound that is at least 5" to 6" high.
Fig 2.

 
  This has two advantages, to support the plant from wind rock but most importantly, to protect the roots of your fuchsia from the ravages of the frosts of winter. The roots of the plant are now about 9" below the soil and are reasonably safe from all but the most severe, hard long frosts.
           In spring, when new shoots start to form on the lower branches, prune hard back, all the branches, to just above soil level and give a dressing of general fertiliser. The new growth then will be from below ground, from the frost - protected roots.
 
 

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