||When a fuchsia
still has a few buds and green leaves left on it , it is tempting to delay
cutting back, or leave it alone, but failure to do this means that over
a period of time, the standard will deteriorate. The head will grow larger
and larger, but the flowers will become more and more sparce.
Remember that the majority of Fuchsias flower from new growth, not from
old wood. With good care and an annual cut back, standard fuchsias
can survive for many years.
When pruning a standard fuchsia use a sharp pair of secateurs.
Where possible, cut above a fork in the branches, so that as many branches
as possible develop.
your way round the plant, to create a well balanced shape, removing all
thin and spindly branches, aiming for good strong framework. Err on the
cautious side, you can take more off, but cannot put it back. Ideally, the
head should be no more than a third to half of its original size when you
The head of the standard, when cutting back is done, should be roughly
the shape as per the diagram, to 1.
you have finished cutting, remove all the leaves left on the wood. There
may be a little leakage of sap, but this will soon stop and does not harm
the plant. Spray with insecticide and fungicide when all cutting is done.
If you prune in warm conditions, there is little delay between cutting
back and the appearance of new growth. Within 10 to 14 days, small specks
of new growth will start to appear. In temperatures above 50° F( 10° C
), fuchsias continue to grow and you will soon get a fine new head to
the standard fuchsia, and will carry on growing all winter.
if you decide to let your fuchsia to lie dormant, keep the standard at
a minimum temperature of 40°F, any less, may damage the stem. You can
store the standard on its side, if pushed for space. There is a view that
the sap travels easier, when lay down.
when the temperatures rise, spraying the wood with warm water softens
the branches, so that the buds can form, the new shoots start growing.
Treat the standard as a bush or shrub fuchsia for shaping the head purposes.
When the new branches start growing, pinch the growing tips out to
2, then as these in
turn grow pinch out again to 3.
to keep a compact head that will sustain and carry plenty flowers.
you are growing a variety that is long jointed, it is preferable that
pinching out is at each leaf joint, to keep the head compact, for long
jointed types, if left, can grow too long and when in flower, the sheer
weight of blooms can snap the branch off. Short jointed types can be left
to every third leaf joint.
standard will benefit from having some of its soil ball removed and adding
G.Foster 13 June 98