The 2015 BFS show schedules are now available to download as PDF documents (in the Member's section) Carol's Top 10 2014 at the shows has been added (in Member's Section) October Fuchsia Lore Newsletter has been added (Fuchsia Lore Club) The Winter edition of Fuchsia News is available
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As the season changes then the care that we need to give to our plants has to change as well. The plants do not need much done to them they will still benefit from your tender loving care
Watering plants during the winter can be tricky water them too much and they can then remain wet for the next few weeks which can mean that the roots are slowly rotting. Water them too little and they will die from lack of water. There is so often a temptation to leave them during the winter months unwatered and unlooked after for weeks on end! Temperatures can vary so much during the day as a little sun on a closed greenhouse and it can become tropical. So the best way to find out if your plant needs water is to feel the compost damp is fine dry then just give it a little. During the winter a little water can go along way. It may seem obvious but the plants in a frost free greenhouse will need far less water than those in a heated greenhouse. Treat each fuchsia as an individual during the winter months watering each one as and when they need it and you will have a much better success rate of getting your plants to survive the winter. Keep watering cans of water in the greenhouse the water will then be at the same temperature as the plants. Even on the coldest of days your greenhouse can get really hot if the sun is shining, so if you can, open the door for a while. Good ventilation in your greenhouse lessens the probability of your plants getting botyritus and rust both of which thrive in a warm and humid atmosphere. It might only be practical for you to open the greenhouse for a short while, but it can make all the difference to you plants. Pick up any leaves that drop onto the surface of the compost, during the winter they often drop off the plant and if they are not picked up fairly soon after they fall, they can cause problems with the plant damping off spreading. Individual care for your plants ensures that you can hopefully spot problems before they get too bad. Keep spraying your plants to a minimum when it is really cold, as the spray on the leaves can stay around for a long time if it is grey and wet. Choose a good day when the leaves will dry off a bit more quickly. Whitefly which are often a problem in the winter tend to fairly dormant and you can kill them with a thumb and finger gently rubbed on the leaves. You will have to pick up your plants for this and so again you will get to look at each plant individually. If we are having a particularly cold spell and you are heating your greenhouse then make certain that the heaters are actually working! Make it a part of your daily routine to stick your head into your greenhouse every day it only takes two minutes and can make a world of difference to your plants! If you are using fleece then pop a quick look underneath to check that all is well.
I have tended to concentrate on greenhouses so far but there are other options!
The shed or garage as long as they can keep the fuchsias frost free then they are fine! You can adapt the Victorian idea of burying your plants by placing them in a cardboard box! Put them in when they are cut back and just damp and surround them with either scrunched up newspaper or polystyrene packing granules. They will act as insulation and protect your plants from the frost. Remember that if the roots get frosted then you loose the plant.
The spare bedroom has always been a popular option, but as we all have central heating these days our houses tend to be a little too hot. However the coolest room in the house is what you are aiming for the fuchsias will grow and you will have to look after them perhaps more than usual but it is an option that can work but not necessarily for everyone particularly if you have lots of fuchsias. The problem with houses is that the atmosphere can be too dry as well as too hot! So lots of care attention can be needed!
The final option! With fuel costs etc this can be a popular way of growing fuchsias but definitely not for everyone and it is to treat your fuchsias almost as annuals keep those that are most precious and dispose of the rest. Looking after a few is much easier than lots. Then next spring go and support your local specialist nursery and stock up again!
Don't forget if you have any fuchsia related questions - please use our help and advice page - we have a team of experts ready to help - whatever the fuchsia query!
Fuchsia Gall Mite
This autumn there have been more cases of Fuchsia Gall mite recorded and so we all need to keep being vigilant. They are still in the South and West and close to the coast however this might not always be the case. So please keep an eye on your plants and those of your neighbours.
We are tracking where and when cases are found - please can you contact firstname.lastname@example.org with the post codes of any places where it is found.
Dont forget if you have any questions on fuchsias please ask us and we will do our best to help we have a great team who will answer your emails.
Please see our fact-sheet on Fuchsia Gall Mite - click here