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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Everything you ever needed to know about Hardy Fuchsias!
Firstly what to do with those already in your garden
By now most hardy fuchsias in the garden should now be showing lots of nice new green bits of growth and if you have not already done so they will need their annual prune to cut away the dead wood. Most hardy fuchsias die back to ground level and so that is nice and easy, just cut away all the dead wood leaving the young shoots coming up form around the base.
Others mainly those with F.magellanica in their genes will often have shoots coming off the main stems even after the hardest of winters if that has happened even after this hard winter then you can either cut them hard back or just trim away any dead wood. It will depend how big you want these vigorous fuchsias to grow
Hardy fuchsias also need feeding, and the best time to do it is when I give them their spring prune. A slow release fertiliser is the easiest way of feeding and you will notice the difference during the summer with the quantity of flowers and the healthy growth.
Finally a bit of mulch around the plants will help hold in the moisture and keep their roots cool
Next new hardies for your garden
When you actually plant them out will depend on where you live and when you feel the danger of frosts is past. I generally reckon towards the end of May. Also do not leave planting out until too late in the summer, as the plant will not have time to establish and is less likely to survive the winter early July is the latest ideally
Firstly we need to establish what is a hardy fuchsia? The best way to find out is to pay a visit to your local specialist nursery, they will advise you on what range of fuchsias will be hardy in your part of the country. Fuchsias that are recognised as hardy can vary considerably if you live in the north or the south of the country! If in doubt try the tried and tested hardies that have been around for many years they will rarely let you down!
A hardy fuchsia is only hardy when it is planted in the ground so any fuchsia in a pot is liable to be killed by the frost affecting the roots. Standard fuchsias will never be truly hardy as the stem is the weak point and if you dont give them protection you could end up with a nice bush fuchsia the following year!
Firstly choose a spot in your garden that ideally gets some sun, but not too much. Ideally, when you plant them out the fuchsias should be in a 4 to 5 pot. Dig the hole larger than the pot so that you can plant the fuchsia lower than it was before, so the roots are protected. A larger hole will also enable you to put something nice around the plants roots, very few of us have perfect garden soil and some compost around the roots will give the plant a better chance of survival. Leave a small dip around the plant so that as you water it, the water does not run away from the roots. Watering and feeding is vital for at least the first summer. Feed once a week throughout the summer and it will help ensure that the plant establishes a good root run and therefore a better chance of surviving the first winter!
Once established then Hardy fuchsias will be the most generous of plants giving you months of flowers through to the first frosts!
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
Last 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