Add a splash of color to your garden!
Botanical Name: Fuchsia arborescens Common Name: Fuchsia Family: Onagraceae Description: This fuchsia is an erect evergreen shrub from Mexico and Central America. It can grow to be about 18 feet with narrow elliptic deep green leaves and small tubular rose purple flowers that are clustered together. From a distance the flowers appear to be almost pom-pom like that hang from the tips of each branch. This species is marginally frost hardy and will tolerate warmer conditions than most other species but needs a fair amount of humidity and likes to be protected from the blazing sun and wind.
The genus fuchsia consists of about 100 species and thousands of hybrids and cultivars that are deciduous and evergreen. This genus is native mainly to South and Central America except for 4 species in New Zealand and one in Tahiti. Most modern large-flowered fuchsia hybrid cultivars are derived mainly from Fuchsia magellanica and F. fulgens. Fuchsia hybrid flowers that have single elongated slender tubes and leaves that are purplish underneath are derived from F. tryphylla. Cultivation: Fuchsias can be grown as trees, standards or espaliers, shrubs, in pots and hanging baskets or similar to epiphytes in the crevices of rocks or boulders in moss forests where the rainfall is high. Most fuchsias bloom from late spring to first frost and some will bloom almost all year long. Fuchsias are grown best in cool climates with high air and soil moisture content. They do like their roots moist but not saturated or soggy. Contrary to popular belief, fuchsias prefer full sun in cool moist climates rather than full shade. In more warm, windy, or dry climates protect by planting in dapple shade with adequate water and mulch to protect roots from drying out. Overhead watering is beneficial to fuchsias in dry climates it also discourages pests and keeps leaves clean. Pruning: Prune fuchsias before spring growth begins after the danger of frost has past. Any frost damage should also get cut after danger of frost is gone. Remove any dead wood, broken branches, or crossing branches. You can prune fuchsias as little or as much as desired to maintain the shape or size you want. When new growth begins fuchsias benefit from pinching the tips, this will produce a bushier plant with more blooms. Fuchsias bloom on new wood and benefit from regular pruning. Care needs to be taken when pruning fuchsias with gall mite and then pruning other plants or fuchsias with the same pruning shears. Clean shears after cutting an infested plant. Common Problems: Fuchsias regularly get infested with the fuchsia gall mite, although species fuchsias do not tend to get this mite, it occurs only in hybrid fuchsias and cultivars. This mite originated in Brazil and only attacks fuchsias but can live on other plants and then can be transmitted to fuchsias. Fuchsia gall mite was first discovered in the United States in the San Francisco Bay area. It has spread all over California and is now found in Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii, and other places with cool temperate climates with high humidity. The mite is too small to see with the naked eye but the damaged is easily recognized. The mite sucks the plant juices and injects a poison that makes the leaves and stems have a gnarled, crumpled, and a thick deformed look. Once a plant has been infested not much can be done to cure it from the mite. Cutting out all areas that show evidence of the mite can help retain the beauty of the plant. Unfortunately the plant will always have the mite, even after it has been pruned completely to the ground, at some point in the growing cycle the mite will reappear.
Submitted by Master Gardener Katie Morris, 2007.