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Few flowers offer such an interesting form and variety of colors as the fuchsia. The unique blossoms resemble layered swirling skirts in an array of rich colors. These plants can bloom throughout the growing season and have the added benefit of attracting hummingbirds. Plant them in a hanging basket near a garden bench to attract the birds.
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Part Sun, Shade, Sun
From 1 to 8 feet
1 to 5 feet
garden plans for Fuchsia
The two different-color sets of petals that make up the unique blooms of this flower actually aren't petals. The four outer "petals" are called sepals. These protect the inner parts of the flowers from damage. Once the sepals open, the true petals are revealed. Typically, there are four petals inside, often in a deep purple color. However, there are now many varieties with petals that swirl and twist to create a ball of color.
Fuchsia Care Must-Knows
Fuchsias, as a whole, can be a little temperamental. Many species stop producing flowers in too much heat. In warmer climates, look for heat-tolerant selections so they don't wither away in the summer heat. One way to help prevent problems in the heat is to make sure your plants have shade from the afternoon sun.
Another important note is that fuchsia does not like to sit in water. The plant does, however, like to be consistently moist. Finding the right amount of water can be a little tricky. Plant them in a well-drained potting mix and keep them consistently watered. To help maintain the constant blooms of fuchsia, pinch off spent flowers. This will help plants spend all their energy on creating new blooms instead of producing seed. If left on the plants, blooms may produce dark purple berries. These berries are edible and are often used to make a fuchsia berry preserve. While all varieties are edible, many modern types aren't tasty.
With over 100 known species of fuchsia, there are many varieties of growth habits. Fuchsias with a semitrailing habit work well in hanging baskets or spilling over the side of a container. In more tropical climates where fuchsia can be overwintered as a perennial, they can be trained as shrubs and, in some cases, even small trees. This is typically done with upright varieties. These same varieties are great in garden beds, especially cultivars like the tried-and-true 'Gartenmeister Bonstedt.' Fuchsias can also be trained into small novelties like topiary plants and even bonsai specimens.