Martin Fish ex­plains how to keep your fuch­sias go­ing

Give them some pro­tec­tion now to see them through to next year

Garden News (UK) - - News -

Fuch­sias are very pop­u­lar and are per­fect for grow­ing in many sit­u­a­tions in and around the gar­den. Hardy types are great for giv­ing late sum­mer colour to bor­ders and need very lit­tle at­ten­tion. The ten­der va­ri­eties, of which there are many won­der­ful types with flow­ers of all sizes and colours, are per­fect in con­tain­ers, hanging bas­kets or as spec­i­men plants. This type needs pro­tec­tion over the win­ter to save them from frost and, as long as you’re able to keep them sev­eral de­grees above freez­ing, they should get through win­ter with­out too many prob­lems.

There are sev­eral ways that peo­ple over­win­ter fuch­sias, de­pend­ing on what fa­cil­i­ties you have. In my frost-free green­house, main­tained with a min­i­mum tem­per­a­ture of around 5C (41F), I cut the plants down at this time of the year to re­move all the top growth and any last flow­ers. This vastly re­duces the size of the plant, which means you can pack lots of plants into a small space, and by re­mov­ing the bulk of the fo­liage, it cuts down prob­lems with botry­tis and other fun­gal dis­eases that can be a prob­lem un­der glass in late au­tumn. It’s a sim­ple method. All you do is cut back the stems to a frame­work of older wood, us­ing a sharp pair of se­ca­teurs.

If you want a few new plants for next year, you can also take some cut­tings from tips of the pruned-off stems, but for them to root in Oc­to­ber you’ll need a heated prop­a­ga­tor and warm grow­ing con­di­tions af­ter­wards.

Once the plants have been pruned down, they can be stood much closer to­gether and the amount of wa­ter they’re given re­duced. I keep the com­post just moist to touch. Over the next month or two short stems will start to de­velop and come spring the plants will start to make strong, new growth.

Fuch­sias will be health­ier with a trim and can have cu ings taken from prun­ings

Cut the growth back now to re­duce disease and size

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