By Lisa Rapalus/Buyer – Shorty’s Garden and Home
Have you been looking for a perennial or small shrub with showy hummingbird attracting flowers that bloom all summer long until the first frost? Hardy Fuchsias are beautiful, relatively low maintenance, versatile shrubs that can do quite well in full shade to full sun in the Pacific Northwest. Most will perform best with 4-6 hours of sun per day and some shade in the hottest afternoon sun. They prefer a rich well drained soil and are heavy feeders during the growing season, so proper preparation at planting and a regular fertilizing schedule will ensure success.
Now is the perfect time to plant hardy fuchsias so that their root systems have plenty of time to get established before winter. When planting, mix in 25% to 40% of a compost product, like our Soil Building Conditioner, to add nutrients and help break up heavy clay that may impede drainage.
Hardy fuchsias are one of the few plants that actually like to be planted deep. One way to do this is to plant so that the crown is 2 inches below the surrounding soil surface and as the fuchsia grows, fill the depression in. Mix in a good slow release balanced fertilizer when planting and side dress with the same fertilizer each spring when your fuchsia starts putting on new growth. To keep your fuchsia blooming prolifically all summer long consider applying a balanced liquid fertilizer in mid-summer and then again in late summer / early fall.
Try to resist pruning back the dead stems in early winter as they will actually help protect the plant from cold temperatures. As an added measure of protection against extreme winter weather, consider heavily mulching the crown with straw, bark, or another well draining mulch. The best time to prune your hardy fuchsia is in early spring when it starts to put on its new growth. If all of the new growth is at the soil surface, prune the dead wood all the way back. If you notice new growth buds appearing on the old wood, simply prune back to a healthy pair of buds to maintain size and shape.
This week Shorty’s has a great selection of Hardy Fuchsias in stock at both locations and we would love to help you pick the perfect one for your landscape. Just a few of the varieties we have in stock are:
Fuchsia DebRon’s Black Cherry
Blooms are pendulous with maroon sepals and dark purple almost black petals. Can reach 4’ x 4’ and is hardy to Zone 8 (10°F). Part shade to full sun.
Fuchsia m. Genii
Arching stems of chartreuse / golden foliage, cherry red and purple flowers, and Zone 7/8 hardiness make this fuchsia a standout in the partial shade garden. It will even maintain its foliage color and bloom in the full bright shade! Its mature garden size is 4’ x 4.’
Fuchsia Foxgrove Wood
Considered one of the hardiest, Foxgrove Wood will impress you with its pink sepals and lavender blue corollas on a compact upright 3’ x 3’ shrub. Part shade to full sun. Hardy to Zone 7/8.