The Versatility of Fuchsias
By Gay McWhirter, Crescent City Branch
Those of us that have been growing fuchsias for many years often forget that new growers usually only see hanging baskets and maybe bushes or shrubs in someone’s garden. There is a whole other fuchsia world out there. Since most AFS branches no longer have show’s even experienced growers forget how much fun it is to experiment with different forms. So think about trying some of the forms listed below and happy growing.
Fuchsias are the most versatile flower you can grow. Because of the large variety of plant, leaf and flower sizes, fuchsias lend themselves to a big choice of growing habits.
Half baskets are grown in a container suitable for attachment to a wall or fence.
Bushes, an upright fuchsia with a single straight stem or trunk for no more than 1/5 of the total height of the plant.
Shrubs, One plant with a number of stems originating from the soil surface none of which dominates.
Tree fuchsias, one straight trunk, free from leaves and deformity. The crown (head) should have a profusion of branches, leaves and flowers.
Trellis or fan, single plants grown and trained on a rigid lattice frame, and should present a well balanced appearance on both sides of center.
Espalier, one vertical stem with a series of branches opposite each other. The framework of the plant should be clearly seen. The plant should have a balance or flowers and foliage.
Pillar, An upright plant grown on a single stem, trained to a central stake with all the laterals the same length trained to give the appearance of a graceful column.
Decorative forms, Rings, double rings, bells, spirals etc. may be trained to any decorative form, and must present a well balanced effect with lots of flowers.
Miniature, a single plant growing in a four inch or smaller container. The small growing container may be placed in a slightly larger container for stability.
Bonsai, a plant grown in a dish or tray giving the appearance of age and artful design. The forms are upright formal, slanting, semi-cascade, cascade, forest. (Note- fuchsias do not truly bonsai as the flowers and leaves do not reduce in size, so you need to start with a smaller flower and leaf plant.)