- Managing Nasturtiums: Controlling Spread and Maximizing Benefits - September 23, 2023
- How To Know if Nasturtium Seeds Are Viable - September 23, 2023
- Will a Mandevilla Come Back After a Freeze? - September 22, 2023
Fuchsia is an attractive and easy-to-propagate potted plant that many gardeners love. It’s usually grown from cutting, but what about all those shiny little berries it produces yearly?
You should propagate your fuchsia plant from its seed pods. It’s quite easy, and you’ll have flowering new fuchsia plants by the next spring. Propagating from fuchsia seeds is also fun because fuchsia plants come in 3,000 varieties, and the seeds may produce any of these variants.
This article will explore how to grow fuchsia from seed pods in detail. I will include a step-by-step process from cross-pollination to caring for seedlings.
How To Grow Fuchsia From Seed Pods
The first thing to know about propagating fuchsia from seed pods is that the plant needs to be cross-pollinated before it can produce viable seeds. If you have more than one fuchsia plant, this shouldn’t be a problem.
However, even if you only have one, if you keep it outside, chances are local pollinators like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds will do the job for you!
1. Cross Pollinate Your Fuchsia
Manual cross-pollination is simple. Collect pollen from one plant using a small, clean paintbrush. You must wash and dry the paintbrush thoroughly before using it to cross-pollinate your plants.
Once the pollen dust is collected on the paintbrush, apply it to the stamen of the second plant’s flowers. For best results, do this repeatedly, collecting pollen from several flowers of one plant and applying it to several flowers of the second one. You can do this to both plants if you want them both to produce seeds.
If you’d like a visual tutorial on cross-pollinating fuchsia, check out the YouTube video below:
2. Harvest the Seed Pods
Wait for your plant to produce the pods. Once you see the pods coming in, cover your fuchsia plants to protect them from hungry birds.
You can cover the plants with muslin, cheesecloth, or mosquito netting. Just make sure the birds can’t easily get under it. Bags can be valuable because they will deter birds and catch the seed pods as they fall from the plant.
When the seed pods start to fall off the plant naturally, it’s time to start harvesting them.
Check the seed pods attached to the plant by squeezing them gently between your fingers. If they’re still firm, let them ripen a while longer. If they feel soft and squishy, pick them off.
3. Remove the Seeds From the Pods
The first step is to cut the pods open and remove the seeds from the inside. Use a sharp knife to slice the pods open gently lengthwise so that you don’t crush any of the seeds.
Fuchsia seeds are tiny, so scoop them out carefully and separate them from the flesh of the pod. Look for any seeds that are hard and dark brown. These are fertile and should sprout.
If there aren’t any, your cross-pollination wasn’t successful, and you should try again.
Put the seeds on a paper towel and allow them to dry out overnight. Place them someplace out of direct sunlight for this part of the process.
If you are not going to plant them immediately, let the seeds dry out for a week. Then you can store them in an airtight container somewhere dark and cool until you’re ready to use them (ideally the following spring).
4. Sow the Seeds
Prepare a shallow planter with moistened topsoil. You can also use a sieve to separate some topsoil from the larger organic and inorganic materials in regular potting soil.
Spray the soil with a water bottle to moisten it, then place the seeds at least one inch (~2.5 cm) apart. You can press them partially into the soil, but don’t cover them completely.
Cover the container with plastic and place it away from direct sunlight, where the temperature can reliably stay at around 65°F (18°C).
Spray the soil again any time the surface appears to be drying out. However, don’t soak it.
You should see sprouts within 4–6 weeks.
5. Re-pot the Seedlings
After they sprout, the baby fuchsia will need a few weeks to develop before they’re strong enough to be repotted and exposed to more light. The sprouts will likely develop at different speeds, so remove them from the sowing tray one at a time when each one has developed two full leaves.
Place each seedling into its own 2-inch (5 cm) pot with fresh potting soil that stays moist and has good drainage.
Place the pots somewhere shaded and warm. Seedlings are sensitive to heat, and direct sunlight will burn them easily. Ensure they stay in an area with temperatures no higher than 70°F (21°C). They will be able to handle higher temperatures when they mature.
Over the next few weeks, the seedlings can be given more and more filtered sunlight until they receive the requirements for a mature fuchsia plant.
6. Re-pot Young Plants
Repotting should occur in spring, summer, or fall, as the plants will be dormant in winter.
Re-pot your seedlings when they have outgrown the 2-inch (5 cm) pots. You can tell it’s time when roots begin to show out of the drainage holes. You can replant them before they reach this point, however.
Another sign they are ready for repotting is that the soil dries out faster than average or the plants become so top-heavy that the pots easily tip over.
The next pot should be no more than 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter. Your fuchsia plant should remain in this pot until the following growing season (spring-summer), when it will need to be repotted again.
Fuchsia plants can be grown easily from seed pods, provided they are cross-pollinated. However, remember that your baby fuchsia will not necessarily look the same as the parents when you propagate them this way.
To propagate by seed, collect the ripened pods after the flowers bloom and begin to die off. Cut the pods open and extract the seeds, allowing them to dry for at least 12 hours.
Next, sow the seeds in a shallow tray with moistened topsoil. Cover and keep warm. Re-pot them when the sprouts have produced two leaves.