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Growing Fuchsias in Pots – Most Common Questions Answered

Growing Fuchsias in Pots – Most Common Questions Answered

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Paul Brown

Fuchsias are flowering plants well-loved for their beautiful flowers that come in different colors. This plant has around 100 variants ranging from hardy bushes planted on the ground to those with dangling stems hung as ornaments in baskets.

Growing fuchsias in a pot is relatively easy. Fuchsias need to be kept inside during the winter months, but still need some sun during the day. However, some species require more sun than others. They can live between 20-30 years with proper maintenance and care.

This article will answer some of the most common questions regarding appropriate care for potted fuchsias, including meeting the sun requirement, winter management, water supply, and fertilizer.

Do Fuchsias Grow Well in Pots?

Several hardy fuchsias grow well into big bushes when planted on the ground. They can also thrive outdoors even in winter by entering a state of dormancy and require minimum maintenance to survive and bloom again in spring.

Some varieties of fuchsias grow well in pots. Many variants, such as the upright Fuchsia Thamar and the trailing Fuchsia thymifolia and New Millennium, can grow well in pots or baskets with their beautifully trailing stems and drooping flowers

Fuchsias are among the most popular plants preferred by plant collectors who don’t have enough space for a garden. Their flowers are colorful and vibrant, making them ideal indoor ornaments or balcony decorations.

Trailing fuchsia look best when hung on a basket attached to a hook on the ceiling, but they also look good in large pots. Upright fuchsia variants range from small to large bushes, and constant pruning may be necessary to keep the plant looking tidy inside pots.

How Do You Care for Potted Fuchsias?

If you’re interested in potted fuchsias, it’s easy to find a variant at many local garden supplies stores since the plant is pretty popular. You may select between the trailing types and the upright types. It’s relatively easy to take care of them.

When caring for potted fuchsias, check the label for how much sun they need, and use well-draining pots and soil so that the plants are not soggy. The plant must have a large enough pot for the plant to grow as much as it needs to.

Here are more details about the care of your plants:

  • Check the label for sun requirements. Some species of fuchsias require full sun, while some require partial shade. Meeting the sun requirement can help your fuchsia plant grow and bloom its best.
  • Use well-draining soil and pot. Fuchsias thrive well in moist but not soggy soil. Too much water in the soil can cause the root to rot because fungi love wet soil. Therefore, the pot must have enough holes to drain excess water.
  • Choose a pot that’s large enough for the plant. Ideally, it would be best to use a pot with a diameter of 10”-12” (25 to 30 cm ) and about 12” (30 cm) in height for shrubby fuchsia variants. Smaller variants can thrive well in pots a third smaller 8” (20.32 cm) in diameter by 8” (20.32 cm) tall.
  • Protect the fuchsias from the strong, cool wind. Put the fuchsia against a wall or in an area where it can receive protection from the wind.
  • Keep the pot indoors in winter. Like many other perennial plants, fuchsias enter a dormant state in winter and bloom again in spring. However, potted fuchsias need more care than those planted into the ground. They must be kept indoors, away from the frost and temperatures below 50℉ (10℃).

How To Overwinter Potted Plants

One source recommends some ways on how to overwinter potted plants.

  • Bury the pot into the ground and cover it with soil or mulch for insulation.
  • Keep the pot indoors, such as in a garage or the basement.
  • Put multiple potted plants together and water them before wrapping them with enough insulation, such as a thermal blanket, straw, or dried leaves.

Source: PennState Extension

You can select whichever technique is convenient or works best for you as long as it can ensure that your fuchsias survive through winter.

Do Fuchsias Like Sun or Shade?

One good thing about potted fuchsias is that you may quickly move the pot around at different times of day to provide the plant with enough sun or protect it from too much. You may also change your routine conveniently depending on the season.

Fuchsias like both sun and shade, as most are versatile plants that thrive well in partial sun and partial shade. It’s best to expose the plant to direct or dappled sunlight in the morning but avoid the scorching late afternoon sun. It’s also okay to place the pot in an east-facing window.

Displaying your potted fuchsia on an east-facing window or balcony provides it with a sufficient amount of morning sun for 6 to 8 hours, ideally from 7 AM to 2 PM, in spring and autumn. 

Be sure to limit sun exposure to only 4 to 6 hours at the peak of summer. 

Meanwhile, a south-facing window in regions on the northern hemisphere receives enough sunlight throughout the day, making it a suitable location for your sun-loving potted or hanging fuchsias.

When buying a fuchsia plant pot, check the label to see how much sun or shade it needs because there are more than 100 species, and each may have a unique requirement. If there’s a range, try to do a little experiment by placing the pot next to the east or south-facing window for a week or two.

If you see that the leaves or the flowers show signs of burning or browning, move the pot to an area with sporadic sunlight or set a routine of moving the pot away from the sun.

Do Fuchsias Come Back Year After Year?

The flowers of a Fuchsia plant start blooming from late spring until early autumn as long as there is enough sun and warmth. The flowers can thrive well when the temperature is over 50℉ (10℃), below which the plant may enter dormancy or die.

Fuchsias come back year after year as they’re perennial plants. Depending on the temperature in the region where you live, the plant may even bloom all year round. These plants love humidity and ample sunlight, but they cannot endure dry and cold winters.

In winter, hardy fuchsias planted in the ground may become dormant from the cold. Potted fuchsias, however, need special attention. Many owners often throw away the pot as winter comes and buy a fresh new one come spring.

According to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, perennials tend to store energy in their roots or bulbs to survive throughout winter, similar to when animals hibernate.

If you want to keep your potted fuchsia longer to see it bloom again in spring, you may try to help it overwinter instead of throwing it away. It may seem troublesome, but it’s worth it. 

Here’s how:

  1. Cut the plant’s branches by 1”-2” (2.54-5.08 cm) to remove live or dying leaves and flowers, as it can prevent fungal growth.
  2. Remove the top layer, which is the upper 2”-3” (5.08-7.62 cm) of the soil from the pot, along with other debris.
  3. Pull out the plant with its roots intact and wash it carefully under gently running water, which will help remove pests and germs that can cause diseases to the plant.
  4. Put the plant back into the pot and fill the upper part up to 1” (2.54 cm) below the brim with fresh organic soil or mulch.
  5. Spray enough water on the stem and into the soil to keep it moist, not soggy. Pick up half a handful of soil and check its moisture. If it feels dry and falls apart, it’s time to spray more water. It must be as moist as a wrung-out wet towel. Ideally, the plant needs watering only once a month.
  6. Place the pot in a dark place free from frosts, such as the garage or the basement.
  7. By the end of the icy winter, you may take out your pot from its dark hiding place and gradually expose it to dappled sunlight or shade, such as a north-facing window where there is not plenty of daylight.
  8. To check if it’s still alive, you may cut back the branches by an inch or two and see if the inner layer is green. Cutting back the branches will also encourage growth.

These steps may seem tedious, but they can help ensure that you can enjoy your fuchsia flowers again and save you the cost of buying a new plant.

How To Water Fuchsias

Fuchsias love water and humidity and cannot endure dry conditions. 

However, too much water can drown the roots and may cause them to rot. Therefore, it’s essential to pay much attention when watering them.

Put in enough water on the soil to make it damp or moist but not soggy. The key to watering fuchsias is to have a well-draining pot and soil to eliminate excess water and allow the roots to breathe

Spray some water on the leaves when the season is too hot and dry.

Potted fuchsias tend to demand more attention than ground-planted ones when it comes to water. In spring and autumn, they need to be watered every day. Meanwhile, during summer, they may need to be watered up to twice a day. 

Remember that the soil must have good drainage to protect the roots. 

Check the moisture on the soil before deciding to add more water. If the soil is still moist enough like a wrung-out sponge, you may spray some water on the leaves instead.

How Long Does a Fuchsia Live?

As fuchsias are perennials, they come back every spring as long as you keep them well-protected in the winter. Although some people throw their potted fuchsias in winter and replace them with new ones in spring, you may opt to keep them longer.

Fuchsias can live longer than 20 years, with some reaching up to 30 years, with proper care, especially during winter. Researchers are still yet to find out the maximum life expectancy of tropical fuchsias.

In regions with warm climates and temperatures between 60 and 70℉ (15-21℃) all year round, fuchsias may live longer than in areas with four seasons. It’s because many people in the latter tend to treat the plant as annuals.

If you want to test how long fuchsias can live, it’ll be worth it because it means you can enjoy its lovely blooms every summer and autumn.

What Is the Best Fertilizer for Fuchsias?

Potted fuchsias tend to require more fertilizer because of the limited amount of soil in the pot. In addition, holes in the pot and the soil’s good draining properties will flush out the water-soluble fertilizer along with the excess water.

The best fertilizer for fuchsias has a balance of nitrogen, phosphates, and potassium. The nitrogen can help with its leaves’ growth, phosphates with blooming, and potassium with the roots. However, in autumn, you must cut back on nitrogen and phosphates as the plant needs to prepare for dormancy.

Depending on the time of year, you may need to adjust the amount of fertilizer you put into the fuchsia plant. For instance, if you take out your pot in March after putting it in a dormant state, you may start feeding it with fertilizer two weeks later after it has recovered its regular activities. 

At this point, you’ll need to feed it weekly with equal portions of nitrogen, phosphates, and potassium at 20:20:20. 

Ensure that you don’t overwater your pot and just keep it moist. You may check out J R Peters All-Purpose Fertilizer (link to Amazon). It has good reviews and is easy to use even for new gardeners.

When new leaves come out in April, you can adjust the proportion to focus on the flowering by increasing the phosphates at 15:30:15. When the flowers are in full bloom in summer, you may change the ratio again by having higher nitrogen content at 25:5:5 for every 2 liters (67.63 oz) of water. 

In autumn, when you plan to take your plant indoors in preparation for winter, you may cut back on fertilizers altogether. 

Final Thoughts

Since there are many variants of fuchsias and climates vary in different regions, there’s no perfect and general way to care for fuchsias. It’s always best to consult an experienced gardener and conduct your own experiment at home to find the most suitable conditions that can help your fuchsias look and grow their best.