Pot plants: Fuchsia, Fuchsia cordifolia, Fuchsia corymbiflora, Fuchsia exorticata, Fuchsia fulgens, Fuchsia magellanica or macrostemmata, Fuchsia procumbens, Fuchsia triphylla, Fuchsia hybrid

Pot plants: Fuchsia, Fuchsia cordifolia, Fuchsia corymbiflora, Fuchsia exorticata, Fuchsia fulgens, Fuchsia magellanica or macrostemmata, Fuchsia procumbens, Fuchsia triphylla, Fuchsia hybrid

Classification, origin and description

Common name: Fuchsia.
Kind: Fuchsia.

Family: Onagraceae.

Etymology: the name was given in honor of L. Fuchs, German naturalist of the 16th century, who was a professor in Tubingen.
provenance: Central and South America and New Zealand.

Genre description: includes about 100 species of arboreal or shrubby plants, with erect or decumbent bearing, with opposite leaves, deciduous, with full or notched margins and of bright green color. They have pendulous, axillary, solitary or gathered in racemes flowers, consisting of a tubular calyx (formed by four flaps that open at the end) and a corolla (formed by four-five overlapping petals) which often has a different color from that of the chalice. Eight showy and colorful stamens emerge from the corolla petals. The flowers, which appear throughout the summer, are followed by dark-purple berries. In mild climate regions they can be grown in the open ground, while in areas with a harder winter, they must be sheltered in a cold greenhouse and taken outside only in good weather. They can be grown in pots on balconies or in well-lit apartments. The numerous hybrids obtained from the type species have the advantage of being less delicate.

Fuchsia (photo website)

Species and varieties

Fuchsia cordifolia: native to Mexico, this bushy shrub has flowers with a white calyx and pink-red corolla.

Fuchsia corymbiflora: native to Peru, this shrub has arched stems that bear opposite leaves, oblong-lanceolate, with pink nuances and ribs. From June to September it produces pendulous flowers, 8-10 cm long, gathered in corymbs. Their color is crimson-red. It can reach 1.5-3 m. in height and 1-1.5 m. wide. It is a delicate species that requires sheltered positions and protection from the cold in the winter season.

Fuchsia exorticata: native to New Zealand, this shrubby species produces flowers of various shades: from yellow, to violet, to green.

Fuchsia fulgens: native to Mexico, this shrub can grow up to 1-2 m. in height and 0.8-1.2 m. in diameter. It has light red stems that carry leaves with an oval or oval-lanceolate shape, of a more or less light green color and with often jagged margins. In October it produces terminal racemes, formed by 5-8 cm long flowers, with scarlet corolla and calyx (but with the apex of the latter's flaps of green color). It can be grown in pots or in open ground in mild climate areas.

Magellanic fuchsia o F. macrostemmata: native to South and Central America, this very rustic shrub can reach 3-4 m. in height and 1.5-2 m. It has opposite or verticillate leaves (from each node three originate), oval-lanceolate in shape. From July to October it produces axillary bundles, formed by 3-4 pendulous flowers (with long petioles), 3-4 cm long, with a calyx with a crimson tube and purple-violet flaps, such as the corolla petals, from which emerge long stamens. This species, together with F. fulgens, gave rise to most of the hybrids that are currently on the market.

Fuchsia procumbens: native to New Zealand, this prostrate bearing species is well suited for growing in hanging baskets. It is quite rustic and can be left outdoors in all areas of Italy. It has alternate and heart-shaped leaves. From June to September it produces flowers 2 cm long, without corolla and with a calyx with a yellow tube and purple-greenish flaps, which are followed by berries, 2-3 cm long. bright red color. It is one of the most suitable species for indoor growing, as long as it is bright.

Fuchsia triphylla: native to Haiti, this suffruticose species, suitable for growing in pots, has a compact shape and dimensions that reach 60 cm. in height and 40 cm. in width. It has lanceolate, verticillate leaves (originating in 3-4 from the same node), green with red shading on the lower page. From July to October, it produces dense terminal corymbs that bear 3-4 cm long flowers. with short scarlet-orange petals.

They are mostly derived from crosses between F. fulgens and F. magellanica. They almost completely supplanted the typical species. On the market you can find varieties suitable for cultivation in pots or in the ground, which can be bred in different forms: sapling, pyramid, bush, shrub. Among the delicate varieties, suitable for growing in pots (to be taken indoors in the winter months) we find plants in erect habit or prostrate to be bred in hanging baskets.
Among the latter (to be bred in hanging baskets), suitable for growing in hanging baskets we find:
- "Bacon", with pink chalice and blue corolla;
- “Barbas Trio”, with a dark pink corolla, which stands out on the light pink of the glass;
- "Campanella", with pinkish-white sepals and blue petals;
- “Cascade”, which presents flowers with white calyx, shaded with carmine, and dark red corolla;
- "Falling Stars", with red flowers characterized by the lighter shade of the glass than the corolla;
- “Flying Cloud”, which has double white flowers, with the glass subtly veined with red;
- “Golden Marinka”, characterized by red flowers, which stand out on the golden-yellow foliage;
- "Marinka", similar to the previous one, but with green leaves;
- “Swing-time”, with beautiful flowers with white corolla, which stands out on the bright red glass.

Among those with erect bearing we find:
- "Avocet", vigorous with red calyx and white corolla flowers;
- “Bon Accord”, which has a compact habit and erect flowers with a light purple corolla, which stands out on the waxy white chalice;
- "Citation", upright and compact with flowers with a pink calyx and white corolla,
- “Constellation”, with beautiful double ivory-white flowers;
- "Checker-board", which presents flowers with a dark red corolla and calyx with a red tube and white flaps;
- “Fascination”, which presents flowers with a waxy red color and pink corolla;
- "Forget-me-not", whose flowers have pale pink calyx and blue corolla;
- “Gartenmeister Bonstedt”, with olive-green foliage (marked by purple veins) and intense red-orange flowers;
- "Jack French", which produces large flowers with purple corolla and red calyx;
- “Lyes Unique”, with flowers with light orange-red corolla and white calyx;
- "Marin Glow", whose flowers have white calyx and pink-purple corolla;
- "Miss California", with pink flowers;
- "Snowcap", which features semi-double flowers with cherry-red calyx and white corolla;
- “Thalia”, with dark green leaves, with a red underside and bright red calyx flowers and white corolla;
- "Winston Churchill", with blue corolla and pink chalice.

Fuchsia (website photo)

Fuchsia fulgens (Berlin Botanical Garden) (photo website)

Environmental requirements, substrate, fertilizations and special precautions

Temperature: the winter temperature should not be below 5-10 ° C (except for the rustic species that resist even lower temperatures, even if the aerial part dies to vegetate again in the following spring).
Light: strong, but protected from the sun's rays. In summer they must be shaded.
Watering and environmental humidity: watering must be abundant in summer, reduced (so as to keep the soil barely moist) in winter. The environmental humidity must be raised as much as possible, without however risking becoming stagnant.
Substrate: mixture consisting of garden soil, peat, potting soil and sand.
Special fertilizations and tricks: from June to September, administer liquid fertilizer every 8-10 days (every 21 for young plants). In March repot and prune slightly.

Multiplication and pruning

Multiplication: fuchsias can be reproduced by seed or multiplied by means of cuttings. The latter (8-10 cm long) must be taken, in March or August-September, from the non-flowering branches and placed individually in small pots (5 cm in diameter), filled with peat and sand , at a temperature of 15-16 ° C. We must not forget to eliminate the two basal leaves, to avoid the risk of dehydration. After rooting (usually takes about 30-40 days), they must be transplanted into 7-8 cm pots before and 14-15 cm. later. Frequent topping of the main shoot will favor the development of well-branched specimens. Cuttings can also be made in summer from semi-woody parts or in winter from woody parts. Sowing is more complicated and for the varieties it does not give certainty of obtaining plants equal to the mother.
Pruning: they are plants that can undergo training pruning, so much so that they can be bred in various forms: sapling, pyramid, bush, shrub. Below are instructions on the pruning to be carried out to obtain the different forms:
- pyramid: frequently trim the main shoot at 15 cm. from the end. The lateral shoots will instead be pruned over the second leaf, up to six weeks before flowering.
- sapling: let the main shoot grow, to the desired height, eliminating all the lateral jets. It can be useful to support the stem during growth. Once the desired height is reached, top the main shoot, to stimulate the production of the new branches, which will take place right under the cut, forming the top of the sapling.
In general, greenhouse plants must be trimmed slightly in February or pruned thoroughly, to reduce their size, when necessary. Plants of several years often need topping, in order to keep them thick and well-stocked, to be carried out between mid-May and early June: in practice, the tips of the new shoots must be pruned in the middle of an internode, making sure to leave only one or two pairs of buds above the old vegetation.

Diseases, pests and adversities

- Aphids: they attack stems and leaves, stimulating the plant to produce sugary substances that attract ants and make the plant prone to attacks by mold and smoke, making it sticky and sooty. They fight with specific products.

- Red spider of the greenhouses: it settles on the lower page of the leaves. It determines the appearance of small white or yellowish spots and, subsequently, chlorosis and premature drying of the leaves. It spreads in dry and hot environments. It is prevented by maintaining a high rate of environmental humidity. It is eliminated with specific acaricidal products.

- Aleurotide: small parasite that attacks the lower page of the leaves. Plants turn yellow and decay. It is easily recognized by the "white cloud" that rises, following the shaking of the affected plants. They fight with specific insecticides.

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