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Plant of the month May 2017

Fuchsias are a wide ranging group, of very floriferous plants, from the very hardy to the most tender.

Fuschia plant of the month May

Fuchsias come in a huge kaleidoscope of colours and different forms to suit almost any situation. Grow them in baskets, as hedges, specimen plant, massed in a border or at the height of their elegance as a standard plant.

See the 600+ fuchsias listed in Shoot

Fuchsias originate from South America, growing wild there and in New Zealand. They were first imported into Britain around 1789. During the late 1800s, hybridising of Fuchsias reached its height, when the plants were highly valued by the Victorians.

Choose fuchsia plants with:

  • an even symmetrical shape
  • good green leaves from green (not brown and woody) stems
  • good root system - turn upside down and tap out from the pot to examine them
  • several shoots from the lower part of the main stem

Avoid fuchsia plants with:

  • uneven growth
  • aphids, white fly or rust
  • incorrect pot size - it should be roughly 35% pot, 65% visible plant
  • signs of lack of water

The best fuchsia for informal hedges or as a garden shrub is Fuchsia magellanica ‘Riccartoni’. This is probably the most hardy of all the fuchsias. The cultivar ‘ Mrs Popple’ is also a popular garden plant

Recommended Varieties and Cultivars
The variety of fuchsia colours and forms is so great that it is a matter of personal taste as to which variety suits you. However, different varieties of fuchsia are more suited to particular situations.

Fuchsia Heidi Ann - good for containers with cerise / lilac flowers. A superb small pot plant. Compact and bushy.
Fuchsia Marinka - good for baskets with red flowers.  Easy to grow, superb massed in a basket
Fuchsia Mrs Popple - good for hedges and bedding with red/purple/violet flowers.  Excellent bedding / hedge. Very hardy.
Fuchsia Pink Galore - good for baskets with pink flowers. Beautiful colour, freely produced flowers
Fuchsia Royal Velvet  - good for containers with red / purple flowers. The ultimate standard - superb plant.

Companion plants
Fuchsias can be used with many other plants such as bedding plants, shrubs and herbaceous perennials. They offer variety in shape, leaf and flower colour and are incredibly versatile.