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Basic Fuchsia Plant Care

Fuchsia, Hanging Baskets

The fuchsia plant is one of the most exotic, unique looking plants on the common market. Fuchsias do have a reputation for being difficult to care for and needing a more experienced green thumb. But with a few basic care tips, even amateur gardeners can grow beautiful fuchsia plants indoors or out.

Fuchsia plants work best as hanging baskets, due to the nature of their blossoms, which hang down vine-like in all directions. Each strand will have several multi-colored flowers, usually dark purple and magentas, or fuchsias, which is where the colorful plant gets its name. The flowers have an exotic shape and look very delicate.

First, pick a healthy plant. In my experience, purchasing from local greenhouses works better than chain stores like Wal-Mart. Usually the quality and health of the plants are better. A few dying blossoms is normal, but look avoid plants with an abundance of yellowing leaves. Also, if many of the blossoms are dying, make sure there are buds growing, for the next blooming cycle.

It is best to put fuchsias in plastic pots with a good drainage system. One with holes straight in the bottom may drain the plant too quickly, and not allow the water and nutrients to be absorbed. So, consider a pot with a drainage tray on the bottom. The overflow with spill out, but more water will hold longer until the plant is satisfied.

Because hanging baskets often drain their water fairly quickly, you will need to fertilize your plant every two weeks. Otherwise, nutrients in the soil will be washed out when the water drains. Fuchsia plants, more than other plants, need a lot of nutrients.

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When deciding where to place your fuchsia, remember, they like light but not heat. In the southeast, these plants are often used as indoors hanging baskets near windows, or on shaded balconies. They can take morning sun, but if the temperatures will get very high on certain days, you should move them to fuller shade. In western states, like northern California, fuchsia plants have been noted to take stronger, and longer, sun hours, but the temperatures are cooler than Southern summers. Check with local greenhouses and gardeners to see what has worked best for the plants in your particular area.

As a general rule, water in the mornings. It is cooler and easier for your plants to drink. With fuchsias especially, keep a regular routine of watering – do not skip days or alternate watering sporadically in mornings or afternoons. This will stress your plants. In very hot weather, to avoid over-watering, perk up your plant by spraying cold water on the flowers.

The amount of water depends on your particular plant. Pay attention to it at first and determine what it likes. If the container is very root-full, the plant will need more water. If your weather is extremely humid, it may need less.

Fuchsia plants also attracts insects, like many colorful, tropical plants, so you should incorporate a basic pesticide routine as well.