TIPS FOR GROWING FUCHSIA AS INDOOR PLANTS
They're famous as vibrant additions to an outdoor garden, but fuchsias are also exceptional houseplants because they bring that rich color indoors, even when your space doesn't have the bright light that many flowering plants require.
Whether you're bringing a beloved potted plant indoors for the winter or want a year-round addition to your interior, this guide will help you make it happen.
Can't wait to get started? This is what we will cover:Flowering plants to grow in fall
The first step is choosing the right location for your fuchsia houseplant.
They will do best in bright but indirect sunlight. If you have a window with sheer curtains, right in front is the perfect place.
As long as you keep them moist, these plants can tolerate direct morning sun. Just keep them out of direct afternoon sun because too much heat can burn the foliage.Natural remedies for the garden with medicinal plants
If you don't have that much sun, don't worry. You can still keep your plant happy and blooming in a shadier location, although it could become leggy and produce fewer flowers than it would otherwise.
However, your fuchsia cannot tolerate a completely dark corner in a basement. It needs at least some light to flourish.
These plants prefer temperatures around 60 to 70 ° F, which is close to the air temperature in many homes.
They can tolerate temperatures of about 10 degrees cooler or warmer, although flowering could be affected.Why is it fashionable to buy plants online?
Perhaps the biggest challenge with growing fuchsia indoors is that these plants need a lot of water.
You have probably noticed that the air in your home is drier than it is outside, thanks to air conditioning and heating.
That means you will need to be diligent to keep the soil moist, especially if you live in a cool climate where you have the heater on during the winter months.
The soil should never be allowed to dry out, and that may mean that you will sometimes water up to once a day.How To Prepare Plants For Moving
If you touch the ground and it feels dry, your plant needs water (well, except during winter, but we'll cover you in a minute).
I think the simplest solution is to use an automatic watering container. This allows you to water the foundation and the soil can gradually absorb moisture as it needs it.
You can also buy a humidity meter and stick it on the ground. It will tell you exactly when it is time to take out the watering can.
Active Air 3-Way Moisture MeterPlants And Flowers Time
Arbico Organics sells the Active Air 3-way meter, which tells you how much moisture is in the soil, how much light the plant receives, and what the soil pH is, which is very helpful.
My fuchsia looks like it's ready to drink, based on the meter I use!
Another challenge is keeping the humidity high enough.
To help increase humidity, you can place your fuchsia in a group of houseplants or use a humidity tray.
Fuchsias need rich, loamy soil that drains well.
I love Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix because it contains sphagnum moss, coconut fiber and perlite, all of which help retain moisture without letting the soil get soggy.
CARE AND MAINTENANCE
You will need to transplant your plant once a year during the spring or fall. The purpose of transplanting is not only to accommodate your growing houseplant, but also to replenish the soil.
As we know, fuchsias need a rich, loamy soil. As potting soil ages, it loses nutrients as the plant consumes them and tends to compact as organic matter breaks down.
When transplanting, gently remove as much soil as possible from the roots and replant with fresh potting soil.
If your plant grows larger than you'd like, divide it up and plant the two fuchsias in separate pots.
Beware of insects such as aphids , spider mites and whiteflies, all of which are common pests of indoor plants. A neem oil spray will keep all of these insects in check.
If you want to take your plant outdoors during warmer weather, feel free. Just be sure to gradually bring the plant outdoors so you don't hit it.
That means putting it outside in a shady spot for an hour before bringing it back inside, and adding an hour each day for a week until it acclimates to the outside conditions.
Fuchsias feed a lot, and no matter how good the potting soil is at first, they will quickly absorb all the nutrients.
To keep them well fed, apply a balanced water-based fertilizer once a week.
Miracle-Gro Indoor Plant Food is designed to be applied weekly, which seems convenient to me.
You can use a formulation made for monthly applications, but be sure to dilute it accordingly.
For example, if you buy a fertilizer that requires one ounce applied once a month, apply a quarter ounce each week.
Move flowers during the blooming season (usually around June to October) to encourage more flower formation. If your plant gets enough light indoors, it may stay in bloom for most of the year.
Prune in spring to reduce overall size and remove weak or long branches.
By the way, instead of throwing them away, you can use those cuttings to make new plants! Fuchsias are easy to propagate using cuttings and they root very well.
Pinch the ends of the branches anytime from spring through fall to create a bushy shape. At each node on the leaf where you have pinched a branch, two new branches will form.
And PS: you can turn fuchsias into some of the prettiest bonsai you've ever seen.
Even though they live indoors, houseplants are "aware" of the seasons. When winter comes, most plants, including fuchsia, go dormant.
When that happens, it's time to reduce watering. Allow the top inch of soil to barely dry out before watering again. You should also pinch off the remaining flowers.
Most homes are much drier in the winter season because we have the heat on and there is less natural moisture in the air during the cold months in most areas.
Increase humidity by spraying the plant once a day or placing it in a humidity tray. You can also group plants.
Lastly, don't fertilize, over-prune, or transplant your plant during the winter.
If you are planning to bring a plant in from outside for the winter, introduce it slowly by bringing it in for a few hours during a day and gradually extending that time each day over the course of a week.
It's not the end of the world if you can't do this gradually (like there's a surprise freeze on the horizon), but you might lose some leaves in the process.
CULTIVARS TO SELECT
There are dozens of species of fuchsia, most of which cannot tolerate any amount of cold.
Then there's the tough fuchsia ( F.magellanica ) that can withstand temperatures up to 23 ° F with mulch or other protection.
While it doesn't matter one way or another if you plan to keep your plant indoors full time, if you want to move it outside for part of the year, or if you think you might want to put it in the ground eventually, you may want to choose a hardy variety.
Any fuchsia can survive indoors with proper care, but there are some cultivars that are a little better suited for indoor life.
Smaller plants may be easier to keep compact indoors, although you can keep any fuchsia small by pruning.
The following cultivars are less than two feet tall:
'Papoose' has bright red sepals (the upper part, the outer petals) and dark purple corollas (the lower petals, usually vertical) on a burgundy stem, which adds color even when the flowers are gone.
'Peewee Rose' has single or double pinkish red flowers. 'Rose of Denmark' features pale pink sepals and lilac corollas, and is one of my personal favorites.
'Tom West' has variegated foliage (not very common with fuchsias) and small bright red flowers.
'Alice Hoffman' is one of the smaller hardy fuchsias, so if you want a plant that you can move indoors and outdoors more easily, this is a good option.
And it can take a frost, so if you forget to bring it before the first frost, it won't die.
It shines from spring to fall with bright pink sepals and creamy white corollas.
As a bonus, the foliage has a reddish bronze hue, so it provides some color even when not blooming.
Some people are looking for a potted indoor plant to use in hanging baskets or higher in the house.
The following cultivars have a progressive growth habit:
'Blush of Dawn' is one of my favorites, with ruffled double blooms. The flowers have white sepals and lavender-gray corollas (another favorite combination). 'Dark Eyes' has large flowers in deep blue and red.
'Harry Gray' is perfect for a clean and modern space, with double flowers in white or pale pink. 'Lady in Black' is a climbing strain, so give her something to wrap. It has almost black corollas with an intense red sepal.
BRING THESE BEAUTIFUL FLOWERS TO YOUR HOME
When you think about it, growing fuchsias as houseplants is not that much more difficult than growing any flowering houseplant.
It's certainly easier than trying to keep a fussy orchid alive, right? (Unless that's your thing ...)
As a reward for your efforts, you will have flowers most of the year that are incredibly attractive. Even when they are not covered in flowers, I think plants are beautiful.
Are you growing fuchsia indoors? Let us know in the comment section below and feel free to share a picture!
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