The Q&A Archives: Growing Fuchsias

Question: I am having trouble with two fuchsias hanging from my porch. I have always had them here with no problem at all, until this year. I bought two beautiful plants, and they are shaded/partial afternoon sun. Though everything I read and know says water daily, when I water them they wilt up as if they were parched. They are still flowering, but they look awful. Any hints, especially about watering, or suggestions would be appreciated.

Answer: In general terms, Fuchsias do best in full shade, or filtered morning sun and afternoon shade. Some cultivars are more tolerant of heat and sun than others, but to be on the safe side, protect your plants from afternoon sunshine. They require lots of water and may need to be watered twice a day during warm weather. Wilting is a sign of stress and your plants may be reacting to the application of cold water on overly warm soil and roots. Try moving the plants to another location to see if that makes a difference. A final consideration is the possiblity of disease, namely Verticillium wilt. This disease attacks the vascular system of the plant, blocking the flow of fluids. If this is the case, toss the plants and the soil and sterilize the containers before planting in them again. To keep Fuchsias thriving, water often, fertilize every 3-4 weeks with a half-strength dilution of liquid fertilizer, and pinch the spent flowers and some of the stems back to keep it producing flowers all season long.

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