The Q&A Archives: Fuchsia

Question: I purchased a fuchsia plant, and when I brought it home it was huge and full of flowers. Now half of the plant seems dead and the leaves and blooms are falling off. What can I do to bring it back?

Answer: It doesn't sound as though your plant is getting the bright light and ample water it requires for best growth. Fuchsia's look wonderful when allowed to cascade over the sides of hanging baskets. Train them when they're young by pinching out the tips of each stem to encourage additional stems. It seems cold-hearted to pinch back little plants, but doing so will ensure that they become bushy.

To help your plant recover, cut back all of the dead and dying foliage to encourage new growth. Then put the plant in a protected area, free of strong wind and very cold temperatures. Your fuchsia will grow best in full to partial shade, and should be watered daily, especially when the weather warms. Pinch out faded flowers, taking some stem along with it, so the plant will continue to produce flowering stems. To keep your fuchsia healthy, feed every 2-3 weeks with a half-strength liquid fertilizer.

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