The Q&A Archives: Fuschia Care

Question: I just bought a Fuchsia (the tag says Troubadour trailing, double sepals-Red corolla-Red and Purple) and would like to know how to take the best care of it. How do I know how much fertilizer to use? How often do I water it? The leaves are curling and turning a deep red/purple color. Am I using too much fertilizer? I own Schultz 10-15-10 plant food plus.

Answer: Fuchsias are thirsty plants, especially when planted in pots or hanging baskets. I'd reduce the amount of fertilizer just as a precaution - too much can turn the foliage purple or reddish. Cold night temperatures can cause the same color change in foliage, as can too much exposure to sunshine. So, reduce the amount of fertilizer, place your fuchsia in a spot protected from hot afternoon sun, and check the soil moisture on a daily basis. It's not unusual for fuchsias to require thorough, deep watering every single day. To keep your fuchsia bushy and continually in bloom, pinch off the dead flowers before seed pods develop, and pinch off the tips of the stems. This will encourage side branching. New stems will produce new flowers and your plant will look lush and full all season long. I have best results with my fuchsias by feeding with a quarter-strength dilution of liquid fertilizer once each week. That way I won't accidentally over-fertilize and my plant will have a steady diet of the nutrients it needs. Enjoy!

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