The Q&A Archives: Fuchsia-frost exposure

Question: Read all the information about wintering over fuchsias and follow all that advice, but no matter how early I try to wake it up, I just don't get blooms until late July. Would exposure to a light frost help it go to "sleep" better. My blossoms last into October and they are beautiful but it frustrates me that the blooms are so late. Thanks

Answer: Fuchsia's are very tender plants and should not be exposed to frost, or permanent damage may occur. After being wintered-over, the plants will wake up when the weather warms. If you're pinching them back regularly to encourage bushyness, you're also encouraging bud development, which is important. The only way to get the plants to hurry up and bloom, is to give them the environmental conditions they crave. If you have a greenhouse or cold frame, you can encourage earlier growth and flower formation by placing your fuchsia's inside, treating the plants to early season light and warmth. The plants will respond by developing leaves and stems, which in turn will produce flowers. It's all weather related, so think light over a long day and warm temperatures. If you don't have a cold frame or greenhouse, bring the sleeping plants indoors in early spring and place them under gro-lights or other source of bright artificial light. This should trick them into thinking spring has arrive and they need to get growing.

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