New Hardier Cape Fuchsia

By Charlie Nardozzi

Many gardeners love to grow the common fuchsia as an annual in containers and hanging baskets. The fuchsia family, though, also has soon unusual perennials in its lineage. The cape fuchsia produces upright plants with stalks of tubular flowers. Normally only hardy in warm-winter areas, now there is a new cape fuchsia (Phygelius rectus) that is hardy to USDA zone 6 and is also more compact and longer flowering than other varieties.

'Cherry Ripe' cape fuchsia is one of the few cape fuchsias that can survive USDA hardiness zone 6 conditions. In zones 7 to 10 it is an evergreen year-round. In zone 6 'Cherry Ripe' will die back to the ground in winter, but regrow in spring. This hardy cape fuchsia features blue-green foliage and the 20-inch-tall plants are loaded with tubular, red flowers on purple stems from mid-summer until frost. Butterflies and hummingbirds are attracted to the flowers. The plant is small enough to thrive in a container or in the front of an annual or perennial flower border.

For more information on the 'Cherry Ripe' cape fuchsia, go to: Wayside Gardens.

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