Table of contents:
Fuchsia can be proud of her truly noble origins. The first plants were brought to Europe from Chile at the beginning of the 19th century, and since then, flower breeders have bred hundreds of varieties, most of which are combined with both simple and double flowers under the name hybrid fuchsia (F. x hybrida). The starting material was several wild species, including the magellanic fuchsia (F. magellanica) with small but very beautiful flowers.
Fuchsia belongs to the Onagraceae family and is named after the German physician and botanist Leonard Fuchs. The homeland of almost all types of fuchsia is the tropics of Central and South America, where it grows in mountain forests. Fuchsias are also found in New Zealand.
Fuchsia is an evergreen shrub. Long-petiolate green with strongly depressed veins and leaves are oval or ovoid, but serrated at the edges, located oppositely on the stems. Young stems and petioles are reddish. Flowers are single, axillary, hanging down like lanterns. They consist of a tubular calyx with four pointed, far-bent sepals and a bell-shaped corolla, which can be simple, semi-double or double. Stamens and a pistil hang from under the rim-skirt.
Fuchsia care - in the section of the Encyclopedia of indoor plants.
Fuchsia is a very unpretentious houseplant. Even a novice amateur who has no experience can take care of her. For this, fuchsia has gained great popularity in indoor floriculture. Here are its advantages:
- Sizes: at home, most fuchsias reach 40-80 cm in height.
- Vitality: With proper care, fuchsias grow in room conditions for many years.
- Growth rate: Fuchsia grows rapidly, its stems lengthen by 20-30cm per season.
- Blossoming: Fuchsia blooms from spring to late autumn; for the winter, the plant falls into a short dormant period. I remove the faded flowers.
Features of care for fuchsia
Fuchsia thrives best when the light is diffused, but it can bloom when grown in shaded areas (north-facing windows). Many reference books say that when growing fuchsia on the windowsills of the south side, it is better to shade the plant during the day. I can disagree with this. My fuchsias grow in the open sun and feel great at the same time. Only the leaves from the direct sun "tan" become reddish.
Since the homeland of fuchsias used to create most of the cultivated varieties is the mountain forests of the tropics, it is natural that it does well in Europe. In winter, it is better to keep the plant in a cold (+ 6- + 8g) room. In city apartments, such a place can be a cold windowsill, an insulated balcony, or a place next to the balcony door. I bring my plants from the balcony (not insulated) into the room only when the temperature outside is below zero.
Air humidity and watering fuchsia
The soil in the flower pot should not dry out during the growing season. But before watering, the top layer of the earth should dry out by 2-3 cm. If this condition is not met, the flowers fall off. During the rest period (from the end of October to the end of January), I limit watering (but do not exclude). I water the plant only when the soil in the pot dries out by 2/3. In all reference books, it is recommended to spray fuchsia more often, because dry air is contraindicated for her. I do not spray my fuchsias, but periodically arrange a shower for them.
Soil and fuchsia transplant
For good fuchsia growth, the soil must be rich and extremely humic. For my plants I buy garden land and bring it to mind. I add perlite or vermiculite, coal, chopped coconut fiber, if possible, then you can add rotted cow or horse manure (there is no smell).
I transplant, as a rule, in the spring, at the beginning of the growing season. I transplant old plants every 2-3 years, while cutting off some of the old roots. If the plant is not transplanted, then I replace the topsoil (about 2-3 cm).
As soon as the plant starts to grow, I begin to feed it regularly (once every 10 days). I use fertilizers for flowering plants. Of the minerals, I prefer Kemir Lux. I alternate with organic, including diluted mullein solution. Now this fertilizer can be bought in flower shops. If anyone is afraid of the smell. Then I immediately say that the smell is not strong and only when I spread the fertilizer. After watering, when the solution is absorbed into the ground, there is no smell.
Pruning allows for more intense flowering. The first pruning is done in late autumn, removing mainly thin, weak and damaged stems. In the spring, when new leaves appear, I carry out a strong pruning, leaving only 2-3 buds on last year's growths. In the future, I constantly form the crown, pinching and cutting off the shoots.
Dormant period in fuchsias
When the first frost comes, I bring the plants into the room. Before that, they grow on a glazed, but not insulated balcony. I cut back on watering. Exclude spraying during this period! And until the end of January I practically forget about them. My fuchsias are on the windowsill next to the balcony door, which is almost always open. Fuchsia can winter in warmer conditions. In this case, she partially or completely discards the foliage, and the shoots are strongly stretched. But this is not dangerous for the plant. With the onset of spring, the bare stems should be cut off. From mid-February I gradually increase watering. I start feeding only when the plant begins to actively grow.
Reproduction of fuchsias
Fuchsia is propagated by cuttings 8-10 cm long. I root it in vermiculite or plant it in a pot with a mixture of earth and vermiculite. I cover the cuttings either with a perforated bag or with a transparent plastic bottle, the bottom of which has been cut off and I do not close the lid. Cuttings root better at a temperature of 22-25g. After 2-3 weeks, when the roots appear, I transplant the young plants to a permanent place. In order to observe the development of the roots, I plant the cuttings in transparent cups.
In young plants, I pinch the top of the shoot. As each new shoot appears, I also pinch the top after 2-3 leaves. 5-6 weeks before the expected flowering, I stop pinching the shoots. The second method of reproduction is seed. In order to obtain seeds, it is necessary to carry out artificial pollination. So it is possible to pollinate different plants and get new hybrids.
Formation of a fuchsia stock tree
To form such a tree, I choose plants with one straight main stem and a well-developed root system. I remove all side shoots, leaving only the main stem (I do not remove the leaves). I tie it to a support. When the plant reaches the desired height, I pinch the top of the shoot. I pinch the lateral shoots that have appeared near the top of the main stem over the second or third leaf. A few years later, when the trunk gets fat, a small tree will bloom in your house all summer long.
Standard tree height:
- If it will be a desktop one, then its height should not exceed 10-40 cm.
- A low tree standing on the floor can be from 45 to 80 cm.
- The standard standard wood, which dominates the interior, reaches 105 cm.
Fuchsia diseases and pests
Damaged by aphids, whitefly, spider mites, gray rot and rust. Personally, I had no problems with this. The most important thing is to keep the plant clean. To do this, I arrange a shower for them as needed. A weekly shower with hot water is an excellent prevention of spider mites on fuchsias. Watering needs to be adjusted (do not flood the plant). Preventively (once every six months) I water it with aktar, it helps against scale insects, aphids and other pests.
The author of the article is Tatyana Kuznetsova (Tatosha)