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Blooming Plant
of the month

            
fuchsia

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BOTANICAL NAME

Fuchsia spp. (FEW-sha or, less commonly, FOOK-si-a)

COMMON NAME
Lady’s-eardrops

DESCRIPTION
These attractive and popular blooming plants are known for their colorful, bell-shaped flowers that hang from the stems.

COLORS
Fuchsias are available in purple, pink, fuchsia, red, orange and white as well as bicolor combinations. Some varieties change color as the blossoms mature.

CONSUMER LIFE
Fuchsia plants will remain in bloom for several weeks, with each flower lasting several days, depending on location and care. The plants can last for years with proper care.

AVAILABILITY
The plants are available year-round.

IN-STORE AND CONSUMER CARE
LIGHT Provide Fuchsias with plenty of filtered sunlight to keep them blooming.
WATER Keep Fuchsias moist at all times from spring through autumn, but water sparingly in winter. To water, submerge the pots in room-temperature water until completely saturated, and then allow them to stand until all dripping has stopped. Do not allow the plants to remain in standing water, or root rot may result. On hot days, mist the foliage with water.
TEMPERATURE Fuchsias thrive in sheltered areas where temperatures are moderate, about 70 F and below. Good air circulation is essential, but shelter Fuchsias from hot, dry winds, which remove moisture too rapidly and cause wilting.
FERTILIZER Feed Fuchsias with a water-soluble bloom fertilizer.
REBLOOMING Keep Fuchsias blooming longer by picking off spent blooms and seed pods. To encourage branching, prune plants heavily in the spring and pinch off the tips of the new growth. Continue to pinch until the plant is filled out.

CHALLENGES
ETHYLENE SENSITIVITY Fuchsias are highly sensitive to ethylene gas. Check with your supplier to make sure your plants have been treated with an anti-ethylene agent at the grower level or during transportation.

QUALITY CHECKLIST
WHEN BUYING Select sturdy, shapely plants with healthy leaves and brightly colored flowers.
PESTS AND FUNGUS Watch for white flies, Fuchsia gall mites, aphids and rust. Check for insects at the leaf axils (the axil is the joint between the base of the leaf petiole and its point of attachment on the stem).

FUN FACTS
FAMILY Fuchsias are members of the Onagraceae family. Relatives include Clarkia (aka Godetia) and evening primrose (Oenothera).
ORIGINS Fuchsias are native to Mexico, Chile, Argentina and New Zealand.
HISTORY Fuchsias were named for Leonhart Fuchs, 1501-1566, a German professor of medicine and a botanist.

Some information provided by:
American Fuchsia Society, www.americanfuchsiasociety.org
Clemson Extension, http://hgic.clemson.edu
Fuchsia Research International, www.fuchsiaresint.org
The New House Plant Expert by Dr. D.G. Hessayon
The Chain of Life NetworkÆ, www.chainoflifenetwork.org
Society of American Florists’ (SAF) Flower & Plant Care manual


You may reach “Blooming Plant of the Month” writer Steven W. Brown, AIFD, at sbfloral@aol.com or by phone at (415) 239-3140.

Photos courtesy of The John Henry Company


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