Fuchsias, although native to South Africa, Central America and other tropical and subtropical climates, are an icon of British gardens. Their frilly, ballerina-like pink skirts are instantly recognisable, and in 2012 Riverside Nursery on the River Darrent in Dartford became home to the world’s largest collection of these classic garden plants!
But what if you’re creating a low maintenance perennial garden – are fuchsias the ideal plant for you? After all, you might have heard that fuchsias are tender perennials, whose longevity can vary depending on your location.
Well, read on to find out whether fuchsias belong in your garden!
Are fuchsias annuals or perennials?
Most fuchsias are tender perennials, which means that they’re perennials in warm climates, and so come back year after year if you live in a warmer location.
However, in temperate climates, like in the UK, most fuchsias are grown as annuals, as the plant cannot survive the cold temperatures in winter when left to its own devices.
I stress the word ‘most’, because there are exceptions, of course.
Hardy fuchsias can survive UK winters without the need for overwintering indoors. These fuchsias are identifiable by their upright habit. In winter, you’d be forgiven for thinking that your hardy fuchsia is dead, as the growth tends to die back – but it will come out of dormancy again in spring!
There is one other exception: the half-hardy perennial fuchsia. These can be brought inside to be overwintered, or planted with the roots deeper than usual and with a layer of mulch on top to keep the warmth in the soil. Ideally, they should be sheltered from frost and not allowed to dry out, but not kept moist either.
There are a number of half-hardy perennial fuchsias that will look great in the garden and home throughout the spring and summer (and some even into autumn!). Here’s one collection that will knock your socks off…
Mini fuchsia collection- buy it now !
This is a collection of 10 mini fuchsias – they’re compact, only growing to a height and spread of 30cm, making them ideal for hanging baskets and containers.
New breeding over the past couple of years means these fuchsias flower earlier than other fuchsias. They flower from May all the way through to the first frost in October/November.
Covered in hundreds of upward facing bi-colour flowers all summer long, this fantastic fuchsia display drowns out the green foliage. You’ll be bestowed with a full, voluminous display, wherever it’s planted!
Talking about planting locations, here are five ideas for this stunning collection:
- Mixed pots – fuchsias are bold enough to stand alone, but a mini fuchsia would look incredible alongside a few other complementary plants in a container.
- Rockeries – these plants are native to warm environments, as mentioned earlier, and do not like to be moist or waterlogged. Therefore, a well-made rockery is the perfect environment for growth!
- Windowsill – fancy your fuchsia indoors? These are ideal for a warm, sunny windowsill!
- Window box – watch as your fuchsia flowers begin to cascade over the sides of your window boxes during the growing season.
- Border – yes, these fuchsias can be planted in the border, as long as it’s warm, sheltered and not too moist!
When to buy fuchsias
This mini fuchsia collection is available here at QVC. Keep it indoors if possible until all risk of frost has passed and the weather is generally warm, and then plant out if you plan to keep the fuchsia outdoors. Come May, you’ll be blessed with a plethora of blooms!
Michael has been involved with gardening and plants since he was just five years old. He is a self-professed Plant Geek, and was listed in the Sunday Times top 20 most influential people in the gardening world, thanks to his plant hunter role at Thompson & Morgan.
Michael was responsible for new plant introductions such as the Egg and Chips plant and the FuchsiaBerry and keeps busy travelling the world in search of new plants as well as lecturing worldwide, including stints in Japan. He is very active on social media – so why not give him a follow at @mr_plantgeek or Facebook. You can also listen to The Plant Based Podcast with Michael and co-host Ellen-Mary on iTunes, Spotify and Google.