>Fuchsias are really not all that hard to grow. I've got about sixty different
>cultivars going myself right now, all raised from cuttings. What you've read
>is right on, but part of the reason for the frequent failure of these
>commercial baskets is that they come directly out of greenhouses very tender
>and not hardened off. They've been used to high humidity and the filtering
>effect of the glass. You'll probably need to harden it off yourself.
>Careful watering is also essential. There's a lot of top growth in relation
>to pot size in these baskets.*** baskets also tend to dry out more
>quickly than pots on or near the ground. This is further aggravated by the
>light, soilless mixes used in the baskets. This mix tends to dry out quite
>suddenly and the fuchsia wilts. Don't over feed, either. Fuchsias are heavy
>feeders, but they like their meals very light and frequent.
>You can also increase your success with a new basket by buying plants that
>are being well cared for by the retailer. If you see ones that are wilting,
>it's a sure sign that they're not being tended properly. Avoid these places.
>The plants are already being unduly stressed there.
>When you get the new basket home, harden it off and slowly get it used to its
>new home. Keep it in the shade at first and slowly increase the light
>exposure. Mist the leaves frequently. This is also good to do throughout the
>growing season, especially on hot, dry days. And above all monitor the soil.
>It should stay evenly moist, but not wet, at all times.
>It's usually best to repot in the early spring when you cut the plant back
>and the cool, moist conditions are optimum for a good start. If you do feel
>the need to repot one of these new baskets, keep the new soil light and
>friable. Choose or create a mix that's close in character to what the
>nuseries used in your basket or you'll create problems by having zones with
>differences in moisture retention, etc. Don't press it in. Settle it down by
>thumping the pot. Fuchsia roots don't grow well into a dense or packed
>medium. And remember that you'll be shocking a plant with a lot of active top
>growth. You'll have to nurse it back to health by keeping it in the shade and
>misting frequently. Don't give it any food until it's recovered.
>(Manhattan NY-Zone 7)
I think you are right that this fuschia was not hardened off. It was***
outside at the nursery so I thought it probably was. So I hung it outside under
a tree, where it got mostly light shade. It was fine for a week or so but then
I started seeing these wilted, dying branches, which I cut off. The soil from
the nursery is actually heavy and black, not the light kind. It stays damp a
lot and we've been getting rain every day so I just thought it was too wet.
I brought it indoors but it seems to be dying even faster now. I will try
cutting back the dying branches and try a better medium that doesn't stay so
soggy. In this case it's obviously not a problem of the soil being too dry.
If nothing else, it sounds as though I may be able to take some cuttings from
this plant (which I bought because the bloom color is so pretty) to start
elsewhere. Do you have any hints on how best to do this?
Thanks very much!
(delete "nojunk" to e-mail)