why do fuschias always die?

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why do fuschias always die?

Post by Yngv » Wed, 17 May 2000 04:00:00



I just bought yet another beautiful fuschia in a*** basket from a nursery,
and hung it up under a tree. As seems to always happen for me, some of the
branches start drooping and then shrivel and die. I thought because it's been
so rainy (Chicago) that it needed to come inside and dry out a little, but it's
just been getting worse.
This happened to a couple of fuschias I bought last year, although one of the
plants survived.
What am I doing wrong? I've noticed that even in the nurseries, a lot of the
fuschias look wilty. Are these just hard to grow? The one that survived last
summer looked wonderful after a while and I'd love to have more, but I'd like
to figure out how to better my chances of them surviving.
BTW, from what I've read they like moist but not damp soil, and bright but
filtered light, no sun. I have tried transplanting them into coconut baskets to
give them more air circulation but it doesn't seem to help much.
yngver

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why do fuschias always die?

Post by Ann » Wed, 17 May 2000 04:00:00



Quote:
>I just bought yet another beautiful fuschia in a*** basket from a nursery,
>and hung it up under a tree. As seems to always happen for me, some of the
>branches start drooping and then shrivel and die. I thought because it's been
>so rainy (Chicago) that it needed to come inside and dry out a little, but it's
>just been getting worse.
>This happened to a couple of fuschias I bought last year, although one of the
>plants survived.
>What am I doing wrong? I've noticed that even in the nurseries, a lot of the
>fuschias look wilty. Are these just hard to grow? The one that survived last
>summer looked wonderful after a while and I'd love to have more, but I'd like
>to figure out how to better my chances of them surviving.
>BTW, from what I've read they like moist but not damp soil, and bright but
>filtered light, no sun. I have tried transplanting them into coconut baskets to
>give them more air circulation but it doesn't seem to help much.

I think it's the soil.  They pot these things in lightweight medium to
keep down shipping charges, but it isn't good for the plants.  If you
want to try it, find a good potting soil (real soil, not perlite with
peat) and repot the fuschia, teasing the roots a bit and working the
soil in well.  See if that doesn't make a difference.

--
Ann, Gardening in Zone 6a
Just south of Boston, MA
********************************
http://www.moonsgarden.com/

 
 
 

why do fuschias always die?

Post by Rudbeckia Hirt » Thu, 18 May 2000 04:00:00


Very good idea Ann I never thought of that!
Thanks, I have that same problem.

Quote:

> >I just bought yet another beautiful fuschia in a*** basket from a
nursery,
> >and hung it up under a tree. As seems to always happen for me, some of
the
> >branches start drooping and then shrivel and die. I thought because it's
been
> >so rainy (Chicago) that it needed to come inside and dry out a little,
but it's
> >just been getting worse.
> >This happened to a couple of fuschias I bought last year, although one of
the
> >plants survived.
> >What am I doing wrong? I've noticed that even in the nurseries, a lot of
the
> >fuschias look wilty. Are these just hard to grow? The one that survived
last
> >summer looked wonderful after a while and I'd love to have more, but I'd
like
> >to figure out how to better my chances of them surviving.
> >BTW, from what I've read they like moist but not damp soil, and bright
but
> >filtered light, no sun. I have tried transplanting them into coconut
baskets to
> >give them more air circulation but it doesn't seem to help much.

> I think it's the soil.  They pot these things in lightweight medium to
> keep down shipping charges, but it isn't good for the plants.  If you
> want to try it, find a good potting soil (real soil, not perlite with
> peat) and repot the fuschia, teasing the roots a bit and working the
> soil in well.  See if that doesn't make a difference.

> --
> Ann, Gardening in Zone 6a
> Just south of Boston, MA
> ********************************
> http://www.moonsgarden.com/

 
 
 

why do fuschias always die?

Post by Yngv » Thu, 18 May 2000 04:00:00


Quote:
>I think it's the soil.  They pot these things in lightweight medium to
>keep down shipping charges, but it isn't good for the plants.  If you
>want to try it, find a good potting soil (real soil, not perlite with
>peat) and repot the fuschia, teasing the roots a bit and working the
>soil in well.  See if that doesn't make a difference.

I will try it, although the plant is about half dead by now. But as I
understand it, I may be still able to cut it back and get new growth. It
actually came in heavy black soil like topsoil, and seems to stay too wet. I've
had it indoors now for several days to dry out but the soil is still wet and I
think that's what's killing it.
yngver

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why do fuschias always die?

Post by Yngv » Thu, 18 May 2000 04:00:00


Quote:
>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.

>Good luck,
>Theo Margelony
>(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!
yngver

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why do fuschias always die?

Post by Bethan » Thu, 18 May 2000 04:00:00


You know, if you have the receipt, they may let you take it back and refund
your money or exchange it.  That way you could start over.
It may be hard, though, parting with the lil sick fuschia plant...  ~Bethany

 
 
 

why do fuschias always die?

Post by rrice.. » Fri, 19 May 2000 04:00:00



Quote:
>I just bought yet another beautiful fuschia in a*** basket from a nursery,
>and hung it up under a tree. As seems to always happen for me, some of the
>branches start drooping and then shrivel and die. I thought because it's been
>so rainy (Chicago) that it needed to come inside and dry out a little, but it's
>just been getting worse.
>This happened to a couple of fuschias I bought last year, although one of the
>plants survived.
>What am I doing wrong? I've noticed that even in the nurseries, a lot of the
>fuschias look wilty. Are these just hard to grow? The one that survived last
>summer looked wonderful after a while and I'd love to have more, but I'd like
>to figure out how to better my chances of them surviving.
>BTW, from what I've read they like moist but not damp soil, and bright but
>filtered light, no sun. I have tried transplanting them into coconut baskets to
>give them more air circulation but it doesn't seem to help much.
>yngver

>(delete "nojunk" to e-mail)

This is one of the most informative sites I have seen on fuschias.
Hopefully something on it can help with your problem.  It may be that
the plants aren't getting enough water.  
http://www.moonsgarden.com/

Rebecca
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why do fuschias always die?

Post by kate6.. » Fri, 19 May 2000 04:00:00



Quote:


> >BTW, from what I've read they like moist but not damp soil, and
bright but
> >filtered light, no sun. I have tried transplanting them into coconut
baskets to
> >give them more air circulation but it doesn't seem to help much.
> >yngver

> This is one of the most informative sites I have seen on fuschias.
> Hopefully something on it can help with your problem.  It may be that
> the plants aren't getting enough water.
> http://www2.dicom.se/fuchsias/menueng.html

> Rebecca

Great site Rebecca, thanks!  I bought my first fuchsia a couple of weeks
ago and so far it's doing fine, though it tells you very quickly when it
needs water.  I checked out the tips & hints, and you've probably saved
mine - I'll be moving it into a more shaded area when it gets hotter.
It sounds like Yngver's soil may be too dense.

Kate
NM

Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.

 
 
 

why do fuschias always die?

Post by rrice.. » Fri, 19 May 2000 04:00:00


Quote:

>This is one of the most informative sites I have seen on fuschias.
>Hopefully something on it can help with your problem.  It may be that
>the plants aren't getting enough water.  
>http://www2.dicom.se/fuchsias/menueng.html

>Rebecca
>Remove "not" when replying by email

Oh.. the only bad thing about this site is that most of the questions
and answers appear to be in Swedish.  But the rest of the site is
available in English.

Rebecca
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why do fuschias always die?

Post by Yngv » Fri, 19 May 2000 04:00:00


Quote:
>You know, if you have the receipt, they may let you take it back and refund
>your money or exchange it.  That way you could start over.
>It may be hard, though, parting with the lil sick fuschia plant...  ~Bethany

A good idea, and it should teach me to save the receipt. I'm not sure after 3
weeks, though, whether they wouldn't say it was something I did wrong.
yngver

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why do fuschias always die?

Post by Yngv » Fri, 19 May 2000 04:00:00


Quote:
>Great site Rebecca, thanks!  I bought my first fuchsia a couple of weeks
>ago and so far it's doing fine, though it tells you very quickly when it
>needs water.  I checked out the tips & hints, and you've probably saved
>mine - I'll be moving it into a more shaded area when it gets hotter.
>It sounds like Yngver's soil may be too dense.

Yes, I actually came across this site yesterday and last night on the way home
I bought African violet potting soil (recommended on that site I think). I put
charcoal on the bottom of the coconut basket and covered with the new soil and
repotted. If nothing else, it may keep the roots from drowning in that soggy
soil. I see that two of the three plants in there are about dead (but the roots
are still white so they may grow back) but one plant is okay still. I also took
some cuttings to root.

It's frustrating because the same thing happened to a fuschia I bought last
year. I did manage to save one of the three plants in the basket last year, so
maybe I'll put it together with this one. Last year's plant survived the winter
indoors but it hasn't bloomed yet. From the web site, it sounds like all I need
to do is start feeding it.

These were both the kind that has fuschia petals with dark purple inside. I am
very tempted to buy a solid red one I saw if I can find a healthy looking
plant, but I hope I can keep it alive.

yngver

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why do fuschias always die?

Post by Yngv » Fri, 19 May 2000 04:00:00


Quote:
>Heavy black soil presents another problem so your instincts are probably
>right. It gets too packed and stays too soggy causing fuchsia roots to rot.
>To try to save it now, cut it back severly, shake off the old soil, cut away
>and dead roots, and repot into a smaller container with fresh, loose,
>well-draining soil.

Thanks for the advice. I have repotted it looser, more porous soil and put
charcoal at the bottom to help it drain better.  I haven't cut it back yet but
will.
Quote:

>Fuchsias are also very easy to root. Generally, it's like rooting most other
>cuttings. Basically, here's what I do. Take cuttings of about 3-4 sets of
>leaves from the ends of branches. Cut just below a leaf node and remove any
>bloosoms or buds. Also, pinch out the tips so the cuttings will start to
>branch as they root. Remove the bottom leaves, leaving two pairs. (If you can

>find ones with leaves in groups of three around the stem, use those as
>there'll be more branches.) Push the cuttings into a small pot with a loose,
>well-drainng soil. (Personally, I usually use Scotts ProGro.) Water in
>lightly. Cover with a plastic bag. Poke a few holes in the bag to let air
>circulate. Place in a bright, cool spot. (I root mine under fluorescent plant

>lights.)

>They should strike in about two weeks. You can tell when they've rooted as
>they'll start to grow. Once they're rooted and growing, make sure to remove
>the plastic bag over a period of time so the cuttings will have a chance to
>acclimate.

>As they grow, increase the size of the new pots slowing to avoid excess dirt
>that'll only become water-logged. Pinch out the new branches at two or three
>sets of leave once or twice. Fuchsias blossom towards the ends of branches,
>so generally the more branches, the more flowers. The plant should start to
>blossom an average about 8 weeks or so after the last pinching.

>I find rooting fuchsias is a great and inexpensive way to increase my plants
>and I get the satisfaction of knowing I did it from scratch.

>Regards,
>Theo Margelony
>(Manhattan NY - Zone 7)

Thanks, this is great! I took two cuttings and removed the bottom leaves and
stuck it in rooting compound, then put it in a little cup of moist soil.
Following your directions I'll try some more. As I said, even though the leaves
have died on some of the branches the roots are still alive so I think those
plants may come back.
Thanks, this is really helpful.
yngver

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why do fuschias always die?

Post by rrice.. » Sat, 20 May 2000 04:00:00


On Thu, 18 May 2000 7:40:43 -0400, Theo Margelony

Quote:

>This is one of the most informative sites on fuchsias on the internet. Lots
>of pictures, too. Kenneth Nielsen, who puts it up, raises fuchsias in
>Stockholm. But if you ask a question in English, you'll get a reply in
>English. Or German or French, for that matter.

>Theo
>(Manhattan NY - Zone 7)

Nod.  And I am not complaining that the letters are in whatever tongue
the people happen to speak.  I am very thankful that the site is
available in English.  It's just that you can learn a lot from reading
other people's questions, and you don't get to do that on the site.
But there's more than enough information to keep you busy for a long
time!  It was very helpful for me and my fuschias... unfortunately, I
decided they had to go.  They were just too big for the patio.
However, some baskets now.... :)

Rebecca
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