By Heather Rhoades
Wintering fuchsias is something that many fuchsia owners ask about. Fuchsias flowers are lovely, and almost magical, but, while fuchsias are a perennial, they are not cold hardy. This means that if you want to keep a fuchsia plant from year to year, you must take steps to over winter your fuchsia. Below you will find information on how to winter fuchsia plants in your home.
How to Winter Fuchsia Plants
The goal of overwintering fuchsias is to keep them alive, not to keep them blooming. A fuchsia will not keep blooming through the winter. They need sunlight that is really only available outside in the summer. It is very difficult to imitate these conditions in your house.
The best thing you can do to over winter fuchsia is to put them into dormancy, which is kind of a rest for plants. The plant will look dead, but it will just be sleeping for the winter. If you do not put the plant into dormancy, it will most likely become infested with pests and have poor growth.
Start the process of wintering fuchsias by bringing them into your home. Carefully spray the fuchsia plant with water to knock off any pests that may be hiding in its leaves.
The next step in how to winter fuchsia plants is to find a cool, dark place in your home to store the fuchsia. The temperatures should range from 45-55 F. (4-7 C.). Basements and attached garages normally work well for this. Place the fuchsia in this place and cut back watering. The plant will lose its leaves and appear dead, but remember that it is not.
Continuing fuchsia winter care is basically watering the plant about once every 3-4 weeks. The soil should be moist but not soaked.
The last step to overwintering fuchsias is to bring it out of dormancy. About a month before your last frost date, take your fuchsia out of its storage location. Cut all the branches on the plant back by half. This will encourage new growth, which will in turn make more fuchsia flowers in the summer.
Place your fuchsia in a location with bright filtered light, away from direct sun, and resume normal watering. Once your last frost date has passed, you can move your fuchsia plant to a shady area outside and care for it as you normally would. It may also help to acclimate the plant first.
While wintering fuchsias means that you will not see beautiful fuchsia flowers all winter long, it does mean that you can enjoy your fuchsia year after year. Know that you know how to winter fuchsia plants, you can enjoy both beautiful plants and money savings with these few simple steps.