Fuchsia is a gorgeous plant that provides dangling blooms in jewel-like colors throughout most of the summer. Although maintenance is generally uninvolved, regular pruning is sometimes needed to keep your fuchsia vibrant and blooming at its best. There are a lot of different ideas about how and when to prune fuchsias, and much depends on the type of plant and your climate. We’ve provided a few tips to get you started.
Pruning Fuchsia Plants
It helps to keep in mind that fuchsia produces blooms only on new wood, so there’s no need to worry about cutting off buds when you’re doing fuchsia pruning on old wood. Don’t be afraid of cutting back a fuchsia drastically if need be, as the plant will eventually rebound better and healthier than ever.
How to Prune Fuchsias
Trailing fuchsia – Commonly grown as an annual in most areas, trailing fuchsia (Fuchsia x hybrida) grows year round in the warm climates of USDA plant hardiness zones 10 and 11. This fuchsia is ideal for hanging baskets.
Trailing fuchsia generally doesn’t need a lot of pruning, but you can always remove thin, weak or wayward growth as needed throughout the season to maintain a healthy, vigorous plant. Make cuts just above a node.
If you want to bring your trailing fuchsia indoors for the winter, cut it back to 6 inches (15 cm.) or less. If you live in zone 10 or 11, wait until new growth emerges in early spring, then prune the plant to reduce height or to remove thin or weak growth.
Hardy fuchsia – Hardy fuchsia (Fuchsia magellanica) is a bushy perennial that grows year round in USDA zones 7 through 9. This tropical-looking shrub reaches mature heights of 6 to 10 feet (1.8-3 m.) and widths of about 4 feet (1.2 meters). The blooms, which are similar to those of trailing fuchsia, are followed by reddish-purple fruits.
Pruning isn’t usually necessary, although a light trim in late autumn may be helpful if you live in a windy area. Otherwise, prune lightly in spring, if needed, to reduce height or to remove thin or weak growth.
Avoid pruning hardy fuchsia in winter unless you live in a warm, non-freezing climate.