Pruning Fuchsia Plants – Learn How And When To Prune Fuchsias

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By Mary H. Dyer, Master Naturalist and Master Gardener

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.

All fuchsia types benefit from regular removal of spent blooms. Also, pinching growing tips on new plants encourages full, bushy growth.

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 and prune the plant to reduce height or to remove thin or weak growth when new growth emerges in early spring.

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 (2 to 3 meters) 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 pruning 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.

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