How to grow a Fuchsia Standard
Standard Fuchsias are fairly easy to grow, A standard fuchsia is simply a bush or trailing fuchsia that has been grown to branch out and flower on top of a tall slender stem. In this growing diary we shall train a straight stem until it reaches the desired height and encourage masses of coloured blooms. A Fuchsia Standard in full bloom will brighten up any garden or patio.
It can take two years to grow a good Fuchsia standard but well worth the wait and with proper care and attention it will give you several years of enjoyment.
To train a straight stem, we shall remove new branches in the leaf axils close to the stem as they grow, leaving the main leaves on the stem as these will be photosynthesizing (manufacturing food to support the plant).
It is always worth looking for an established plant in the nurseries in order to take multiple cuttings in early spring - a good alternative to buying baby plants!
This diary is updated regularly and we welcome any questions or comments you might have. email
Click any of the photographs in this diary to see a larger version.
1st March 2011
We purchased fuchsia Checkeroard and fuchisa Frosted Flame from the local garden nursery Last weekend.
The baby fuchsia plants have been potted on into 8cm plastic pots. They have been placed uncovered in a heated propagator, out of direct sunlight, where they will remain until they get going.
Bush fuchsia Checkerboard
Is a vigorous, free-flowering bush variety that has single flowers with long red tubes, red sepals turning white, and dark red skirts (corollas). Its upright habit makes it ideal for training as a standard lollipop-shaped plant.
Trailing fuchsia Frosted Flame
Is a compact trailing variety with a large single vivid red and pink corolla with pale pink flushed sepals of white.
12th April 2011
The fuchsia plants have been potted on in a multipurpose compost into 5 inch pots. A top dressing of potting grit has been added and a plant cane inserted into the pot. The young plants have been losely secured to the cane with velcro tape.
From the top of the pot Checkerboard now measures 13cm and Frosted Flame 16cm.
Fuchsia Bella Rosella
We added a third plant - Fuchsia Bella Rosella (just in case). This variety is trailing with giant flowers in two shades of pink.
Hover over the pictures for the plant name, double click any of the photos for a larger image.
28th June 2011
Fuchsia Checkerboard has been re-potted in to a 22cm pot and is growing well.
We are pinching all new growth, including flower buds in the leaf axils almost daily.
The plant is now 71cm high - hoping to get the plant to 90cm high before letting it bloom.
19th July 2011
Checkerboard has now reached 92cm from the top of the pot
It is now time to pinch out the growing tip and allow the plant to develop sideshoots, these sideshoots will be allowed to grow 3 leaf sets before they (and any flower buds) are pinched out.
This process will continue until a round head has formed
The plant is now positioned to gain as much light as possible. Water and feed regularly, do not allow the pot to dry out. Keep an eye out for bugs and flick off any you find, (a fine paint brush is useful for this).
We shall be photographing side shoot development at least every two weeks now, so check back to see how things progress.
4th August 2011 2011
Over the last 16 days there has been strong vertical growth between sideshoots (10cm). The overal height of the plant, measured from the top of the pot, is now 118cm.
It is now time to pinch out the sideshoots just after the 3rd leaf set. We shall repeat this process on all further growth at the head of the stem.
28th August 2011
Over the last 4 weeks we have been pinching out the sideshoots as described, allowing the head to develop. The head is now 60cm at the widest point.
It is now time to stop pinching out, remove all the leaves on the tall stem and allow the flowers to develop
The plant is now susceptable to wind damage and prone to being blown over so keep the plant anchored to its stake and locate in a bright sunny but sheltered position.
We shall now feed the plant daily with a tomato fertilizer diluted to about a quarter of the recommeded strength.
26th September 2011
The compost has been allowed to dry out and it is now time to remove all remaining leaves. The branches on the head of the plant have been clipped back to the main stem. The plant will be placed in the dark and protected from the cold and frost over winter.
27th February 2012
After winter the plant looks a sorry sight (see right), hopefully it has survived.
The pot has been well watered and the tip sprayed. The top of the plant has also been covered with a clear plastic bag that has been misted in order to create a moist humid environment to aid sprouting of new growth. Fingers Crossed.
The plant will be kept inside and placed in a bright position but away from direct sunlight and with any luck we should see new growth within a few weeks.
20th March 2012
The Fuchsia survived! New growth has started from the top of the plant.
The Fuschsia (Checkerboard) has been re-potted into a 20 litre pot, we used John Innes no3 compost to which we added some well rotted manure and additional grit to aid drainage. In addition we placed one of our topiary frame pot inserts together with a 1 metre steel support pole into the pot. Velcro garden tape has been used to secure the main stem to the pole.
The top growth is being misted daily and the pot watered sparingly, keeping the compost just moist, so that the roots spread and search out for the moisture
7th April 2012
We continue to mist the top growth and have started moving the plant outside on warm days brining back inside in the evening.
We shall soon attach one of Topiary Garden's Flower Ball frames to the top of the steel pole which will eventually provide lateral support to the emerging branchs.
14th June 2012
It's mid June and the head of the Fuchsia Standard is quite healthy but has not put on as much growth as would have been expected. Perhaps the lack of sunshine and much rain has contributed to this.
We are feeding every 10 days or so with Miricle Grow fertilizer and have pinched out the growing tips in order to encourage a bushy head to the fuchsia. The head now measures approximately 24cm high and 30cm wide.
The overall height of the Fuchsia standard including the pot is 144cm or 4 feet 9 inches.
The pot insert and steel support pole stood up well in the recent high winds protecting the fuchsia from wind damage.
Click on a photo for a larger image.
1st August 2012
The crown of the fuchsia standard has developed nicely over the last 6 weeks or so. The width is now 70 cm and the overall height including the pot is 175 cm (5 feet 9 inches). To prolong the flowering period we are deadheading all shrivelled or damaged blooms and the berries. If berries are aloud to form the flowering display may end prematurely. We are watering with a weak solution of feed daily.
4th October 2012
Fuchsia standard Checkerboard is now in full bloom and has given a great display this autumn. Since early August we have been feeding with a liquid tomato fertiliser and continue to dead head and remove berries. With the probability of high winds we are now taking extra care with the plant, ensuring it is kept in a sheltered position.
Click on a photo for a larger image.
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