Repotting from a window box

deckplanterJanuary 19, 2008

Greetings all,

I have a fuchsia (cultivar unknown! It's a trailing type) that I bought in fall 2006. It was flowering and growing happily all last summer under a shady table on my south-facing deck, then it took a break for December, and now has lots of frisky new shoot and buds. Here's the issue:

It was a small fuchsia and I planted it in a 24" x 6" window-box style planter, meaning to put some primroses around it and have a colorful shade planter. The primroses are long gone now and I would rather repot it to hang under the eaves, BUT... it's been growing a long time in this long, narrow, rectangular box. I imagine it has sent long roots out to the left and right, and short ones under the stem, thanks to the box's skinny proportions.

So how do I transfer this fuchsia to a round planter for hanging? I have a 10" plastic hanger that's a little deeper than most hanging baskets - more like a pot than a bowl. Should I just trim the long roots? Curl them around into the new pot? Leave it where it is if it's not rootbound? Is this even a good time to repot? For that matter, is the 10" diameter pot going to be too big?

I hate to mess with success, because my fuchsias usually do not make it through the Santa Ana season and this one has survived that twice. It would be *much* easier to take care of the plant in a regular pot though, especially since the landlord butchered the nearby tree this fall and all my filtered shade is gone *sigh*. I'll probably have to move it around to keep it well-lit but not cooking in the summer sun.

All wisdom gratefully appreciated =)

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Additional Info... I checked the box this morning and roots are *just* peeking out the drain holes, but not spilling out, if that makes any difference.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 11:25AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Not a problem, you are in zone 9 so I would think you can dig and root prune now, I do this quite often when taking fuchsias into the greenhouse for the winter. I root prune and plant into smaller pots with quite a few of mine so they don't take up as much room on the benches. Make sure to sterilize whatever you use to prune the roots with. You should also cut the top back as well this will force new growth and this in turn will produce more flowers for you. Someone from your zone might jump in with more info for you but this forum is so slow some of us that grow Fuchsias don't check in very often. Hope this is of some help.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 4:32PM
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It is, thanks! Seems odd that there is not more specific information on the web somewhere, but I have googled in vain. I'm sure the plant will appreciate some fresh, nutrient filled soil after living in the same dirt for two years.

What do you suggest for sterilizing the pruners with? And do I need special shears for trimming the roots?

    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 8:25PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

I use secateurs (pruning shears) or sometimes scissors on the fine roots and I wipe the shears/scissors down with rubbing alcohol or dip them in water with a bit of bleach before I start and again before moving on to another plant. There is quite a bit of information out there, here's a link to the American Fuchsia Society, they have links to more Fuchsia Societies this should get you started in finding more information on these little beauties. Good luck with your Fuchsia.

Here is a link that might be useful: AFS

    Bookmark   January 21, 2008 at 12:58AM
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Excellent, very helpful. Thanks!!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2008 at 12:52PM
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