when to feed sleepy fuchsia

crazyforcorelli(z5 utah)April 2, 2005

This was my first year over-wintering fuchsia, and of the 39 varieties that were stashed in my garage last October, only 10 have died. (Not bad for a newbie, in my humble opinion). Many of the survivors have started to leaf out, and I've increased their water. However, I have no idea when I should start fertilizing. Any ideas? By the way, I'm not planning on repotting them.

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fuchsiabonsailady(z8 UK)

Hi Crazyforcorelli,
You say you have no intention of repotting them. They have presumably been in the same soil since last Autumn, if so there is no 'goodness' left in that soil. Re-potting doesn't mean you have to put them in bigger pots. Firstly (I of course do not know how big they are), let them dry out a bit, then cut the growth back to 6 inches from soil level (doing this will give you 'bushier' plants later. Remove from the pot, carefully remove some of the old soil and roots (approx. one third at the bottom of the pot) put new soil into bottom of pot and replant. Keep moist, don't overwater, after approx. 4 weeks according to your temperature and daylight you will see new growth appearing lower down on the remaining stems, then feed for one month with a high nitrogen feed, after that feed with a balanced feed NPK 20-20-20 throughout the summer months. - Kath :)

    Bookmark   April 3, 2005 at 8:56AM
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tightathome(Yorks - UK)

Hi CFC,

Just to follow up on what Kath says, a good thing also is to knock the plant out of its pot and check that there are new Âwhite roots in the soil, these roots are very fragile and will not tolerate too much feed. If you donÂt re-pot your plants you can start by feeding a quarter strength high nitrogen foliar feed early in the day and increase this to quarter strength high nitrogen feed in the water at every third or fourth watering (be careful not to over-water though) when there are enough leaves on the plant to warrant watering.

The high nitrogen feed should be increased after a couple of weeks to half strength every week, then as Kath says change to a balanced feed, you can now though (in my humble opinion) feed at quarter strength every other watering or half strength every fourth watering or if you prefer a full strength weekly..

After a month or so on a balanced feed (20:20:20) regime, you can change to a high potash feed but donÂt overdo this and keep to either the half strength twice a week or full strength once a week The high potash content will improve your plants flower quantity and quality but too much will have the opposite effect and the stems will become ripe too quickly.

Like Kath says though the best method would be to remove some of the old stale soil and replace it with some fresh material.

Tight....

    Bookmark   April 3, 2005 at 2:36PM
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crazyforcorelli(z5 utah)

Hmmm. IÂm now giving serious thought to repotting, though it sounds like a cumbersome task for 29 fuchsia (theyÂre mostly in individual pots!). If I do replace the bottom third of the soil, should I used an enriched potting mix, or just regular, old potting soil?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2005 at 5:12PM
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