Moonglow Fuchsia Standard

marcindy(z5b, Indianapolis, IN)May 9, 2005

Hi, I started to raise a standard from the fuchsia 'Moonglow' two years ago, and everything went well. I pinched the stem at a hight of about 4 feet at the end of the growing season 2003, looking forward to a spectacular standard in 2004 (last summer). However, the plant struggled all summer last year, it developed a small crown, and a few blossoms, that were hanging around laxly, almost like it didn't get enough water to the top. I tried various spots for the plant in dappled shade, out of the direct hot sun for most but a few hours in the morning. I made sure it was always well watered without being water-clogged, and also not exposed to too much wind. In short, I tried everything that usually makes even a finicky fuchsia happy, but Moonglow didn't respond at all. In the fall, the growth finally recovered and I did get a few supple flowers and supple new growth before the cold weather shut the growing season down for me.

My question for this year is, what can I do to turn this standard into a real treasure? Did I miss something last year? I just found out that most folks consider Moonglow a trailing variety, might that explain the struggle? Any thoughts are welcome, even wild speculation, because at this point I am at the end of my wisdom ( a rather short trip as my fellow co-workers are quick to point out). But seriously folks, have you had similar experiences with some other varieties? Let me know.

Thanks a lot.

Marc

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fuchsiabonsailady(z8 UK)

Hi Marc,
Trailing fuchsias make lovely standards as well as the upright growth varieties, in actual fact in some respects the head of the standard looks better, with it's trailing stems.

Can you tell me how did you overwinter it in 2003 and 2004?
Kath :)

    Bookmark   May 9, 2005 at 7:09PM
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marcindy(z5b, Indianapolis, IN)

Hello Fuchsiabonsailady, I did overwinter this particular standard in my garage under growing lights. The temperature never drops below 55F. I keep them on the dry side. Before I moved them into the garage I gave them a light trimming to remove most leaves though.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2005 at 10:26PM
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fuchsiabonsailady(z8 UK)

Hi Marc,
If they survive this summer, next Autumn, trim the head back by half and remove all the leaves that are left on remaining stems. As you keep them 'in the green' throughout the winter you can also repot at this stage, removing any large tap roots. Pot it back into the same size pot or even a smaller pot, then it can go into a slightly bigger pot in the Spring.

When new grow starts to appear, after 2 or 3 pairs of leaves have grown on each stem pinch out the growing tip, this will encourage the head to bush out more and give you a larger head, you can keep doing this throughout the winter. During the winter period keep just moist, not wet. Do not feed until the spring.

Growlights are ok, but we must remember they are not the same as daylight hours in the spring/summer, and fuchsia growth is inclined to go 'leggy' during this time, so 'pinching out the growing tips' is essential - Kath:)

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 3:57AM
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tightathome(Yorks - UK)

Hi Marc

As well the information you gave Kath, can you tell us if you have repotted the standard or is it still growing in the original container and soil?

Have you tried spraying the head of the standard with tepid water containing a high nitrogen feed?

Last year I grew a standard of a cultivar called 'Lovelly Les' which is a sibling from 'Shelford' but is a double. Unfortunately I severed a main root while trying to re-stake it and I ruined the plant for last year. Fortunately I managed to keep it growing through the winter albeit slowly as there was no heat in the conservatory ( I did cover it with garden fleece when frost was forecast though). This plant is now growing away very nicely and will hopefully make it to a couple of shows this year.

Like Kath says you need to keep pinching the growing tips out to make it bushier, I stopped every growing point on this plant last weekend and there was well over a hundred to do.

Tight....

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 9:17AM
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marcindy(z5b, Indianapolis, IN)

Hi, thanks everyone for your input. Yes I did report the standard into fresh soil. As far as pinching the tips is concerned, I did that as well, but it didn't respond with vigorous side shoots as you would expect it, and as all my other fuchsia plants, including four other standrds, did. Like I said, the entire plant looked like it lacked vigor and sap. Neither leaves nor flowers were very supple at all. Right now I do spray the top of the standard with tepid water every morning and late afternoon. New growth tips are showing, I am wondering though what it will look like this year. I'll keep you posted. Thanks again for your gracious help.
Marc

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 9:51AM
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tightathome(Yorks - UK)

Marc

Just have a look at the root system to make sure that there are plenty of white roots. If there are then the plant should 'pick up', if there aren't I think I would be tempted to remove some of the rootball and repot into fresh soil.

Tight....

    Bookmark   May 11, 2005 at 9:20AM
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Camelotshadow(9bCA)

Saw Moonglow in the nursery
been looking at it for a few days
it is stunning
hope to be able to get a smaller stater plant the $20 one was a bit out of my budget
oooh but is it pretty!!!!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2005 at 11:32PM
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