Help! Will my new fuschias die because of our climate?

imahousenewbieJune 16, 2012

While vacationing in San Francisco, I came across these lovely flowers (which I'd never seen before) and decided I had to have one. They remind me of little fairies in tutus, so cute! I bought two hanging types, hybrids of pink and purple. Not sure what kind; they aren't labeled. Anyway, I brought them home to where I live in San Bernardino and set them outside under my shaded porch. But now they're wilting and the leaves/stems are crinkly dry, falling off. I've watered them enough; the soil is moist still so I have been careful not to water them more, as I have heard fuschias can easily get too wet. They're still in their original plastic pots from the nursery...I still need to buy hanging baskets, but wanted to make sure they lived first. But there are holes in the bottom and it seems to be draining well.

Are these just not going to survive in my climate? The girl at the nursery said they should be ok as long as they're not in direct sunlight, but I'm wondering if she really knew or not...our temps are hitting 90s/100s. Are they doomed or is there a way to save them?

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ifraser25(z11 Brazil)

I hate to tell you this but Fuschias really hate heat. Anything above 80F(27C) is uncomfortable for them and even a single day at 90+ can mean death. It's the low humidity as much as the heat that does for them and watering doesn't help because their roots can't pick up the moisture fast enough for their thin leaves. The only thing you can do is bring them indoors into air conditioning, as they tolerate shade a lot better than frying temperatures. If they are planted in the ground there is not a lot you can do I'm sorry to say. The good news is, if you have them in pots you can put them outdoors for the rest of the year in CA. -Ian.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 8:55PM
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minflick(9b/7, Boulder Creek, CA)

Once upon a time, in about 2005 or so, I was at HD and bought a little fuchsia, an upright, deep pink sepals, deep purple corollas (?) that fade out to a lighter violet. It was in a 4" paper pot when I got it, and I potted it into a 2 gallon pot right away. Lived, at the time, in a fog zone near Monterey, CA. It loved living there, as it was foggy and cool enough that day long sun didn't burn it. Lived a few years there, and it bloomed all summer, and died back in the winter.

Moved to a very different zone, out of the fog, and into much hotter summers, where all my plants landed on a porch. Porch got extremely hot in the summer, very bakey, and the fuchsia decided it would croak. Dried out and looked dessicated. So, I put it on the front landing during summer, where it got NO sun except the last few hours of the day, but also was cooler and didn't toast. It didn't bloom as much as when we lived in the fog zone, but it bloomed nicely for the neighbors to see it and remark on it. It got watered whenever the soil was dry, and spritzed if the leaves looked a bit dried out too - but never in the morning where sun would hit the water drops before they dried off.

Now I'm back in a coastal climate, in the redwoods, with a lot less sun, and the plant hasn't cooked this summer, and also never bloomed, possibly because I failed to trim it back last winter, and it didn't die back and lose all it's leaves. I'll know better this winter! It's also due for a root prune and new dirt, but that's going to have to wait a bit.

My point is they can survive quite a range of conditions that might kill them, if you help them avoid the worst of the bad stuff. If I had kept my fuchsia on the porch all summer, there is no doubt it would have crisped and died - temps were easily in the 80's and 90's a lot, and there was no respite with shade until really late in the day. Finding it a happier location at the apartment allowed it to live, even with somewhat diminished bloom.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 10:34PM
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Not sure I'd agree with the temperature limitations given above. Afterall, many species are semitropical (some even tropical) in origin and are well accustomed to growing in warm or hot climates. What they will not tolerate is dryness nor direct sun. Hot summer temperatures may dictate watering every day or even several times a day and as long as the plants are out of direct sun, they should be fine.

FWIW, my nursery raises and grows on a large assortment of fuchsia starts, fuchsia trees and planted baskets. Summer temperatures outdoors here are usually quite mild but summer temperatures in the greenhouses where these plants are grown and displayed routinely reach 85-95F despite all manner of fans and ventilation. As long as the soil moisture remains consistant, the plants do fine.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 5:34PM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

The shrubby Fuchsia pendulosa varieties such as 'Gartenmeister Bonstadt' enjoy more heat while the ballerina sorts seem to prefer the woodland-y coolth a lot more.

In the glasshouse there is likely to be some form of summer shading and the humidity is probably quite high, too. Just outside the door, though, it could be dry as and no relief from the sun or wind.

A possible for potted fuchsias is to use a cachepot or double potting to increase the 'local moisture' for the plant while protecting it from over-watering until it can be repotted.

Or create a temporary shade area with some shade cloth from the garden centre. (It also reduces water loss from winds and keeps humidity a little higher around the plants.)

    Bookmark   October 13, 2012 at 1:24AM
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