Hardiness of heat-tolerant fuchsia?

vmr423November 4, 2013

Someone gave me a lovely fuchsia that bloomed very well through our hot and humid summer (zone 8b). It's in a pot, but I'd like to plant it out in an area that gets dappled shade. My concern is that it may not be as winter-hardy as fuchsias that aren't heat-tolerant.

I'm not sure of the variety- it kinda looks like the photos I've seen of 'Angel's Earrings', and the gentleman who gave it to me said it was a Japanese hybrid, so that might be what it is... It isn't the 'Cascading' form, but looks more like the upright 'Dainty' form. It doesn't want to be in a hanging basket- it wants to be a shrub...

We rarely get freezing temps here, but if we do, I don't want to kill the plant. Anyone have any experience with growing heat-tolerant fuchsias in the ground? I'll keep it in its pot for this winter, but would like to plant it out this spring...

Thanks for any help you can provide.

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ifraser25(z11 Brazil)

You shouldn't have any problems. Fuchsia heaven is a mild, frost-free climate but with cool summer temperatures. If any parts of your plant have died back over winter - this is not uncommon, even in ideal conditions - they can easily be pruned out. Even in a severe winter with more than 90% of the plant destroyed you can cut it away and it will grow back. Good luck. -Ian.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 5:13PM
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Thanks, Ian, for the reassurance.

Just to follow up... my fuschia is still in a large pot; I brought it in for freezing temps, and it's doing fine though not yet blooming again.

What's interesting, though, is that the person who gave me my plant did an experiment with a few 'sacrifice' plants from cuttings and left them outside all winter. 3 of 4 plants are greening up nicely after dying back.

The one that didn't make it already seemed less vigorous than the others before the cold weather, so the upshot seems to be that these heat-tolerant fuschias are cold-hardy to at least zone 8 if they're healthy specimens to begin with.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 9:02PM
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ifraser25(z11 Brazil)

That's good news. In general middle-aged plants are more hardy than young or very old ones. They are also more hardy planted in the ground than if left in pots esp if you mulch. If the worst comes to the worst and your plant is badly frosted you can often recover it by cutting back hard to ground level. Good luck. Ian

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 8:55AM
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