Growing Fuschia in zone 9

olddog1213(9a-b)December 18, 2006

Can anyone advise me on growing fuschia in central florida? Thought I would like to try them and have no idea how to start and what ones to get and what to expect when I do start. Thanks for any help.

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You will have difficulty, but there are possibilities.

Fuchsia triphylla is unique among the Fuchsias in coming from the West Indies. It is a warm-growing tropical Fuchsia. It is one of the few Fuchsias that actually likes hot muggy weather.

It comes in many named forms and is gorgeous. It is one of those types that produce all its flowers on the ends of shoots, instead of in the leaf axils. Some forms of it like the beautiful and wildly popular "Gartenmeister Bonstedt" have a gorgeous metalic red sheen on their leaves.

It should be OK between frosts (which I assume don't come every year in Central Florida), but you might want to mulch it just in case. Its tolerance for frost is VERY low. It might tolerate a mild and very brief frost but nothing prolonged. One hybrid of it called "Billy Green" that has candy pink blossoms tolerates mild frosts.

Now here is what I don't know: Fuchsias in general have low tolerance for Phytophthora, which is a problem in many of the southern states, but maybe not so much if your soil is favorable. I know that parts of Florida have alkaline soil so watch the pH and give them acidic fertilizer if they start going chlorotic. Fuchsias aren't picky otherwise and they have fine greedy aggressive roots.

Another tropical Fuchsia is F. paniculata from Central America. It is not as showy as F. triphylla. It has attractive glossy leaves tho and the flowers aren't ugly, just small and a modest shade of pink.

F. boliviana is more-or-less tropical but I don't know how much heat it stands. It is quite showy especially its scarlet and white "alba" form.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2007 at 1:46AM
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Thanks for the info. I am going to try some.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2007 at 7:00AM
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