The Fuchsia Growers Year...
Young plants taken as cuttings during the previous summer and growing in a heated greenhouse or on a windowsill will require an occasional weak balanced liquid feed. These should be potted on as soon as the roots start to fill their pots, and they also need the tips removing to get them into shape. Take care not to overwater during the short growing days of this month. Turn plants regularly and establish a spraying regime against pests.
Keep removing the growing tips after a couple of pairs of leaves and turn the pots to help young plants maintain their shape and even growth. Keep up the spraying regime.
Keep removing the tips and turn the pots as before. From this month you can give ¼ strength nitrogen liquid feed with every watering. A spray with fungicide at this time of year will pay dividends later in the season if your area is susceptible to rust. The pots can be given a drenching of ‘Provado’ to control vine weevil grubs, which may be in the compost.
Over-wintered and dormant plants which haven’t already been trimmed back can now be pruned removing dead and crossing branches. Stems can be sprayed with aired water to encourage new growth. Once new growth has appeared remove some of the compost from the roots and re-pot ensuring new compost is introduced.into the pot. Keep removing tips as previous except for species and tryphilla (so that they will flower in August).
Keep up the spraying regime and quarter strength feeding.
Plants will be growing strongly this month so it is a good time to acquire cuttings. Stop pinching out tips on double flowered plants so that they will flower in August but carry on with single varieties. Shade the greenhouse. Continue to turn plants. Plants may be pit outside during the day but beware of frosts which will damage plants. If necessary cover the plants with horticultural fleece.
Plants will keep growing strongly with well balanced and even growth providing the above advice has been followed. The plants need more attention to watering especially hanging baskets which may require twice daily watering. Your spraying and feeding regimes should continue with high potash feed being introduced at quarter strength. From the second week onwards fuchsias may be planted outdoors. Keep them well watered with an occasional full strength high potash liquid feed to help them flower. Take cuttings for next years specimen plants.
The plants can now be left outdoors with an eye on the weather for late frosts. In strong winds ensure that the plants cannot blow over. If kept in a greenhouse ensure that it is well ventilated. Shade the plants from strong sunshine e.g. cool glass shading. Cuttings to be grown over winter should be nipped out and kept flowerless. Spray only those plants which do not have any flowers and feed at quarter strength every watering. Water early in the day to avoid droplets damaging buds and blooms. Plants should still be turned and protect show plants from bees (by taking into the greenhouse).
For those who wish to show this is an extremely busy month. Fuchsias which are planted in the garden need plenty of water and the occasional liquid feed. Mulching around the crown will help prevent moisture loss. Dead head plants (removing dead flower heads and seed pods) on a regular basis to maintain flowering. Be vigilant for pests and spray as needed.
This is another busy month for the fuchsia grower. Large plants e.g. baskets and standards need to harden outside to help them over winter in a semi-dormant state. At this time of year the plants require less feeding and watering and all feeding stops mid-month. Keep up the checking and spraying programme on plants which are to kept in ‘green leaf’ through the winter. Pot up late summer cuttings and take the same precautions as for early spring. Allow plants to become a little drier to slow them down ready for pruning back. At the end of the month over-wintered plants in growth can be pruned back now into a good shape, with just a couple of breaks above last years growth. Plants to be over-wintered in semi-dormant state should be totally defoliated, by hand (if necessary), and pruned back to enable storage.. Drench with ‘Provado” to control any vine weevil grubs which may be lurking in the compost. Fuchsias planted in the garden come into their own at this time of the year.
A reasonably quiet month for the fuchsia grower. The greenhouse needs to be cleaned out thoroughly, so firstly remove all plants before cleaning especially if using a greenhouse smoke. Ensure that the greenhouse is dried to remove, and further discourage, diseases such as Botrytis and other fungal problems and also pests such as aphids. For those plants in the ‘green’ continue to pinch out the tips to shape them. Watering is reduced, preferably watering from the bottom. Watch for early frost and cover as necessary with horticultural fleece.
A colder month with the probability of frosts. Fuchsias which are to be left in the garden need to have their crowns protected by a mulch and tidied up by cutting back the branches by up to a third. Provide as much ventilation as possible to the greenhouse on any warm days ensuring that the doors and windows are closed early to keep in any warmth. Keep turning the plants in the ‘green’ one quarter turn every couple of days.
To prevent fungal disease remove all fallen leaves and debris from the top of pots and branches. Maintain frost free conditions and keep plants that are growing over winter just moist and never let them dry out. Watch for pests and keep turning those plant in green leaves.