The triphylla is a plant well worth growing. The flowers are different to other fuchsias as they consist of long pendulous blooms in clusters at the end of the branches. The leaves are dark green on top, with a lovely purple sheen underneath. Triphyllas will not survive frost and are best grown outside as a summer plant and taken indoors before the first frost.
Feeding – Triphyllas appreciate a higher nitrogen content in their feed in the early part of the season. This can be continued throughout the season if you prefer, but leading growers recommend a balanced feed in late Spring. High potash feeds are not recommended for triphyllas as it is thought this may be responsible for excessive lower leaf drop.
Before over-wintering – The top growth of the plant should be reduced by about a third. All foliage should be removed and the plant sprayed with a combined insecticide/fungicide to protect the plant from harbouring pests or diseases.
Over-wintering – Triphyllas require a temperature of 35oF (2oC) in winter. This will keep them in a semi-dormant state. The rootball should not be allowed to dry out – it needs to remain “just moist”. If it is overwatered the roots will rot and the plant will die. If it is under watered, the roots will dry out and the plant will die.
Early Spring – All the top growth should be removed so that just 2” – 3” (5 – 7.5cm) of each branch remains. Spray against pests and diseases again and place in a light position (temperature a minimum of 40oF (4oC) and spray daily with tepid water to encourage growth. Feed with a diluted feed which is high in nitrogen and this will bring the root system back into growth.
The plant can be re-potted into fresh compost when buds have formed. Removal of the bottom 1” – 2” of old compost will enable the plant to be lowered into the new pot. The plant should then be placed in a good light position, but protected from the direct rays of the hot sun until new growth is evident.