Fuchsia Is a Great Container Plant for Shade

Fuchsia plant
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What's Great About Fuchsia: There is no doubt that fuchsias are a fabulous hanging basket staple. But they can also look fantastic in almost any container garden. They are easy(ish) to grow and most will reward you with extravagant blooms all summer if you respect their slightly fussy requirements.

Common Misspellings: Apparently the color fuchsia (spelled the same way as the plant) is one of the most commonly misspelled words in the English language, and while the plant name isn't used as frequently, it is also often misspelled as: 

  • Fushia
  • Fuchia
  • Fushcia

Features of Fuchsia:

  • Prolific bloomer from spring to fall
  • Thrives in full to partial shade
  • Attracts birds, butterflies and hummingbirds
  • Usually a low plant that drapes over sides of containers, though under certain conditions, some cultivars can grow to be tree-sized

Fuchsia Care: Though slightly fussy about moisture and temperatures, fuchsias are still considered an easy plant to grow in container gardens. Most will thrive in part shade to full shade, but they don't like to be too hot and they especially hate dry heat.

Fuchsias are happiest with temperatures between 55-80°F, though there are some heat-tolerant cultivars that will keep their blooms up to 90°F. Fuchsias thrive in humidity, so if you live in a dry climate, you may have to mist your fuchsias to keep them sufficiently moist.

Though some fuchsias don't need deadheading, for peak bloom production pick off spent blossoms.

Fuchsia Food and Water Requirements: During the blooming season fuchsias have a huge appetite, so you have to feed them regularly with diluted liquid fertilizer - there are lots available and a combination of fish emulsion and seaweed can work well.

Fuchsias like to be moist, but not soggy. Susceptible to root-rot, they require a fast draining potting soil and very good drainage.

Fuchsias thrive in humidity, so if you live somewhere dry, they are a little more challenging to grow and keep hydrated.

Hardiness: Unless you live in zones 9 or 10 fuchsias are considered an annual. Some will be hardy down to 25°F. Fuchsias can be brought inside and grown as houseplants in the winter, but often fail because the air is too dry and they have a susceptibility to spider mites.

Container Garden Design Suggestions: Fuchsias are most commonly used in hanging baskets, but they can look fabulous in most containers. There are many different cultivars, colors to try and flower forms, but almost all are delicate looking.

Fuchsias can look great in a pot on their own but also and pair well with either complimentary or contrasting colors. Try them with oxalis, angel wing begonias, lobelia or coleus.