Fuchsias are hanging basket staples in temperate regions. Their colorful, drooping, and tubular flowers bloom from spring to fall and bring hummingbirds and other pollinators to your garden. These frost-sensitive perennial plants are often grown as annuals or overwintered indoors in colder regions. Because fuchsias have rather particular requirements in terms of light, irrigation, and high humidity levels, they aren't necessarily the best houseplant option. But, in certain indoor spaces (such as humid bathrooms), they can still put on a wonderful display.
Learn more about whether you can offer the right growing conditions to allow exotic-looking fuchsias to thrive indoors.
|Botanical Name||Fuchsia sp.|
|Plant Type||Shrub, Tree, Tender Perennial|
Can You Grow Fuchsia Inside?
Fuchsias have a reputation for being rather fussy. But, if they get the right conditions, they're suitable for even novice plant enthusiasts, including when growing them indoors.
However, the dry air created by central heating and air conditioning systems is not this moisture-loving plant's friend—it can prevent flowering, and the buds that do develop will rapidly wilt and drop. You'll have to ensure they're in a position where they get enough bright but indirect light and shelter from draughts—plus, the correct humidity levels are vital for success.
Some fuchsia varieties, like hardy 'Alice Hoffman', are better able to handle dry air and make better candidates for growing indoors.
How to Grow Fuchsia Indoors
By getting it right with light, watering, temperature, and humidity, your fuchsia can produce stunning blooms that will impress any visitors.
You'll want to avoid setting up your fuchsia in front of the sunniest windows of your home. Too much direct sun can produce overly leggy growth, burn the plant's foliage, and the flowers will wilt and drop.
While they're plants that do well in shady positions outdoors, the plants probably won't produce any flowers in total shade indoors. A room where they have indirect sunlight for much of the day is best. Stick with east, west, or south-facing windows.
Temperature and Humidity
One of the main challenges of growing fuchsias indoors is getting the climate right. They thrive in mild, humid temperatures. If your home is too hot, weak growth occurs. In overly dry homes, leaf and bud drop and eventual death are likely. Although frequent misting or using gravel trays of water under the plant can help combat problems in a dry environment, they aren't foolproof solutions.
Generally, fuchsias do best when daytime temperatures are between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit and nighttime temperatures drop around 10 degrees lower. You may need to move your fuchsias to a cooler lit garage during very hot months—temperatures above 76 degrees Fahrenheit halt flowering.
They're not plants that appreciate great fluctuations in temperatures either. In the winter, if the nighttime temperatures in your home drop considerably when the heating is off, it may be better to keep them in a frost-free garage. At that stage, they will head into dormancy and won't need watering and feeding over that period.
A key element to the success of growing fuchsias indoors is making sure the potting medium remains appropriately and consistently moist. In general, the more heat and light a fuchsia is subjected to, the more careful you'll have to be about watering. If the roots dry out completely, this quickly leads to the drooping and eventual death of the plant. However, soggy, overly wet conditions can lead to root rot, so be careful not to overwater.
The watering schedule for indoor potted fuchsia is even more rigorous than those grown in the ground outdoors. You may need to water your plants from once a day to a few times a week in the spring and summer. After the bloom season, you can gradually reduce your watering schedule in the fall. You may not need to water a dormant fuchsia in a cool garage in the winter, but if the soil is very dry, a little tepid water to keep the soil slightly moist is beneficial.
Although fuchsias don't appreciate draughty locations, if ventilation is poor in your home, this increases the chance of problems with pests such as aphids, whiteflies, or mealybugs. A well-ventilated but not gusty spot is best.
Fuchsias do best with regular feeding, especially those in pots that receive regular watering, as those grown indoors are. Applying a weak liquid fertilizer every fortnight in the spring and during the blooming season will help produce an abundance of healthy flowers. If you're looking for a natural fertilizer, fish emulsion works well. Another lower-maintenance option is controlled-release pellets.
Pruning and Maintenance
Late winter or early spring pruning of fuschia plants help to encourage abundant blooms as flowers only grow on new growth. It's also a good idea to deadhead spent flowers—with their long blooming season, this encourages new flowers to emerge. Pinching growing tips at the start of the season before blooming begins also promotes vigorous branching and helps to keep a round, non-straggly, and compact bush shape. Rotating your plant aids even growth.
Container and Size
The size of the container your fuchsia grows in depends on the cultivar. Generally, a 12- to-16-inch pot will work well as these fast-growing plants don't like to be rootbound. Because fuchsias don't do well with soggy roots, make sure the pot has ample drainage holes.
While your fuchsia must have room to grow, selecting a massive pot for a small plant can also be problematic as root rot can set in if the plant can't properly absorb all the water the pot holds.
Potting Soil and Drainage
Don't be tempted to just grab a handful of garden soil to plant your indoor fuchsias. They need a porous homemade or commercial potting soil with excellent, fast drainage. You could try an even mix of sand, loam, and leaf mold. Poor drainage results in speedy plant expiration. A potting mix with added fertilizer is an extra bonus for these heavy feeders.
Potting and Repotting Fuchsia
Repotting your indoor fuchsia annually is a good idea to ensure the potting mix remains fertile enough for these lovers of nutrient-rich mediums. They also don't like to be root bound, so don't overfill the pot with soil, as there needs to be ample space at the rim for watering.
Moving Fuchsia Outdoors for the Summer
If you live in a region with mild, wet summers, your fuchsia will appreciate the humidity and good ventilation it receives if you position it outside during this time. Just make sure it's not in full, direct sun all day.
When to Bring Fuchsia Back Inside
Bring your fuchsia back indoors before any frosts arrive (usually in early November). If you want to put it into dormancy, spray the plant gently with water to remove any pests, locate it in a cool, shady location where temperatures won't fluctuate and are around 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and water infrequently, so the soil doesn't completely dry out.
How do you force fuchsias to bloom indoors?
Fuschias need consistent moisture through even temperatures, high humidity levels, and indirect light to encourage blooming. If you can't offer these things indoors, then you're unlikely to see the flourishing, bright flowers these plants are famous for.
Is it easy to propagate fuchsias?
These plants are easy to propagate from leaf-tip cuttings, and you should see new growth within a few weeks. Position them in a bright room with high humidity levels and make sure the well-drained potting mix is consistently moist. Enclosing the cutting can help to retain moisture and appropriate humidity levels.
How do you grow fuchsias from seed?
It typically takes fuchsias three to four weeks to germinate from seed. Pick a well-drained, consistently moist potting soil that thinly covers the seeds. Covering the trays with plastic will help to retain humidity levels. For best success, temperatures should remain as close to 75 degrees Fahrenheit as possible. Transplant to containers when a leaves appear.