Next to the pansies, violas, and primroses that garden centers like to put out after the vernal equinox, fuchsias make their season debut. These flowers are a staple in British gardens, as they love the mild summers and gentle rains that mimic their native habitat of the mountainous regions of Central and South America. Although they are not a plant-it-and-forget-it type of flower, anyone can grow fuchsias with the help of some high quality potting soil and a partly sunny sight sheltered from the wind. From more than one hundred species and many more hybrid types, you can find a fuchsia to add an exotic touch to your hanging baskets and containers.
01 of 08
The exotic flowers of "Swingtime" fuchsias will grace your hanging baskets with blossoms from June until October in mild summer areas. Bright red sepals pop against the deeply ruffled white petals, and showy red stamens complete the red-white color pattern. Although the heaviest flower production occurs at the end of the stems, "Swingtime" produces flowers up and down the length of the plant for a densely floral look.
02 of 08
Fuchsia "Lady in Black"
Gardeners depend on the trailing habit of fuchsias to spill over containers and thrill in hanging baskets, but the climbing habit of "Lady in Black" fills a new niche in the fuchsia world. The half-hardy plants climb up to six feet in one season, producing hundreds of flowers at any one time throughout the long blooming season. "Lady in Black" climbs by twining tendrils, so give it a trellis or fence with thin wires or mesh to enable the vines to cling.
03 of 08
Fuchsia "Dollar Princess"
Blooming equally well in sun or shade, the red and purple blooms of the "Dollar Princess" fuchsia blends well with warm and cool color schemes. In spite of its exotic appearance, "Dollar Princess" is a hardy fuchsia that can survive winter temperatures down to 5 degrees F. The shrub produces woody branches that are part of its permanent structure, and new tender growth will emerge from these branches in the spring. To increase the chances of winter survival in cold areas, remove all dead foliage and pile mulch and leaves around the base of the plant. Wet soggy winter soils cause root rot and death, so fuchsias in raised beds have a better chance of survival in these garden situations.
04 of 08
Fuchsia "Seventh Heaven"
Giant fuchsias like "Seventh Heaven" have attracted a new following of gardeners who want blooms with a greater impact than the classic dainty fuchsia flowers. Unlike some plants that produce mega flowers, like sunflowers and dahlias, these fuchsias aren't stingy with the number of blooms they yield over the growing season. Four-inch blooms are prolific on plants that trail up to 18 inches in window boxes and large containers. For even greater impact, plant "Seventh Heaven" with other giant flowering fuchsias like "Quasar" and "Voodoo."Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
While garden centers tout the new and improved hybrids each year, sometimes the simplicity of a species plant is most satisfying. When you grow the Boliviana fuchsia, you will get the same results each time: a fast growing plant that blooms its heart out from June to September, sporting merry clusters of red flowers that sound the dinner bell to hummingbirds. The Peruvian native even produces an edible fruit following the flowers, although the scant flesh proves to be more of a novelty than a side dish.
06 of 08
The shear exuberance of a Paniculata fuchsia in bloom is captivating, as its vibrant pink flowers and ornamental berries are produced on erect shrubs that can live for 20 years in the right conditions. It demands mild, frost-free temperatures and acidic soil high in organic matter. With its slow to medium growth habit, fuchsia Paniculata is a good candidate for training as a tree standard.
07 of 08
Fuchsia "Alba" is an elegant addition to the white flower garden. The blooms aren't a stark white, but a creamy pink that nevertheless look luminous under a full moon. A bi-weekly deadheading will encourage repeat blooming through fall.
08 of 08
Keeping fuchsias in constant bloom is a tricky matter, but the golden foliage of fuchsia "Aurea" will compensate for lack of flowers. When the fiery red flowers of "Aurea" fuchsias are taking a break, keep the spotlight on the bright leaves by pairing it with other flowers on the opposite end of the color wheel, like red snapdragons or purple pansies.