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How to prune fuchsia

Fuchsia are a wonderful flower to have in any garden but after a few years, they can get tough, woody and unruly. When this time comes you will need to prune them in order to get the most out of them. but how do you prune fuchsia? Read my guide below to find out how to prune fuchsia and get the most out of these fabulous plants.

White Fuchsia
White Fuchsia

How to prune fuchsia

Pruning fuchsia is essential for a strong, healthy plant with lots of beautiful blooms. You will get natural dieback at wintertime every year but I like to prune on top of this.

Fuchsia plants flower on new growth, so if you want plenty of blooms then you need to prune back aggressively. In fact, sometimes you can prune your fuchsia all the way back to stumps depending on the variety.

In terms of what to remove that comes down to you. Are you trying to grow your Fuchsia to a round shape or do you want a more natural look? If you come across any diseased or unhealthy looking growth then it is always advisable to remove this.

This Fuchsia needs a prune!
This Fuchsia needs a prune!

If you want a good example of why to prune fuchsia then just look at this photo above. This Fuchsia has not been pruned in many years and it shows in the flowering. A very large plant with a single flower on it. Look at all that old, woody growth with no flowers. This really illustrates how fuchsia only flowers on new growth.

Prune in the spring, never in the winter. if you prune your fuchsia down in winter you will be opening it up to disease and rot. You don’t want to give the wounds time to fester, if you cut in spring before the plant bursts into life then there will be much less time for a disease to enter the plant.

While you probably won’t need them for Fuchsia, we do have a great article on the best loppers if you are planning on pruning any trees!

Pruning to create a standard

A fuchsia standard is a beautiful way of growing a fuchsia. You end up with a long straight barren woody stem leading to a large flowering top. To achieve this look requires a lot of pruning, but with patience, you can get there and the reward is well worth it.

A fully grown standard trained fuchsia
A fully grown standard trained fuchsia

You need to grow your main stem upright, use a cane for support and tie this stem in regularly as it grows skyward. During this phase of growth, you will need to remove all side shoots while leaving the head of the plant to provide energy for future growth.

Once you are happy with the growth of your main stem it will be time to start growing out the head at the top. You need to let a few sets of leaves grow out of each side shoot here before pinching out the shoot. I normally try to aim for 4-6 leaves. You then just keep going with this method, rounding out the head of the plant.

Young Standard Grown Fuchsia
Young Standard Grown Fuchsia

Cutting off the roots

Another trick for pot grown Fuchsia at least is to remove some of the rootstock. This helps to promote fresh growth and can really help the plant in the long run.

You want to do this over winter while the plant is dormant and not really using its roots for much.

Simply remove the plant from its pot and chop the roots off from the bottom. You can cut up to a third of the rootstock off without worry.

Cutting off a third of the root stock can helps promote growth
Cutting off a third of the rootstock can help promote growth

More on Fuchsia

Fuchsias are a staple of British gardens, these perennial shrubby plants are found everywhere. Grown for their bright flowers, which with a little attention can flower all summer, and hardiness for those cold British winters.

The first written description of a Fuchsia comes from 1690 by the French monk Minim after he discovered them on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. There are over 100 different types of Fuchsia, most of them originating from South America. With a little care and attention, they can look good year after year in UK gardens.

Pat

Friday 22nd of April 2022

I live in an apt in upstate New york. I have a patio and I can hang 2 fuchsia baskets for the hummers. The patio is part Sun am till noon. The rest of the day shade. Is this ok? Do I need to prune a hanging basket? Thanks for your suggestions Pat

Daniel

Friday 22nd of April 2022

Hi Pat, I would say that you will probably be okay without pruning your Fuchsia as it being in a hanging basket will restrict the size of the plant. I would remove any dead or diseased growth though whenever you spot any.

Fuchsia are perfectly happy in the shade so that wont be a problem at all.

Daniel