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.
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.
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 disease to enter the plant.
While you probably won’t read 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.
You need to grow your main stem upright, use a chain 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 set 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.