Fuchsias are a staple of British gardens, these shrubby perennial plants are found everywhere. Grown for their bright flowers 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.
How to revive a Fuchsia plant
If your Fuchsia no longer looks as good as it once did you needn’t panic, there are a multitude of things you can do to revive a Fuchsia plant. After growing Fuchsias for years, I have learnt many little tips and tricks to bring a Fuchsia back from the dead, join me as I share this knowledge and help you to keep your Fuchsia in tip-top condition.
The reason you plant may not be looking as good as it once did can incredibly varied, the easiest way to figure out what is afflicting your fuchsia is to look at the most common symptom. Below I will break down different symptoms of a sub-optimal Fuchsia and then show you what to do to revive it.
Common Fuchsia Problems
A wilting Fuchsia will manifest in drooping leaves and flowers. This could be caused by the plant simply not getting enough water. This is much more prevalent in Fuchsia grown in hanging baskets. On a really hot summer day (I know, dreaming!) a Fuchsia in a hanging basket or small pot may need watering twice a day. Try to avoid watering in the middle of the day when the sun is at its hottest, instead water in the morning and then again in the evening.
However, overwatering can also cause the same problems. It is important to judge the water needs of your fuchsia well, whether they are in the ground, hanging basket or pot. Fuchsias like to be moist but not overly wet, or dry! I know this sounds very difficult to manage but it is actually much simpler than it sounds. Just try and keep them moist, not dry and not drenched.
Adding even more to the confusion is that a wilting fuchsia can also be caused by too much sun. Fuchsia, in general, like to be in the shade. If your fuchsia is wilting but you are happy that it is getting the correct amount of water then check its positioning. Is it in full sun? If so it may be time to move it into a more shaded spot in the garden.
This can be a common problem, particularly on older plants. Gardeners may notice that the once fabulous blooms of their Fuchsia may start to fade, getting more and more sparse. This is often caused by a lack of pruning. Fuchsia flower on new growth, so to get lots of flowers you need to prune every year. If you just have lots of old-growth then you won’t have many blooms at all.
You can be really aggressive when pruning a Fuchsia, taking it back to what is essentially a woody stump. While this may seem dramatic and worrying, your plant will come back in the spring better than ever.
Some gardeners advocate going even further and digging the plant up and doing some root pruning. I do not agree with this, I really don’t like lifting plants unless it is essential, leave them in the ground and only move if they are dying where they currently are!
This is often a symptom of Botrytis blight, and unfortunately, there is not too much you can do once it has set in. Improving airflow to the centre of the plant by thinning out the branches can help. Make sure you dispose of the diseased foliage, don’t leave it in the garden to rot or add it to your compost pile. Clear away any dead foliage from around the plant, essentially you want a nice and airy centre.
Apart from these steps above you can’t really do too much more, fungicides aren’t too effective. if it gets really bad you may have to cut your losses and get rid of the plant entirely. There are some disease-resistant variety available, make sure to ask at your local garden centre.