Can we grow cold hardy Fuchsia in our area?

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Anyone out there who has grown, or is growing, cold hardy Fuchsia in our zones?

If so, which variety and please share your gardening secrets.

I love these plants and have been playing with the idea of trying a cold hardy species, but in zone 5b/6a, which one?

Thanks!

Mount Prospect, IL(Zone 5b)

I've seen them for sale at the local big box stores, but have been afraid to try one. I'm interested if anyone has managed to grow one in our area too!

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

My research has spread to books I am getting from the library, and a website I found yesterday that is all about Fuchsias, even Bonsai Fuchsias: http://www.bonsaigarden.net/sitemap.html

The info comes from England and covers all aspects of Fuchsia cultivation.

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

I have a hardy fuchsia that I've had for years
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/123954/
My mother gave a piece. Mine is under a sourwood tree, her's is in a fairly open bed that is shaded by a large maple tree. Both on the south side of our respective houses, but not necessarily in an extremely protected spot. We do get a good snow cover every year.

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Thank you, Kathleen! I saw this plant at a local nursery in May and debated whether or not to buy the plant, decided not to, went back a couple weeks later and it was gone. I don't remember what the tag said about zones, though it was mixed in with the perennials. But Fuchsia magellanica 'Riccartonii' will go on my list for 2010.

Think we need a Fuchsia Forum? If you agree, voice your opinion here:
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1026402/

Kathleen: I shared your info with others at the aforementioned link. There are many members out there looking for cold-hardy Fuchsias! Thanks, again.

This message was edited Aug 19, 2009 11:49 AM

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

you are most welcome. I hope you can find some. Mine is blooming quite nicely now.

I forgot to mention that mine is herbaceous. It dies down to the ground every year, so you need to mark it and be patient in the spring, it takes a while for them to come up. They do become noticeably larger, but don't plan on anything 6 feet x 6 feet as some of the pictures from less frigid climes show.

Spooner, WI

What about zone 4? You're all in zone 5! I'd love to try one of these plants, but I don't see them for sale in our local stores or nurseries. However, I suspect that the small communities and limited interest in such "exotics" might make the demand such that they are just not ordered. Anyone?

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

To be honest, these are rated for zone 7, I think. I would imagine zone 4 would be really pushing the envelope and require a lot of planning as in a very sheltered area and heavily protected over the winter. I have never seen them around here for sale. My mother received her's from a friend who lived south of here.

Kansasville, WI(Zone 5a)

Here is more information. I didn't look at all of it. Hope it helps.

http://www.nwfuchsiasociety.com/hardies/hardyfuchsias.htm

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Thanks, crazy4brugs. The website will help with my research in trying to find cold-hardy fuchsias for my area. Every year I stretch my zone boundries, planting zone 7 perennials, sometimes 8. Some work, some don't. I used to be zone 5b, but the new charts list my area as 6a.

Here's another really good source of information about fuchsias:
http://www.americanfuchsiasociety.org

Kansasville, WI(Zone 5a)

Cold Hardy Fuchsia

http://davesgarden.com/products/ps/go/54749/

Freedom, CA(Zone 9b)

I have read about people over-wintering fuchsias indoors. I am planning on trying it this winter to see how that goes with a number of varieties. I would imagine that the any problems with this would be the type of heating one uses for the house. Maybe they should be over a tray of pepples with a bit of water in it like I use for my dendrobiums and cane begonias. A source of direct sun for at least an hour or two during the day to prevent them from getting weak and stringy. And the need to pay close attention to their water needs, as I would imagine root rot would be a big danger.
I hope lots of us try it this winter and keep each other informed as to our progress!

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Kathleen: I just read that F. 'Riccartonii' can drop all leaves if it experiences a very hot, dry spell. Have you ever had that problem? In St. Louis, July and August can be in the 90s for extended periods of time and I am worried if I plant 'Riccartonii' it will suffer. What are your summers like?

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

lol, hot, dry spells are REALLY rare here. Probably you would need to plant it in deep shade and make sure it gets sufficient water. Mine is right under a sourwood tree - never any direct sunlight. We've had 19 inches of rain since July 1, abnormally high even for us, and it is loving it.

Benton, KY(Zone 7a)

ah...what about south west KY for this previously unknown fuchsia? Is there anywhere on my patch of land that it might be happy? Hint hint..

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

Boy, is that subtle. Mmmma'be.

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

Boy, is that subtle. Mmmma'be.

If you remember Baa, she was very surprised that it grew reliably for me. I'm not telling it that it might be out of its zone!

Freedom, CA(Zone 9b)

Most Magellanicas are pretty tough guys! They can put out new growth in one year to rival any rose bush! There is also a variety called Lycioides, which is the only fuchsia in it's 'Section', the Section Kierschlegeria. It is denser than Magellanica and has far more flowers than a Magellanica. I mention it because it will do what hummer_girl mentions, it can suddenly drop all of it's leaves. But I've only had that happen if it gets way too dry. Mine is out in the full sun and it's been in the 100's here for days. It hasn't shown any signs of doing that, but I've been watering everday. The thing to remember is that even if they do suddenly drop all of their leaves, don't panic, it will put out new shoots along the bare stems in no time. And even more new shoots from the base of the plant.

Waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

so hey sign me up for one, Where can I get it?

Freedom, CA(Zone 9b)

That is one of the things DaveGarden excels at! You can look a plant up in Plant Files to read about it and find sources of it. Or you can look in Products and Sources. That is how I found DavesGarden a couple of years ago, I was looking for a plant I wanted.... Sometimes I buy plants for friends. Like this Christmas, I wanted to get a real Coffee tree for a friend who actually roasts his own coffee beans over a fire!! I knew some people grow them as houseplants. And sure enough, I found a source for them here and bought three. One for him and two for me, ha, ha! Just in case he kills his ;-)

Benton, KY(Zone 7a)

What does your humidity % average in the summer when the temps are that high Catherine?

Freedom, CA(Zone 9b)

Usually around 60-70%, but is probably just at my house, ha, ha! Because although I live up on a dry ridge, I have a wet garden. By that I mean, although everything I grow can handle the heat, most of it is types of plants that need water. Except the side property and that is where I grow succulents and such. But the humidity and temp gauges are next to the house. It is going to be another hot day, but not as hot. It is 9am, 65 degrees and the humidity is 46%
Does your area get very humid? Like 80 and 90%?
Fuchsias thrive in greenhouses with really high humidities, so high it is hard to breath. Your question put me back there. Diving into the stockplant houses to grab enough foliage to take out into the shade and make cuttings. And when it was time to water? Some for the plants, some for my head, some for the plants, some for my head!

Benton, KY(Zone 7a)

Yep, when the temps get near triple digits here, so does the humidity. Heat indexes can easily climb over triples. We get 45% humidity in the dead of winter...that is arid to us. We're almost always between 60% and 70% regardless of the temp.

Waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

thanks off to check

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