Cold Hardy Fuchsias

Freedom, CA(Zone 9b)

In this thread, we can share our experiences with the cold hardy varieties of fuchsias. Although I don't usually need to be concerned with very low temperatures, it does occasionally snow in my zone and we often have frozen sleet and hail! Enough to cover the yard in a frozen blanket of white. So I try to make sure my collection is "tucked in" for the winter. I have been delighted and inspired to hear about gardeners even overwintering fuchsias indoors.
Here is one of my favorite cold hardy upright fuchias. Foxgrove Wood is rated by the NorthWest Fuchsia Society as being one of the more cold hardy fuchsias which can survive in many of the colder zones with little or no need for extra protection. I tend to prefer blues, and although the flowers on this guy are small, they are always abundant!
Show us the fuchsias which have survived the cold outdoors in your garden.
Share with us how you ensure their survival during the winter.

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Port Orchard, WA(Zone 8a)

PC, I'm wondering if wood chips ( economical ) would be the way to go with mulching. all the new ones I bought last spring are a ? to me as far a hardiness. so I will be mulching with something to ensure their survival. Jim

Freedom, CA(Zone 9b)

Wood chips are great for keeping in moisture and keeping weeds out, but as protection against freezing, I prefer to use materials which will decompose very fast. As the decomposition process actually gives off heat. So I use all the fallen leaves in my yard, grass clippings, and even buy bales of alfalfa if I need more. I pile these materials up around the base of the plants and pack all the empty space between all of the containers with it after I've moved them all next to each other.
I have even seen burlap bags used around the base of plants and used to cover bushes in areas where it snows allot. I've never needed to do that, but I have a few bushes which are listed as winter hardy by the Northwest Fuchsia Society, but also as ones that might need a bit of extra percaution. One of my most favorite bushes falls into this category. Thomasina. So to me, the extra effort is worth it.

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Freedom, CA(Zone 9b)

Calif_Sue just posted a new photo of a beatiful variegated fuchsia of the tryphylla species called 'Firecracker.' It is on the list of winter hardy fuchsias at the NorthWest Fuchsia Society and has been given their *, meaning it probably doesn't need extra protection in some zones. I was hoping to see it on their heat tolerant list, but it wasn't there. As I am fond of plants with new growth that starts out pink, I might have to find this one!

Freedom, CA(Zone 9b)

Here is another winter hardy fuchsia that can go either way, upright or trailing. It isn't listed by the Northwest Fuchsia Society as winter hardy, but this guy has made it through winters when it hailed several inches deep and killed my lantanas, hydrangeas, and hybiscus. I recently cut off a great deal of it, or it would be bigger.
And it is hard to tell from the photo, but the skirt is marbled.

I am hoping more people are going to be showing us their fuchsias!

This one is called Rubeo.

This message was edited Sep 18, 2009 4:34 PM

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Portland, OR(Zone 8a)

I tried several years with 'Firecracker' with no success here in my zone. Not hardy here! I also talked with a knowledgeable person the other day and she doesn't agree with it being Hardy here also. It may do well down your way PedricksCorner.

Here is a Hedge of Hardy Fuchsia at Monnier's Country Gardens
This Hedge is 6' some a bit taller and some a bit shorter. In this Hedge is
Magellanica Grandmas, Magellanica Alba and Lechiade Magician.


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Portland, OR(Zone 8a)

Here is Diana Wright
Generally I'm not impressed with white to light colored blooms on Fuchsia's.
This Gal was a fine specimen...What ta show she was putting on!

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Portland, OR(Zone 8a)

A bit closer

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Portland, OR(Zone 8a)

PedricksCorner
I have info on How to Plant a Hardy Fuchsia can it be shared here? Or, is it somewhere here on the Forum already?
LMK

Mullins, SC(Zone 8a)

GardenguyKin, why don't you start a thread with that title? Then it would be easy for us to reference back to it.

I need all the info I can find LOL!

Freedom, CA(Zone 9b)

Great photos GardenGuyKin! And great additions to the Plant Files!
Well, what do you mean by hardy? Hardiness wasn't even a concern of mine when I first started trying to get a forum started. Then people started to talk about cold hardy fuchsias. And then even more people wanted heat hardy fuchsias.
So I started a thread for each.
And yes, I do think you should ad your how to info! People are reading us, they just aren't jumping into the pool with us yet ;-)
I am working on a list that has a range of criteria addressed. Heat, cold, height, etc. Because some people need fuchsias that are both heat and cold hardy!
That info is here in the Plant Files, but we can't search for sepal and corolla colors along with these other criteria.

Portland, OR(Zone 8a)

Here is the Planting instructions that Monnier's Country Gardens provides.

How to Plant a "Hardy" Fuchsia
Start by choosing a wll drained location. More fuchsias are lost to wet feet than cold in the Willamette Valley. Your spot can be anything from shady to full sun. Your spot will require watering in the summer.
To help make your fuchsia "Hardy", they should be planted deep like a tomato. We recommend sinking the crown 4-6" below the soil surface (See Fig #2) or 1/2 the plant height on your smaller plants (See Fig #1). DO NOT FEAR This! Your fuchsias will be happy you gave them the extra protection.
When planting add 1/4 cup of an all purpose fertilizer like 16-16-16 and 1 cup of organic matter (compost or alfalfa pellets like we use). Mix 1/2 of the amendments in the bottom of the hole and the other 1/2 in the backfill. Water thoroughly.
Winter care is easy! After the first fall frost, add a layer of mulch to your plants. Don't be afraid to use 4-6". Sometime during the dormant period cut the plants back. We go down to about 6". A minimum would be 1/2 the previous years growth. Around the middle of February start peeking under the mulch to see if the new stems are coming up out of the ground. Remove the mulch when you see the new growth. Be Patient! Some like to rest longer than others.

This message was edited Sep 19, 2009 7:59 PM

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Portland, OR(Zone 8a)

If your planting now I wouldn't use the fertilizer if you live in an area that they are about to go dormant.
Isn't that right PedrickC?

If this looks ok I can put it on a separate thread.

Freedom, CA(Zone 9b)

Perfect! And you have it in the correct thread, as this is for cold hardy fuchsias.
I am so glad the instructions included all the main points I would have. Such as burying part of the main trunk, mulching up high, cutting back, etc. Excellent!

And I wanted to mention the use of fuchsias as hedges like the ones in your photo, but clipped. Someone wrote about how San Franscisco used to be full of beautiful clipped fuchsia hedges. So I've planted a row of F. magellanica alba and am clipping it into a hedge. Hopefully, by next year, it will be worth sharing a photo of.

Kirkland, WA(Zone 7b)

Looking forward to seeing that.

(Sharon)SouthPrairie, WA(Zone 7a)

Has anyone been down to the locks in Seattle lately? I was there several years ago to see the fish ladder and was amazed at the absolutely huge fuschia bushes there. They were at least 10 feet tall. Was wondering if they are still there and what kinds they might be, as I was a PNW gardening novice back then and knew nothing about hardy fuschias.

Mullins, SC(Zone 8a)

I would really like to see GardenGuyKin's how-to in it's own thread or maybe a sticky since it's a how-to and not just general info about hardies. That way we could go right to it when we need it without having to wade through a whole big thread to find the info we need.
Of course I will save it on my own machine but I'm thinking 'bout the newbies that will be coming here...we want them to be able to find it easily. GardenGuyKin, love that you took the time to do illustrations, thank you!
PedricksCorner, please take in-progress pics for us. I can't wait to see the fuchsia hedge :)

Freedom, CA(Zone 9b)

Yes, there are several threads that could be started. A how to, a history, a species, etc. This thread is about cold hardy fuchsias which have different needs than heat hardy fuchsias. Heat hardy fuchsias in warmer zones don't need the treatment described above.
I find that the people looking for one or the other, tend to forget about the other ;-)
There is a thread here for propagation and I posted a sequence of how to photos there. They ought to be in a how to thread or sticky. As the days get shorter and we have more time available, hopefully more of us will have the time to do these things!
My personal goal is a searchable list of fuchsias via colors of sepals and corollas, cold hardy, heat hardy, both, height, etc.

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

A few days ago I was cruising fuchsia websites, looking to see what I need to add to my 'to buy' list, and found out Monnier's Country Gardens is closing their business at the end of this month. What a shame!

Portland, OR(Zone 8a)

The info has been added to the sticky.

HummerG, yes this is their last week in business!
:(
So sad but hopefully someone with an interest in Fuchsias will buy their place. They are one of the largest test gardens for fuchsias in the USA.

Mullins, SC(Zone 8a)

A searchable fuchsia encyclopedia, wow what an undertaking...it would be fabulous to have all that info in a searchable database.

Sort of like Helpmefind....only with fuchsias. I use helpmefind a tremendous amount with roses and clems, it's an invaluable resource. Your database will be, too!


*Edited 'cause I can't spell

This message was edited Sep 22, 2009 4:11 PM

Freedom, CA(Zone 9b)

Well, not so much an encyclopedia LOL! More like a huge list with lots of columns like the one at FindThatFuchsia, with a few more columns of info added, and the ability to sort it by criteria. Such as, all cold hardy fuchsia over 4 feet tall with red sepals and blue corollas, etc. The information is already out there. I just need to design a simple database to plug it into. A nice winter project to keep the brain cells functioning, ha, ha!

Mullins, SC(Zone 8a)

So it'll be the short version LOL it'll still be epic!

Freedom, CA(Zone 9b)

The Monniers are retiring and a collector has already purchased all of their stock plants. The Northwest Fuchsia Society teamed up with an arboretum to purchase 170 varieties to add to their own collection. And of course, everyone is hoping someone will continue their work. How sad, and they had just begun their own hybridizing program in 2008! Dang, I wish there was a way I could get up there before the end of the month! And I see they are no longer shipping anything. I wonder if the Fuchsia Lady has recovered from her shoulder surgery and is shipping now. Gonna go look!

Freedom, CA(Zone 9b)

Okay Diane, you guys have lit a fire under me! I got to work on that list today. But I should warn everyone, I only care about the uprights. So if someone is in love with hanging baskets, I'll share the database template with them and they can fill it in with hanging basket varieties LOL! So far, I have a list of over 800 known upright varieties. The problem is finding the data on each one to fill in the blanks...... Maybe when it is done, a website for one of the fuchsia societies will be willing to upload it so everyone can use it.

Mullins, SC(Zone 8a)

Entirely too cool ;-)
I'll bet any fuchsia site would be happy to have a database like that!
I've noticed a dearth of US based info, the majority of sites I've seen seem to be British. If we could get US DGers to offer up their experiences with fuchsias re hardiness, heat tolerence, etc., it would be some great info to include for those of us on this side of the pond.
Just a thought :)

Freedom, CA(Zone 9b)

Maybe once the Monniers are retired, they will be interested in sharing their vast experience with us. We can hope!!!!
A few Dgarden members are heading up there this Friday to see what they can find. I am hoping they take lots of photos so we can continue to fill in the blanks in the fuchsia section of the Plant Files.

Freedom, CA(Zone 9b)

We are headed for winter and I am armed with my camera and ready to post photos of my fuchsias as it gets colder. Where I am, it is unlikely that I will have to be concerned with freezing until January. But the temps have been swinging from low 40's to high 80's and my fuchsias are loving it so far! This is one of my favorites, Blue Eyes. This photo is from yesterday, and as you can see, it is going full throttle!

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Freedom, CA(Zone 9b)

Here is Billie Green the night before we had a big freeze. Everyone behind him has been covered. The next day he looked the same. But last night, we froze again. And this morning it is apparent that the flowers have been damaged.
I'll take new photos asap to show who has been damaged and who hasn't been.

Common everyone with hardy fuchsias out there in the cold, share with us!

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Freedom, CA(Zone 9b)

Okay, here are photos of the damage. This first one is Billie Green again. The foliage looks okay, but all of those beautiful blossoms are toast. The little happy fellow next to him is Beauty of Cliff Hall. As you will see, some did excellent, and some got torched....

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Freedom, CA(Zone 9b)

Here is my poor F. bolivian alba!! OUCH!! In the future, it will be covered it there is any hint of a freeze! At least I know the weather often warms up here again and it will have a chance to grow a bit again.

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Freedom, CA(Zone 9b)

Here is F. boliviana, it wasn't a badly damaged as the alba right next to it. But it too, will be covered next time!

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Freedom, CA(Zone 9b)

Preston Guild is just a foot away from the burned bolivianas, but without any damage at all!

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Union, WA(Zone 8b)

Very interesting. I will have to get a picture of mine now. To me they look normal for this time of year but you will probably feel like sobbing. ^_^

Freedom, CA(Zone 9b)

Well, at least I know they will come back up from their bases in the spring....
Here is a photo of Gypsy Prince today, not a singe on him!

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Freedom, CA(Zone 9b)

And Winston Churchill did fine also.

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Freedom, CA(Zone 9b)

But Walz Bella, just a few feet away, got badly burned!

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Menifee, CA(Zone 9a)

Every fuchsia in the gh is doing great. The outside continue to amaze me.
3 photos to follow.
This is lycoides #1. The one that survived the summer heat and neglect.
Keeps getting bushier.

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Menifee, CA(Zone 9a)

I had to put more leaves on top of Cardinal #1. It's growing! This despite me breaking it when I went to transplant it this past fall. I planted the root ball, I dipped the broken stem in rooting enzyme, mulched it, and except for the occasional watering it has come back strong. I am impressed!
2 of 3.

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Menifee, CA(Zone 9a)

All right it's not a fuchsia, but Blackbeard Jr., but you got to admit that he knows what to do with a bed of mulch. LOL!
WIB!
SW

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