PlantFiles is getting a new look! Just in time for spring, we're rolling out a new look for the best online plants database. It will also work with your smart phones and mobile devices, so now you can take it with you on garden center visits or botanical garden tours. Questions or comments? Please post them here.
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.
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
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 :)
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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 :)
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.
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!
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!
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...
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.
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.
Here is an update on my poor Billie Green. As the days went by, more and more damage appeared. But now it has been almost four weeks since the burn and even though the night time temps are in the low 40's and high 30's, he is already making a come back. I hope you can see in this photo, besides the very happy viola's, that Billie is already busting out with new growth all over. Of course now, every time they warn of low temps, I cover everything!!
Here is is mid January and I thought I'd post of few photos from the backyard. First off, here is my winter champion of many years, 'Voodoo.' I know it isn't in great focus, but the point is that it wasn't damaged in the freeze that almost totaled a few of the others AND, he is in bloom. 'Voodoo' is always in bloom ;-)
I must say I have some envy going on seeing all your beauties in bloom! Such a beautiful fuchsia garden!!
Chang is certainly an interesting looking fuchsia, I like the contrast of the sepals once they are opening. I fear another one is about to make my want list! LOL
Voodoo is impressive WHAT a trooper
Thanks GGK, I don't know if you spied a few viola faces peaking from behind the almost bare branches of Billie Green, but most of my new collection is behind him and they are covered with the viola's I talked about in your "Companion Plant" thread. I am tempted to take a photo of them. They are doing a great job of protecting my new little ones out there. A whole new batch of seed has come up and I can't wait to see what color combos I get this spring to put into my fuchsia pots!
I've had Antigone and Joy Patmore in ther ground for two winters now and they have survived nicely with a couple inches of mulch. Last winter was really bad here and I was afraid I would loose them.
I'm upset that Monniers is closed. I liked having a good fuchsia place close by.
I'll be looking forward to seeing photos of your fuchsias pulling out of their winter sleep mstish. How is your winter going up there? Worse than usual? It has been much colder and much wetter down here this winter. I have so much to do outside and it won't stop raining!!! Of course we need the rain, but gee, I need a break! And some exercise!
Ha, ha, yes we have been getting your kind of weather alright! Normally I would love a rainy winter. We needed the water badly down here and a rainy day always makes me feel like painting or cooking or all kinds of indoor crafts. But I am chomping at the bit to get outside and get work done. Like pull weeds and prune fruit trees! I actually finally got that done last Sunday, whew! Just in time, the buds on some trees are already starting to swell. I am looking forward to a bumper crop of cherries this year! And maybe even enough Asian pears to share...maybe ;-)
Been gone awhile sorry I didn't keep up with you all!
As Willowwind2 said we have had an unusually warm winter. Life is returning quite early in the garden this year. Much toooo Early, I can only hope we don't get some killer freezing weather the next month!
Aurea is making a return also.
Because it's so early for them to be springing up like this I will need to be on the look out for
heavy freezes. If the weather gets too cold and lets say upper 20's at night I will cover them back up with leaves for protection.
I am going to be looking forward to seeing photos of their progress!
Yesterday, I was looking over the collection one by one and was astounded by some of the growth on the smaller bushes I was really concerned about before winter set in. They had only been little 2" starts late last summer and so had not had the time to become established bushes with enough deep root growth to ensure their ability to regrow from ground level if they were damaged by freezes like some of my larger bushes were.
If you remember the damage done to F. boliviana that I posted above, then you will be surprised to hear it is already setting out bunches of flower buds.
Today is the second sunny day in a row, whoo hooo!! Gotta get outside!
Thanks to the wonderful mild weather I have been cleaning out my garden beds and am thrilled to see new growth from the base of nearly all my new fuchsias. I am looking forward to this year to see how they do! Especially since I tossed out a lot of stuff to make room for them.
And we'll all be looking forward to photos of their progress so people can see for themselves how hardy fuchsias recover from winters like you have up there. Last January I had swarms of migrating hummingbirds draining my feeder every evening in January. Here it is almost the end of February and they haven't showed up yet. Just my resident Anna's and his mate. Maybe they passed me by this spring? Or maybe they are waiting for warmer weather, I don't know. It was unusually cold here. I'm looking forward to a bumper cherry crop this spring!
Here is one of the upright fuchsias in my front yard which I can always count on for year round color. Delta's Parade never stops blooming. Even thought the freezes damaged others like Billie Green, F. boliviana, Walz Bella, and Reading Show, this one never skipped a beat and never had any damage. That could be due to it being against a wooden fence close to the house though. But still, it is a joy to see all of this purple amongst the still leafless fruit trees. near by. I took this photo on the 24th of February.
Wow, here it is March 1st!
Well, as you know, they can also be grown indoors for the winter if you have a sunny window! So pretty much anyone could grow fuchsias if they want to :-)
It is raining again today! I was going to get out there and take more photos of everyone putting out new flowers. And I especially wanted to show how the freeze damaged ones have recovered. We need the rain though, after years of not enough, so I can wait.
Well...I can't exactly say I am enjoying it ;-)
I've got way too much to do outdoors right now!
But I appreciate the need for it. We get allot more rain up here than down near the coast. This ridge seems to wring it out of the clouds as they pass over going east. Just the other side of the top of this ridge ( I am on the eastern side of the top) is a row of houses which have been washed down the hillside over the years. And the main road leading farther up the ridge from those houses, has been washed out for the last 14 years.
So we get a bit of rain here sometimes!!!!
True! Today I drove by fields full of long rows of tiny green little shoots poking up, probably lettuce. Made me realize I'd better get my own veggie seeds going!
The resevoirs have been pretty low for a long time. It would be nice to see them all filled up. I learned long ago to do dishes without a sink full of water, etc. During one really bad drought with water rationing, I even pumped bath water outside with a pond pump and a garden hose, to keep a few things alive. I hope it never gets that bad again.
Stars are out tonight.
Our weather is so cold today it will be awhile before we start seeing any activity. Here is a picture of my mini that I sent you a piece of. I put it in my new greenhouse/shed today. It has been in the house for a couple of months. Not doing as well as yours did though.
Oooohhh!! That is one beautiful new greenhouse/shed Willowwind2!! Oh what I could do with one of those! Even electrical outlets along the bench! I love the slanted sides of your walls also. Vey nice. I can imagine standing in there on a rainy day with a mug of hot coffee or tea in hand.
I am sure your mini will be better soon.
I need to take more photos of the starts I made from the ones you sent. They are all doing well outdoors. They didn't get the heat the ones inside did, so they are still very small. But all happy and growing. So they've been moved out of what passes for my mini greenhouse and into more light. I think you have a F. minutiflora. As the leaves and flowers are so much smaller than my Lottie Hobby. A few of them have blooms on them, but I don't have macro capabilities on my camera. So I am waiting for a friend to come and photograph them for me so I can be more certain of their identity.
I'm seeing quite a few of my fuchsias starting up from the ground unfortunately that includes my fuchsia trees. this is the first time since I have had them, about 6 years, that they have died back to the ground. Darn!!! It's like starting all over.
Wow! I hope you are wrong about that! Maybe there will also be new growth from the branches and it is just all of the extra rain that has caused them to produce new shoots from the ground? I have noticed that when mine do that, even though they have not frozen, those new shoots are the biggest and thickest new growth.
It is shoots like those that I liken to the new canes a rose bush will put out in the spring. My F. magellanica mollinae doesn it every year. And I just noticed my Mood Ingigo producing a big FAT shoot that is headed straight for the sky!
So I am going to hope to hear that your bushes didn't die down to ground level.
Keep us posted!
Hi Willowwind2, glad to see someone is watching this forum! I keep hoping to see the fuchsias people have in their yards.
We are going to have more rain also, I am looking forward to it. I have lots of seed started and it will be good for them to sprout in.
By the way, all of the cuttings you sent me are doing great. Do you have any idea whether the tiny one is microphylla or minutiflora? They are starting to bloom. But my camera doesn't have a macro lense, so I am going to see if a friend can photograph thme for me. Then I will try and get some help on identifying the three varieties you sent.
One of the magellanica types is blooming also. I think it is the standard F. magellanica, right? And the other one with the smaller leaves is the one we don't know the name of?
I'm lurking but not posting but I thought I would take a pic of my fuchsia trees and they have definitely have restarted from the bottom. We had a very mild winter but that was after a killing freeze in November that really took a toll.
I'll have to take a new photo of my magellanica molinae, it was almost destroyed by my teenage cats about the same time as Azorina's sustained damage. It has put out huge new branches rivaling anything it has ever done before. And it is about 15 years old with old wood about 5" in circumferance. Occasionally it will also throw out huge new "canes" from the base. So I bet the others are capable of doing the same. What has really surprised me this spring, is my Mood Indigo. Is putting out a big thick shoot that is just incredible! Bright green and as big around as my thumb and heading for the sky!! I had no idea it could do that!
Any suggestions? I'm wondering if this would be a good time to divide them since I need to cut the old trunks to the ground. Or just wait and see what happens. Last year they were at least 12 feet my DH is 6 feet.
I agree with Jim, I would not want to have to do that to any of my fuchsia bushes. And I am wondering why you need to cut the old trunks to the ground. Because everything above seems to be dead? I'd wait and see what puts out new growth first. I've see big trunks suddenly put out growth all along their length, just when I am showing up with the big loppers...
I am in no hurry but I have scratched the cambium layer and found no green...everything above ground seems to be pretty much dead. How fortunate, (or clever) you are to be living in a place where these beautiful plants thrive without all these threats.
Ha! If I could, I'd move up north in a heartbeat!!!!!
I wouldn't mind having a winter off now and then. I used to live in Colorado, so I do know snow...
Yes, it is quite wonderful here. And so expensive that I will be lucky if I don't have to work until the day they plant me in the ground.
Last November I put 52 fuchsias into my garden shed for the winter. They all got covered with a mildew that was VERY nasty. Some were never watered and some were over watered. Long story-big mistake.
Of the 52, 6 lived. I consider these 6 very hardy. They had no heat all winter and survived a mildew that was very nasty.
I sprayed them with Neam about a month ago and this weekend re-potted them in clean soil and clean pots. These 6 are winners in my book. They took terrible abuse and survived. Not only the cold but also the mildew.
So sorry to hear you had trouble with your fuchsias! What a shame you lost so many! Hope your survivors are doing well and enjoying the great weather we are having!
I have not posted in awhile, so sorry. I do have a report that most all of my fuchsias survied the Winter and only lost two. Whew!! They are really taking off now that the weather is warming up and hope to take a few pics today so I can share with you all.
Happy gardening everyone...Looking forward to seeing everyone's fuchsias.
Here is 'Sharkie' I just took the pic before it began to rain.
Sharkie has really grown quickly this Spring and it's truly a Hardy fuchsia.
I noticed it's beginning to set some buds also.
Forgot to say Sharkie is the one to right of the clay pot against the wall.
Sometimes it is hard to find information on fuchsias for your zone. But allot of people have been growing them in your zone and colder ones! I have learned allot just by reading the notes people write on each variety in the Plant Files. And hummer_girl started a few threads here about very cold hardy fuchsias. Here is a link to one of her threads: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1048634/
You can also go to her member page and look up her other threads.
I believe there are two camps. Plant them deep and bury them with mulch come winter or bring them inside. And then some people induce a dormant state, while others let them continue to grow. I did that last winter and they did fine. In fact, there is a bonsai fuchsia I am growing indoors and I am going to post an update on it today.