Questions About Over Wintering Fuchsias . . .

Buffalo, MN(Zone 4a)

I garden in zones 3 and 4. Every year I buy several Gartenmeister fuchsias to put in pots on my deck for hummingbirds. Last fall, I wanted to bring them in and save them, but wasn't sure of the best way, so I'm planning way ahead this year. I generally have them in 12-16" pots and my indoor window space is at a premium. Could I cut back the plant and roots and pot them up in smaller pots (maybe 6"?) and keep them on my windowsill (I keep most of my overwintering plants in a northwest facing window-though I also have a greenhouse-type window that faces east and plant lights for seed starting in the basement-a bit cooler down there, but always at least 55 degrees)? Would it be better to take cuttings in the fall and keep those as opposed to the entire plant? Can I even do cuttings in the fall (it says "softwood cuttings"). This year the Gartenmeisters were sold out and I got a different variety-Fuchsia triphylla "Firecracker", the flowers look very similar to Gartenmeister but the foliage is variegated.
Thanks! Any advice is very much appreciated :)
Deb

Luttrell, TN(Zone 7a)

I am new to gardening all the way around, but I love my fuchsia. I, too, would like some advice on keeping it over the winter. I've done several searches of Dave's but have found nothing to indicate how to do this.

Union, WA(Zone 8b)

What I've been told about over-wintering fuchsias is: Cut everything back to the edge of the pot, drench through with a tablespoon of Lysol to a gallon of water to kill any bad guys, and put them in a cool, dark place. Water once or twice over the winter if necessary. In the spring bring them out and snap off all the white growth and set them in the spring sunshine. Water well and fertilize.
One lady here used to bury her's in a trench dug in the soil outside. Like they bury roses in really cold climates. That also worked.
It may also help to soak them in a tub of water the first day out of the dark to make sure they are really watered well.

Buffalo, MN(Zone 4a)

Hmmm . . .thanks, Willowwind2. My basement is a cool, dark place, wonder if light is important?

Union, WA(Zone 8b)

If you keep them in the light they will probably stay green and growing. Probably leggy growth. And you would have to water like a house plant. Greenhouses can keep them growing all winter and they don't go dormant. Depends on what you want to do with them.

Buffalo, MN(Zone 4a)

I'll have to give it a try, thanks for the advice!

Williamstown, NJ(Zone 6b)

I did this past winter as an experiment because I too loved my Fuchsia.

I cut it back to about 8 to 10 inches. Placed it in a dark area and forgot about it.

It started put out a few areas of new growth at first, but it was all yellow and tender. I did nothing but add a touch of water once in a while. This spring I took it out and watered it real good and placed in a area where it would get good sun. The yellow growth turned a nice green and I have been pinching it back so that the new growth will get thicker and not leggie. Trimed back any dead .
I put it outside on good warm days and bring it back in on the chilli nights.
It looks great.

Williamstown, NJ(Zone 6b)

Here it is now. Sorry for the darkness, It is still early here.

This message was edited Apr 6, 2012 7:57 AM

Thumbnail by marie_kap
Union, WA(Zone 8b)

Good going. Looks great. That winter growth can be cut off because it take energy to green-up all the white-yellow stuff. But it works either way.

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