Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Hardy Fuchsia
Fuchsia magellanica

Family: Onagraceae (on-uh-GRAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Fuchsia (FEW-she-uh) (Info)
Species: magellanica (ma-jell-AN-ee-kuh) (Info)

Synonym:Fuchsia gracilis
Synonym:Fuchsia macrostema
Synonym:Fuchsia magellanica var. gracilis
Synonym:Fuchsia magellanica var. macrostema

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3 vendors have this plant for sale.

22 members have or want this plant for trade.

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4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade


Bloom Color:
Fuchsia (Red-Purple)

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds

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There are a total of 16 photos.
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15 positives
2 neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Babzee On Jul 8, 2013, Babzee from LEABURG, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have variety 'David' placed in semi shade (it gets late afternoon sun). At my location it freezes every year to the ground and then comes back in the spring and it's loaded with flowers by summer. In the last 6 years I moved it several times, divided in the process and it's still going strong. I started with 4 inch pot and now have about 5 of them placed around the house.

Positive denvergreen On Jun 27, 2013, denvergreen from Denver, CO (Zone 5a) wrote:

I love this plant, perhaps because it is one of the least likely to grow in my hot and dry conditions. It survived in my zone 5a garden, with regular but not heavy watering and winter protection (it's truly herbaceous here), for 13 or 14 years. Lost it this last year primarily because of our exceptionally dry winter and exceptionally cold spring, but I also lost several other plants that are a lot tougher. I keep it on the north side of the house to the south of me, so it is in open shade all year 'round and not subject to the blazing winter sun and constant freeze-thaw-freeze-thaw cycles that typify my winters. Of course I was blown away when I first saw five and six foot shrubs covering an entire hillside in coastal Oregon but considering the harsh conditions it faces here I'm very pleased with a plant that gets up to three feet tall and wide and is covered with beautiful blossoms from July to first frost in October. I WILL be replacing it as soon as I can find a specimen in a local garden center.

Positive anglibet On Oct 10, 2012, anglibet from Albany, OR wrote:

Fuchsia magellanica is a very low maintenance hardy perennial to -10oF. Much more cold hardy and heat tolerant if planted very deep like a tomato.

Fuchsias will die over the winter if
1) the roots are wet while the plant is dormant
2) the top foliage is cut off in the fall - wait to prune until new growth is seen in the spring.

Much more floriferous if planted in a good amount of sun. Full morning sun inland. All day sun in the Northwest or coastal California.

Do NOT use soils with timed release fertilizers, squishy peat moss or water retaining granules. If not in the ground, cedar, pulp, clay pots are much better than plastic.

When in a container, if they're wilted and the soil is still moist, spray the leaves but do NOT water the soil. They've just fallen behind bringing water from the roots to the shoots and will recover come evening. Better yet, plant them in the ground - they'll be much happier.

Positive gojo On Aug 17, 2012, gojo from Camano Island, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Here in NW WA it grows well in full sun. The berries are delicious, but the types with larger flowers have larger berries grapesized. They taste similar to grapes too! One of my favorite plants to grow hummingbirds love them, they are pretty and deliver some tasty fruit. If they were fragrant they would be perfect.

Positive skootsi On Jan 8, 2012, skootsi from San Jacinto, CA wrote:

I grew this plant for several years in the foothills above Oroville, CA. (Zone 7) in both morning sun and filtered shade. Summer highs 90-100F (cool nights), Horrible soil, so they never looked great, but they seemed to be tough plants. Grew some in pots and they looked very nice.

They start from semi-hardwood cuttings very easily. Now I'm getting ready to grow a couple in large containers (shade) at my new home in San Jacinto, CA (Zone 8b). There are some varieties with darker foliage and larger flowers than the Magellianica.

Positive NSLilyAddict On Mar 31, 2011, NSLilyAddict from Halifax
Canada wrote:

I grow this lovely plant in zone 5A, Nova Scotia Canada. it does require some mulch & Winter protection but is well worth the little extra work. Humming birds love this quick growing beauty that is covered in flowers from mid Summer-Fall. I attempted to divide a piece off the root ball last Summer & transplanted. I am anxiously awaiting to see if it survived through the Winter. My plants only get a few hours of late afternoon sun & are well pretected.

Positive colchie On Aug 31, 2010, colchie from Vashon, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I love this plant. Winters over even our bleakest winters. The flowers seem smaller to me than the ones growing wild all over Ireland, but still, flowers all summer long!

Positive bladessf On Nov 23, 2009, bladessf from Canandaigua, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

With reservations I give this plant a positive rating. I have been growing one in the Fingerlakes region of NY Zone 5-6. It is sited in a southern exposure near a couple of large rocks. I think the rocks and exposure protect the roots during our rough winters. The plant dies down to the ground each winter. I have tried to transplant some cuttings to other parts of the garden without luck. The cuttings do not survive the winter. That is the reason I give it a + with reserve. If you can get this shrub to grow it is truly beautiful and very floriforous from mid summer to fall.

Positive anelson77 On May 11, 2009, anelson77 from Seattle, WA wrote:

These are very easy and adaptable in the part shade to shade. They like good soil and fertilizer, but hang in there with whatever they get. They get going rather late in the spring, but put on a good show in late summer. They look good cascading over a wall or rockery,

Positive PedricksCorner On Aug 27, 2008, PedricksCorner from Freedom, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

I have been growing this fuchsia for 25 years and if its roots are in cool, deep, damp soil, it can take the full sun and the heat. Mine matches the photo by Ursula. With the pink flowers and pink/pale blue skirts. I have been growing fuchsia's for many years, and as far as I know, this is the true Magellanica. And it is not a hybrid, it is one of the originals from South America. Yes, the hummingbirds just love it. You can trim several feet off of it every year and it will just grow back fuller.

Positive RonDEZone7a On May 8, 2008, RonDEZone7a from Wilmington, DE (Zone 7a) wrote:

I live in Wilmington, Delaware (Zone 7a) and I have been able to grow Fuchsia magellanica successfully as a returning perennial. I have found that, in my Mid-Atlantic east coast climate, they like part-sun / part-shade locations, such as the north side of the house or in a location where some trees or buildings block the sun for part of the day. They do like bright light however, so dense shade under a tree will cause them to bend towards the light and not flower as well - so the best spot (in a hot summer area like eastern North America) is a bright open area but where direct sunshine falls on the plant only part (50% or less) of the day. They need rich, moist soil to do well but won't grow well in an especially wet spot - so mix some top soil, peat, sand, and shredded mulch into your soil if it is a heavier clay. In winter, mine die completely to the ground but I don't trim any of the dead stalks until the following spring, after I see new shoots. I think not trimming until spring helps with hardiness. They are a little slow to pop up in spring but, once they get going, they grow fast and are soon blooming. In my area, they bloom well into November and don't defoliate until hard frosts in the mid to upper 20s occur. Mulching is advisable both in winter (for protection) and summer (for moisture retention) for these plants.

Neutral JaxFlaGardener On Mar 4, 2006, JaxFlaGardener from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

My experience is the same as others in the hot and humid Southern regions of the U.S. I've seen these plants offered in the nursery catalogs and thought about trying it, knowing that fuchsias typically can't handle heat, but being encouraged by the Zone tolerances listed for this plant. When I found the plant available at our local Home Depot, I was thrilled and bought one. It withered away to nothingness within a matter of weeks. I can't really fault the plant for it not being able to grow in my climate, so I'll give it a "neutral" rating. I CAN fault the supplier for selling a plant that has very little chance, if any, of growing in our swampy climate with nights in the 80s F and daytime temps up to 100 F in the summer.

So, my advice to all those in the Southeastern U.S., don't waste your money on this plant. If someone has found a way to make it thrive in our climate, I would certainly like to hear about it!


Positive wallaby1 On Nov 26, 2005, wallaby1 from Lincoln
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

Grown from a cutting 1998/9, went through prolonged frost to -9C 2000 when small, no damage.

It has risen to a majestic close on 8 feet, the hedge behind is about that. I only gave some formative pruning when small, then a huge thick stem went sky high at the back straight from the ground. The last 2 years I haven't pruned it at all, it just grows back to all the tips and as you can see it is dripping with flowers. We had a mildish winter, 5 frosts to -5 & -6C, then a cold spring, no need to mention the cold summer as that followed this, photo taken early June.

Perhaps the conditions suited it, maybe replicated its wild habitat. It is on the north side of a south facing hedge, the winter sun only rises and sets in a low arc east to west of it, doesn't get the sun until sun gets higher in the hemisphere. It was mulched with a good layer of leafy compost 4 years ago, all plants love that. It always puts on a good show for months, but this was exceptional.

Negative DiOhio On Dec 21, 2004, DiOhio from Corning, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

My experience with this plant was the same as htop. I tried to grow it in my yard for 2 years and killed both plants, even with special care and in very protected areas. There won't be a third try unless they come down in price.

Positive suncatcheracres On Sep 24, 2003, suncatcheracres from Old Town, FL wrote:

I had beautiful Fuchsias - huge things dripping with flowers - when I lived in San Francisco, just above the fog line, and in a redwood canyon in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Both of these areas have cool, foggy summers, and mild winters with hardly any frost.

My fuchsias made great hanging plants for a shady porch or deck. They are definitely not for the hot climates of the southern and the southwestern U.S., no matter what zones are listed on the label. I cringe when I see Fuchsias offered for sale up around the Atlanta area, where they might survive in filtered light in an air-conditioned sunporch, but they will disappoint anywhere outdoors in that hot summer climate.

I know that hardy fuchsia can be grown in the cool summer, mountainous areas around Ashville, North Carolina, but this is an atypical climate for most of the South. Like tuberous begonias, which I also grew in California, fuchsias bring fond memories, but I now grow plants that actually like my wet, humid and hot climate in northcentral Florida, zone 8b.

It's important to really research expensive plants - which fushsias are - before you invest money into them. The big discount garden centers seem especially ignorant about selling plants that will not thrive in my area; they sell plants on a national scale, sometimes generically labeled "assorted annuals," "assorted perennials," etc., with little or no growing information. If you know what you are buying, fine, but if in doubt, seek out your local plant nursery, which will appreciate your support and will probably reward you with accurate, zone-specific growing information!

Positive xyris On Sep 23, 2003, xyris from Sebring, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Fuschias cannot be grown without exceptional care (if at all) as outdoor shrubs in most of the southern and southwestern United States, even though the hardiness zone indicates that they could. The problem is that they have a narrower tolerance of HEAT Zones, and really start to suffer (in my experience) when nighttime lows are above 55 or 60F and daytime highs are above 80F. That rules out most of the south and southwest. They flourish in gardens in the Pacific Northwest (and the British Isles, etc.), and in the tropical and subtropical mid-elevation mountains with cool (but not freezing) moist climates where most are native.

Negative htop On Sep 23, 2003, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

San Antonio, Tx.
I could not keep this plant alive and gave up after buying and trying them for 2 years in a row. My daughters live in Seattle where all types of Fuschia thrive and are breathtakingly beautiful. So when I read that this species could be grown in my zone, I was skeptical because I know that most require high humidity and cool weather. I was eager to test them out after the nursury employee stated that it was a new hybrid that could tolerate more heat. Perhaps others in my area have had success, but for me - NOT.

Neutral nevadagdn On Sep 22, 2003, nevadagdn from Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant does well in my shady, sheltered back yard in a warm part of Reno-Sparks, Nevada (U.S.) There's a trick to getting it to survive from year to year, though: when the weather starts warming up in spring, protect the plant against frost once the first few sprouts are visible. Use a "Wall o' Water" or an inverted styrofoam cooler or anything that will serve as a cloche. The plant survives winter cold just fine - just not repeated freeze/thaws once it's broken dormancy in spring.

Positive stevenova On Jul 19, 2003, stevenova from Newcastle
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

This plant has become naturalised in Ireland (Eire) especially in the western parts because of the mild, moderating gulf stream.

In other parts of the British Isles it is also quite hardy but in the coldest parts, the stems can sometimes die right back and the plant behaves more like a perennial.

Easy to propagate from cuttings, it make an attractive, informal hedge or screen that flowers for months.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Amesti, California
Concow, California
Eureka, California
San Francisco, California
Denver, Colorado
Wilmington, Delaware
Arlington, Massachusetts
Danvers, Massachusetts
Sparks, Nevada
Canandaigua, New York
Troy, Ohio
Albany, Oregon
Mill City, Oregon
Oakland, Oregon
Portland, Oregon (3 reports)
Walterville, Oregon
Lahaska, Pennsylvania
Austin, Texas
Leesburg, Virginia
Bremerton, Washington
Camano Island, Washington
Cathan, Washington
Deming, Washington
Issaquah, Washington
Kalama, Washington
Kirkland, Washington
Langley, Washington
Olympia, Washington
Puyallup, Washington
Seattle, Washington (3 reports)
Shelton, Washington
Vancouver, Washington
Vashon, Washington

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