On Tuesday 4th April 2017 we had a very informative talk by Malcolm Beerman from The British Fuchsia Society.
Malcolm gave us a thorough presentation including the basics of plant care for Fuchsias, the ideal compost, pests and diseases and how to treat these, how to take successful cuttings and general useful tips.
A Fuchsia should ideally have sun in the morning and in the evening but plenty of shade during the day. Water into the plant saucer little and often when the plant needs it, i.e. when it feels light. Malcolm suggests feeding the plant just once a week. As for compost it is hard nowadays to get good quality. It was recommended to use Professional Growers number 2 from Petersfield at Cosby or Erin Multi purpose and a ratio of 6:1 perlite to compost to retain nutrients and ensure free drainage.
Pests and diseases need to be dealt with and here Malcolm suggested the use of SB Plant Invigorator spray every 2 weeks, although for those who like to use something safer Stergene is effective on white fly and other bugs. Red spider mite will attack fuchsias most definitely in a hot dry environment. One effective but unlikely treatment here seems to be Mite Kill Spray for Chickens! Nice to know something will work on them.
When it comes to propogating from cuttings Malcolm’s expertise was again extremely valuable. We need to ensure all cuttings are as short as possible and as all the hormones are in the top tip planting needs to be very soon after cutting for a successful outcome. Cuttings need to be put in a small pot, about 2 inches and gradually potted on into slightly larger pots. It was explained that if the pot is too big for the small cutting the compost will be too wet and rot will occur. No food should be given until the cutting has been in its final pot for 3 weeks. Compost needs to be light and airy to encourage root growth.
Anyone wishing to venture down the Standard route needs to continually pot on to ensure growth doesn’t stop and to pinch out correctly and to turn the plant regularly to achieve good light to all sides.
General good tips for helping a hardy fuchsia make it through the Winter were to keep it fairly dry so the frost doesn’t split the roots. A good idea also is to keep it near to the side of the house, in a cold green house and or cover with fleece.
A big thank you to Malcolm for coming to talk to us and for answering our questions. I know several of us were able to also take home a few plants that he kindly brought along.
That evening we also held our annual daffodil competition.