Fuchsia, Also Known as Ladys Ear Drops

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Lawn & Garden

Fuchsias are stunning plants that blossom heavily from spring to fall, boasting hundreds of named varieties. Most of these varieties have been derived from two species. Although they are commonly referred to as Fuchsias, they are also known as “lady’s ear drops.” The name Fuchsia is in honor of Fuchs, a German botanist.

Description of Fuchsia: These plants are mostly woody with some having an erect, bushy habit while others have long, trailing stems from which blossoms hang. The flowers consist of a calyx, which is a brightly colored cylinder or tube that points downward, and is topped by flaring petal-like lobes called sepals. The calyx can either be single or double, and the sepals can be of the same color or contrasting. The calyx and sepals may also be wavy and ruffled.

Growing Fuchsia: Fuchsias thrive when they get some shade and are best grown in cool coastal or mountain regions with good humidity. However, they can also be grown successfully in most places as long as they are kept moist. Fuchsias are heavy feeders and require a slow-release fertilizer at planting or biweekly feeding with a water-soluble fertilizer. For large-blooming plants by mid-May, plant 3 to 5 rooted cuttings in a 10- to 12-inch basket. To develop full and shapely plants, pinch out tips as soon as two sets of leaves have formed and continue this process until March 1. Fuchsias are not winter-hardy except in Zones 9 and 10, but they can be stored over winter in temperatures above freezing but below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Water only enough to keep the root ball from drying out. Light is unnecessary. In January, bring them into the light, cut back plants by at least 50 percent, and resume normal watering.

Propagating Fuchsia: Fuchsias can be propagated by seed or cuttings. Seeds germinate in 21 to 28 days.

Uses of Fuchsia: Fuchsias are commonly grown as hanging baskets, where the pendulous flowers can be viewed from below. They are also placed where they can be seen frequently, such as on decks, porches, or beside walkways. Upright varieties are eye-catching in containers raised on railings or porch steps. Fuchsias are also grown as standards or in tree form, with foliage and flowers flaring out from a single stem grown to the desired height.

Related Species and Varieties: Fuchsia magellanica is a smaller-flowered and hardier species. The selections for Fuchsias are so varied that it is best to choose them in bloom at a nursery or garden center. Some popular varieties include Swingtime, Double Indian Maid, Lena, Jack Shahan, Marinka, Golden Marinka, and Gartenmeister Bonstedt.

Scientific Name of Fuchsia: Fuchsia hybrida

Fuchsia can also be grown as a house plant. Learn more on the next page.

Looking for more gardening information? Check out:

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House Plant: Fuchsia


Fuchsia bears beautiful flowers both indoors and outdoors. This shrub has arching branches and oval, slightly toothed leaves. It produces numerous hanging flowers that resemble earrings, which come in various combinations of white, pink, red, and purple, with corollas and sepals of contrasting colors. To promote semi-dormancy, prune the fuchsia severely in the fall and keep it cool. It is typically placed outside during the summer, but be aware of white-fly infestations.

Fuchsia Quick Facts

Scientific Name: Fuchsia sp.

Common Names: Fuchsia, Lady’s Eardrops

Light Requirement for Fuchsia: Full Sun to Bright Light

Water Requirement for Fuchsia: Evenly Moist (summer); Drench, Let Dry (winter)

Humidity for Fuchsia: Average Home

Temperature for Fuchsia: Cool

Fertilizer for Fuchsia: High Phosphorus

Potting Mix for Fuchsia: All-Purpose

Propagation of Fuchsia: Stem Cuttings

Decorative Use for Fuchsia: Hanging Basket, Table

Care Rating for Fuchsia: Demanding

Looking to learn about house plants by type? Check out these categories:

  • House Plants
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Learn how to care for house plants:

  • Lighting House Plants
  • Watering House Plants
  • Humidity for House Plants
  • Temperature for House Plants
  • Fertilizing House Plants
  • Potting House Plants
  • Grooming House Plants
  • Propagating House Plants
  • Decorating with House Plants
  • Preventing Pests and Diseases in House Plants
  • Vacation Care for House Plants
  • Gardening

FAQ

What is Fuchsia?

Fuchsia is a genus of flowering plants that includes over 100 species. These plants are native to Central and South America, as well as New Zealand and Tahiti. They are known for their striking, bell-shaped flowers that come in a range of colors, including pink, purple, red, and white. Fuchsias are popular ornamental plants and are often used in hanging baskets or as bedding plants in gardens.

How do you care for Fuchsia plants?

Fuchsia plants prefer a cool, moist environment with well-draining soil. They should be watered regularly to keep the soil evenly moist, but not waterlogged. Fuchsias also benefit from regular fertilization during the growing season. Pruning is important to promote bushy growth and to remove any dead or damaged branches. In colder climates, Fuchsia plants should be brought indoors during the winter months.

What are Lady’s Ear Drops?

Lady’s Ear Drops is a common name for Fuchsia plants, specifically the Fuchsia magellanica species. This name comes from the shape of the flowers, which resemble drops of water hanging from the earlobes of a lady. Lady’s Ear Drops are popular ornamental plants and are often used in garden borders or as hedges. They are hardy plants that can survive in a range of climates.

Can Fuchsia plants be grown from seed?

Yes, Fuchsia plants can be grown from seed, but it can be a bit challenging. Seeds should be sown in a well-draining soil mix and kept consistently moist. They also need to be kept warm, with a temperature of around 70-75°F. Germination can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks, so patience is key. Once the seedlings have developed their first true leaves, they can be transplanted into individual pots or planted outdoors.

Can Fuchsia plants be propagated from cuttings?

Yes, Fuchsia plants can be easily propagated from cuttings. Take a cutting that is 3-4 inches long, making sure to include a few leaves and a node (the part where the leaves attach to the stem). Dip the cutting in rooting hormone and plant it in a well-draining soil mix. Keep the soil evenly moist and the cutting in a warm, bright location, but out of direct sunlight. After a few weeks, the cutting should have developed roots and can be transplanted into its own pot or planted outdoors.

What are some common pests and diseases that affect Fuchsia plants?

Fuchsia plants are susceptible to a few pests and diseases. Aphids are a common problem, as well as spider mites and whiteflies. These can be controlled with insecticidal soap or neem oil. Fuchsia rust is a fungal disease that can cause yellowing of the leaves and rust-colored spots. It can be prevented by keeping the plants well-spaced and avoiding overhead watering. If a plant does become infected, it should be removed and destroyed to prevent the disease from spreading.

Can Fuchsia plants be grown indoors?

Yes, Fuchsia plants can be grown indoors, but they require a bright location with plenty of indirect sunlight. They also need a cool, moist environment, so a humidifier or regular misting may be necessary. Indoor Fuchsia plants should be watered when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch and should be fertilized regularly during the growing season. Pruning is important to promote bushy growth and to remove any dead or damaged branches.

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