The Fuchsia Genus (Lady’s Eardrop)

Fuchsia is a genus belonging to the Evening Primrose family, Onagraceae.

It’s made up of roughly 110 different species, of mainly trees and shrubs, most of which come from South America, with a select few hailing from New Zealand and Tahiti.

Fuchsia At A Glance

Fuchsia plants are grown all over the world for their fabulous blooms, which are available in a wide range of colors and shapes.

All flowers trail from the plant, making them perfect for hanging baskets, and available colors include purple, pink, white, and red.

While some fuchsias grow outright as trees, you can convince the shrub varieties to grow as potted trees if you train them from an early age. 

Some can even be trained as hedges, but it’s worth noting that some cultivars are easier to train than others.

Some fuchsia plants can be very long-lived if you choose the right species, and give them the care they need. 

You can see one very old fuchsia at the Olivas Adobe in Ventura, California, where it was planted in 1899, and still flowers today.

Name Origin

Charles Plumier was the first to describe a fuchsia when he found it on Hispaniola, and named the genus after Leonhart Fuchs, a German botanist who lived in the 1500s.

Fuchsia Flower Meaning

Fuchsia flowers represent nobility, elegance, a love whom you can trust and confide in, and friendliness.

Fuchsia Uses

Fuchsias are popular flower choices for weddings and other significant milestones, not only for their beauty, but for their trailing habit and symbolism, too.

To the Maori people, Fuchsia excorticata was a natural resource, having many uses.

Parts of the plant are edible, the berries suitable for jam making, and the flowers are bright enough to create natural, highly pigmented dyes, and the plant was also used for vapor baths.

Parts of the bark were also used to tan leather.

Fuchsia Growing Requirements

It’s worth mentioning that while some fuchsia species are very hardy, there are others which won’t tolerate any frost at all.

Always do your research beforehand to ensure you get the right species for your area. Most fuchsias are hardy in USDA zones 6 through to 11, blooming in summer and into fall.

Depending on the species you choose, fuchsias can range from 15cm tall to 50 feet tall, so make sure you choose carefully!

Fuchsia plants will grow in full sunlight or partial shade, but it’s worth putting them in a sheltered position, which will help protect the flowers from being knocked off the plant in strong winds.

Fuchsia plants like damp soil which has good drainage, and the soil needs to have a pH between 5.5 and 6.5.

These plants are very low maintenance, and only need an average amount of water, which makes them suitable for most gardens. 

To make the flowering season a little longer, remove spent blooms as they start to fade, and this will encourage the plant into putting its energy into making new flowers. 

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