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Pruning Fuchsias – The Complete Guide
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Fuchsias are easy to grow and can benefit from pruning whether it’s pruning a hardy variety or pinching out young shoots of tender varieties ready for summer. They give off flowers from the middle of summer through to the first frost in Autumn and look amazing when in full flower. As far as maintenance is concerned, they need full sunlight but will do well in some shade, need some mulch after pruning if grown in the garden to help them come back, and will respond well to deadheading throughout the growing season.
Pruning Fuchsia Shrubs
If you are growing your fuchsias as shrubs, you will see some dieback come winter, every winter. This is perfectly natural and because of that, you will need to prune your plants at the beginning of spring to get rid of the unhealthy parts. To do that, remove the dead growth back to the point of live shoots. Conversely, cut down to the healthy buds lower down the stem if the dead growth is severe enough.
If you have a colder garden, you may need to cut all of the growth from last year down to the ground so that new growth can come through but they do usually respond well to hard pruning. The cold will kill the stems all the way to ground level in these cases, so you can help by getting a jump start on it. Rest assured the plants will regrow. When you do this, be sure not to damage any new shoots at the base and be patient as they can be slow to shoot in spring and many gardeners often think they have died when all they needed is a little more time.
Pruning Fuchsia Hedges
If you are growing your fuchsias as a hedge, you will need to prune the side branches back to the point of the next set of healthy shoots or buds. Do this in spring right as the new growth starts to emerge. The idea here is to keep both sides tidy so that it maintains that hedge-like appearance.
In some situations, you need to give your plant some hard pruning. This might be to clear out a congested plant or to get back the shape you want for an overgrown plant. In any case, you can cut the congested stems back to the ground at the start of spring so that they have time to grow a new framework that same season. If you have hedges, you can prune alternate shrubs down to keep the new growth forming with better circulation, without alleviating the form of boundary your shrubs provide.
Doing these when necessary will ensure your fuchsias grow strong and stable.