How to Grow Fuchsias: The Complete Fuchsia Flower Guide

Close-up of pink fuchsia in a white container
Photo Credit
N. Mamashka/Shutterstock
Botanical Name
Fuchsia spp.
Plant Type
Sun Exposure
Soil pH
Bloom Time
Flower Color
Hardiness Zone

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Planting, Growing, and Caring for Fuchsia Plants

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A hanging-basket star, hummingbird magnet, and shade-tolerant bloomer? Yes, please! Fuchsias are loaded with stunning, two-toned flowers and showy foliage. This beauty isn’t high-maintenance, but you do need to know its growing requirements. Learn how to grow and care for fuchsia plants—and keep those blooms coming!

About Fuchsias 

Fashion fades but style remains, and fuchsia (FEW-shuh) oozes style, with its spectacularly elegant and exotic jewel-tone pendulous flowers that look more like handcrafted silk than nature’s handiwork. 

Often featuring bicolor flowers, fuchsias come in various colors, but most often in gorgeous bright reds, pinks, and salmons, with white or purple centers. The flower’s outer portion comprises colored sepals, which protect the inner petals and reproductive bits.

Fuchsias are a favorite for hummingbirds, who are attracted to the colors and long, bell-shaped flowers that hang and droop beautifully from hanging baskets, containers, and planters. The blossoms are also beloved by other pollinators including bees, butterflies, and moths. Fuchsia plants can be bushy or vining and trailing.

Many fuchsias will slow or stop blooming when temperatures rise above 80 degrees, but some heat-loving varieties are available.

The plant was discovered in Hispaniola (today, the island of the Dominican Republic and Haiti) and described by French friar and botanist Charles Plumier (1646–1704) in the 1690s. He chose the genus name to honor 16th-century German botanist Leonhard Fuchs (1501–66). However, this semitropical to tropical gem was not cultivated and propagated in Europe for nearly a century. In 1788, fuchsia was introduced to England’s Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, where a nurseryman was able to reproduce several hundred plants from cuttings. In the ensuing years, new species and varieties were discovered, hybridized, and multiplied by botanists and growers across Europe. As they shared their plant stocks and knowledge in colorful catalogs, the demand for ever-different forms and flower hues for public gardens and private properties exploded. 

Today, more than 100 species are known, and thousands of cultivars have been developed (although not all of these may be available or easily acquired). A member of the evening primrose family (Onagraceae), fuchsia is native to Central and South America; three species, including a tree form, are indigenous to New Zealand.

Are Fuchsias Perennials or Annuals?

While fuchsias are grown as perennial garden shrubs in mild climates worldwide, they are treated as a cool-season plant used as an annual, primarily as potted flowering plants and in hanging baskets in the United States and Canada.

That said, fuchsia can survive over winter by storing it in the winter at 40° F.  While in storage, water once a month and then in February cut back to the woody sections to promote new growth in spring.


Fuchsias are considered part-shade plants, which is an excellent opportunity for gardeners; however, they do need at least four hours of light to bloom—either dappled sunlight all day or direct morning sun. They prefer summer temperatures below 85°F and cool nights. So those in southern locations should place their fuchsias in a spot with afternoon shade or even all-day protection.

However, fuchsias are not too fussy if their moisture needs are met and the soil does not get soggy wet nor bown dry.  Neutral to slightly acidic pH is fine, in the 6.0 to 7.0 range. Most commercially available potting mixes are close to neutral pH already. If you are filling your containers from a bag and not mixing your own, chances are your soil will be fine.

Fuchsia flowers

When to Plant Fuchsias

Fuchsias like cool temperatures and can be planted in spring as soon as night temperatures stabilize above about 40 degrees. They grow best in the cool nights and temperate days of late spring and early summer.

How to Plant Fuchsias

If your fuchsia is destined for a hanging basket, fill it with potting mix and some organic material to retain moisture.

  • A wooden or fiber pot will not dry out as quickly as a clay pot and allow the plant to breath.
  • Make sure any container has drainage holes. Fuchsias don’t like to sit in water, even though they want their soil slightly moist.
  • If your planter is large enough, tuck in two or three fuchsias to make a luscious and overflowing planter display. 
  • Those in warmer locations can also grow fuchsias as outdoor perennials. Like a planter, select a site with dappled sunlight or light shade, and ensure you provide adequate drainage. 
  • Mulching will go a long way toward keeping the soil around your fuchsia at a more even moisture level and keeping the soil surface cooler.

Propagating Fuschsias

Fuchsia can be grown from seeds or stem tip cuttings; the latter is the easier method, as the former can take up to 4 months. Cuttings can be taken in spring (before flowers appear) or fall (these plants tend to bloom sooner than spring-rooted ones). 

Prepare containers with a seed-starting mix or use equal parts sand, perlite, and peat moss; moisten the medium. Cut off a green branch that is up to 6 inches long and has three pairs of leaves. Remove the bottom pair and dip the cut end into rooting hormone (if using; not necessary). Insert the cutting into the medium up to the next leaves. Cover loosely with clear plastic and set in a warm, bright spot out of direct sun. Fall-rooted cuttings do not need a cover and prefer a cool (45° to 50°F), bright environment. 

Water enough to prevent wilting; avoid getting the leaves wet. When new leaf growth appears (in 3 to 4 weeks), lift the seedling and transplant it to a container. 


  • Containers need to be watered, usually once a day. Water when the surface of the growing medium becomes dry or hot but also don’t let the soil become soggy. Keeping soil evenly moist in a hanging basket can be difficult. Add some compost to your potting mix, and check them daily, especially if the basket hangs under an overhang from a roof or porch. 
  • Fuchsias are heavy-feeders. If you’re growing fuchsia in a container and watering frequently, you must fertilize as watering leaches nutrients. In the spring, fertilize every 2 weeks with a water soluble, complete fertilizer half-strength; once the plants set buds, water with a “bloom” formula. Stop fertilizing in the fall at least two weeks before you anticipate bringing the plant indoors.
  • Deadheading your fuchsia will provide more blooms, allowing the plant to focus energy on flowering instead of making berries and seeds. If the flower has dropped off and the little green berry is left behind, pinch that off too.
  • If your fuchsia is wilting, dropping flowers, or the tips of the leaves are turning brown, it could be underwatering. But do not water a wilted plant midday if the soil is still wet as this suffocates the roots! 

fuchsia hanging basket

Overwintering Fuchsias

  • Fuchsias in a container or basket can be brought inside to overwinter. Bring the pot in before the first fall frost and store it in an unheated basement or other unlit areas where the temperature will remain about 45 to 55 degrees. If your plant is large, it’s fine to cut back to the rim of the container or leave 6-inch stubs. Check for insects before bringing plants indoors.
  • Water it occasionally (every 4 weeks) to keep the soil from becoming bone dry, but don’t keep it as moist as it was all growing season. The foliage will fall off, and it might look dead. Don’t give up.
  • In the spring, move the plant to a bright window indoors or under a grow light and resume watering; when new growth appears, refresh the potting soil in the pot and return plant to same pot. 
  • When the first two set of leaves emerge, pinch each new growing tip to promote branching. Keep pinching all summer for the bushiest plant!


The berries produced after fuchsia flowers fade can be eaten or prepared as sauces and jams and in baked goods. They are best when soft and squishy; the flavor runs from peppery to lemony. Single-flower plants (not double- or semidouble-) usually produce more fruit because less of their energy goes into the flowers.

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Wit and Wisdom

  • Fuchsias were named for the famed German botanist Leonhard Fuchs in a description of plants found on the island of Hispaniola, now Haiti, published in 1703.
  • Many fuchsias sold today are a hybrid of three or more species. Check this page from Penn State Extension for more fun fuchsia facts
  • Although California fuchsia, native to that state, has a red flower that resembles those of some Fuchsia species, it, in fact, is the species Epilobium canum.
  • F. excorticata produces blue pollen, which at one time was used by Māori women in New Zealand to adorn their faces.


About The Author

Andy Wilcox

Andy Wilcox is a flower farmer and master gardener with a passion for soil health, small producers, forestry, and horticulture. Read More from Andy Wilcox

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