An Alameda Garden: The Forgiving Fuchsia

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Forgiving Fuchsia

These first fuchsia blooms are evidence that gardening can be a very forgiving endeavor if you're just patient enough. Last summer I took a cutting from a fuchsia in my friend Mark's garden, stuck it in some rooting hormone and popped it in a six-pack filled with potting soil. I kept it watered in semi-shade and it did ... well, pretty much nothing. After a few months of no growth I thought it might do better if I transplanted it to a 4-inch pot, but in a moment of bleary-eyed gardening I accidentally planted it in a pot filled with straight composted manure instead of potting soil. (Don't try this at home.) I can't remember how long it was before I realized my mistake, but I know it was a matter of weeks. By the time I figured out what I'd done and went to repot it, it looked exactly the way any of us would look if we'd been stuck in a pot of manure--shocked, to say the least. I thought for sure it was ultimately destined for the compost bin, but I put it in a 4-inch pot of potting soil anyway and watered it and just left it alone. About two months ago I noticed some new growth and repotted it again, this time in a plastic pot inside a ceramic pot with no drainage hole, so it stays more evenly moist. Happy at last, the plant shot up and out and put on buds. I am redeemed.


  1. they look gorgeous,i love them..congrats on redeeming yourself.

  2. Anonymous3:28 PM

    Isn't it great getting a plant for free, well not exactly, I guess you paid in effort, ingenuity and perserverence. Lovely fuschia. The current issue of Pacific Horticulture has an article on mite resistant fuschias. Did you know that Berk. Hort. was instrumental in the propagation of new fuschis varieties during the "fuschia mania" of the 30's and 40's?

  3. Are you able to grow them year 'round in California? I've got to winter them over inside here in Juneau, AK, but so far, have not had one make it through to a second summer. I keep trying, though. :)


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