Gardeners love fuschias for their beauty and their easy-to-care-for growth habits. Although they're tough, not all varieties of fuschia are cold hardy. If fuschias cannot survive the colder months in your growing region, you can plant them in the ground and treat them as annuals, allowing them to die in winter and planting anew in spring. If you want to grow your fuschias as perennials, plant them in containers so you can bring them inside and tend to them properly in winter as they undergo dormancy.
Things You'll Need
- Garden hose
- Scrub brush or sponge
- Soil moisture meter
- Pruning shears
Remove any dead leaves or other plant debris from the surface of the soil in the container.
Spray the plant with a stiff spray of water from the hose to dislodge any insects that may be living in the foliage.
Store the fuschia inside over the winter in a cool -- 45 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit -- dark place. Bring in the plant before the first frost. Scrub down the surface the fuschia container will sit on with a mild bleach solution to kill any pathogens. Make the bleach solution using one tablespoon of bleach per quart of water.
Water your fuschia periodically to keep the soil consistently damp. Water only enough to moisten the soil. Check the soil's moisture level periodically to gauge the appropriate watering frequency -- three to four weeks is a rough guide. Do not let the soil completely dry out; lack of water may kill the fuschia. Limited watering forces the fuschia into dormancy. The leaves will fall off, but the plant is still alive. Pick off wilted leaves that do not fall off naturally.
Move your fuschia to an indoor spot that receives full sunlight one month before the last predicted frost date in your area.
Prune back the fuschia's branches by half. Make each pruning cut 1/4-inch above the nearest leaf node or stem. This will stimulate the fuschia to produce a flush of new growth in the spring.
Resume your fuschia's regular watering and fertilizing schedule.
Move the fuschia outdoors, if desired, once the last frost date has passed.
Tips & Warnings
- Even indoor fuschia need winter care. If not allowed to go into a dormant state, the fuschia will gradually become weaker and more susceptible to disease.
- Basements and attached garages make great spots for overwintering fuschia.
- Schedule a reminder to keep you from forgetting to water and check on your fuschia over the long winter.
- Do not fertilize the fuschia while it is dormant.
- Gardening Know How: Fuchsia Winter Care – Tips For Wintering Fuchsias
- Prairie Yard & Garden; Overwinter a Fuschia; February 2005
- "The Joy of Planting"; Arlette Laird; 2000