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Autumn Oak Lane: Fuchsia, fuchsia, fuchsia

First discovered in the late 17th century by Charles Plumier, fuschias have become the staple springtime bloomer for most gardens in temperate climates. Available in a range of shades from pink to peachy apricot, there are multiple cultivars suited to your color scheme or desire.

Fuchsias come in dwarf varieties, shrubs and weeping growth habits. Easy to hybridize, you can cross-pollinate your own plants to breed traits you like. You may have an upright small-leafed, double blooming white and pink bush and may want to cross it with a big-leafed, single blooming purple bush to get a hybrid that produces double blooming white and purple flowers.

Fuchsias are part of a family called Onagraceae which is classified by the number of sepals and petals it has. This family has 4 sepals and petals on each flower. These subtropical plants can grow anywhere between 8 inches to 13 feet and are grown from the north to the south. Usually petering out in the summer in the deep south due to the extreme heat, these beautiful species can be overwintered inside or grown as a houseplant in the summer. Hummingbirds and bees pollinate these lovely pendant plants with hummingbirds being the main pollinator. All parts of this plant are edible and they form berries after successful pollination.

There are 110 species of fuchsia which mainly come from South America and Central America. They thrive in cool humid areas, although some cultivars have been bred to live in the dry heat of places like the inland USA. They can bloom from June through October in most areas. You don't need to deadhead spent blooms, but it is important to note that these plants can suffer from a pathogen called Fuschia Rust which is a fungal infection.

Fuchsia makes a great container plant when planted among other shade-loving specimen. You can try out specimen plants in a pot to make for an eye-catching display that comes in all different shades. You can plant with textures, shades or shapes when it comes to the foliage or petals of a flower.

I hope this brought you inspiration and sparks an interest in gardening!


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