you please tell me when and how I should prune fuchsias? And what
is the best way to take cuttings from them?
fuchsias in late winter after the risk of frost has passed but before
new spring growth really gets going. How you do it can vary depending
on the variety and your growing conditions, but as a general rule
cut any dead or broken shoots back to healthy wood and trim all
other branches back by about a third.
The idea is to encourage
strong new growth on which flowers will be produced later in the
season, so at the same time give them a dressing of a balanced fertiliser,
such as rose or citrus food, and mulch with compost, sheep pellets
or such like.
Later in spring and early
summer, it's often a good idea to pinch out or prune off the growing
tips of strong new shoots to encourage branching. This will delay
flowering a little, but you'll get more flowers in the long run
and for a longer period.
Fuchsia cuttings root
quite readily. Make cuttings in summer from healthy, strong, leafy
shoots. Remove the soft tip growth and any flowers or flower buds,
leaving the lower, firmer part of the stem as your cutting. Remove
the lower two or three pairs of leaves and dip the bottom end of
the cutting in a rooting hormone, although this is not essential.
You can plant the cuttings
directly into the soil in a cool, shady part of the garden or into
a pot of moist sand or potting mix which you can then enclose in
a plastic bag to create a humidity tent for faster rooting. Place
the bag in a warm spot but away from direct sun.
The cuttings should root
within a few weeks, then you can plant them in the garden or into
Gardener, Issue 177, 2005, Page 30
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.