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Every Fuchsia I buy dies, what is wrong??

June 10, 2005

I am on my 6th fuchsia over the past 3 years and have killed them all. The first year i hung it out in the sun. Obviously that killed it. Then i hung it in shade and that killed it too. i read on here the keeping it inside is not good either. I can not figure out how to keep this thing alive. Help.

Comments (15)

  • andrea_san_diego

    Me too! I killed so many that I've lost count. When it comes to fushias I have a black thumb.


  • hld6

    As a reformed "fuchsia killer" I feel for you. I killed one last year and two this year until, with help from this list, I figured out my mistake.

    My main error was, OVERWATERING. Since mine were in a coco mat planter that drained excess water I never imagined that to be the problem. But, when the little tags on the plants say "moist but not wet" they are not kidding. Fuchsia DO NOT like to be soaked, even if the drainage is good. Wait till they are just barely moist and then give them only a moderate amount of water. Consequently, in hot dry weather they may need to be watered a couple times a day (small amounts each time) and in cool weather they may go several days between waterings. I was also told that they should be watered in the morning b/c their pores close later in the day and they'll just sit in the moisture rather than take it up.

    The problem is that by the time an overwatered fuchsia shows symptons (limp leaves, dropping blossums and buds) it is probaby too late - the roots are gone. This is compounded by the fact that these symptons look the same as a LACK of water. So it you're like me, you run around moving them from spot to spot (thinking the problem is the amount of sun, wind circulation, temperature, "curse from a past life", whatever) never imagining you're overwatering. Strangers I met in stores (buying my replacement fuchsia), friends and neighbors all said the same thing "I bought a fuchsia once and It just all of a sudden died on me".

    I followed the advice I got (see "Sickly Fuchsia" post) and my three new fuchsia are doing great. Thanks to "Tight" and "Fuchiabonsailady" I am hopeful that my fuchsia killing days are over!


    Sorry to go on so long - but I guess converts really are the most religious!! :)

  • piksi_hk

    Thanks, Helen, for your advice and I will need to write it down for future reference.

    But it's too late for mine:( It pasted away a month ago....it was red/purple double blooming in a large hanging basket. The garden center saleman said it was on it's way out...I bought it in April thinking it may survive if I took special care of it, but no such luck.

    Last year's 3 died; then 5 more died this year. Why do they sell fuchsias here in zone 9? To torcher me?

  • hld6

    Hi Piksi!
    Yeah, I killed two of the red-purple double blooming fuchsias that you see for sale a lot. (probably "Dark Eyes"). They made SUCH beautiful hanging baskets - big, lush, and covered with blooms. And then about a week and a half after getting them they got sickly and quickly died.

    I can't tell if that variety is more sensitive to overwatering then others or if I was just a very efficient "Fuchsia Killer"! (I also killed a pale pink double bloomer that took a little longer before it expired.)

    I wouldn't buy a sickly Fuchsia (unless it was free - and then I'd have to think about it). If the store has soaked them when watering - the roots are gone and it will be difficult or impossible for them to recover. I don't need any more twig skeletons in my fuchsia graveyard!

    The three replacements I got ("Southgate", "Swingtime", and an Unknown - pink purple single bloomer) are doing great with the correct watering. However, its been getting hotter here in Baltimore, (90's the past week). So dealing with the heat is my next learning challenge. Hopefully I won't kill as many figuring this one out!


  • tightathome

    Hi everyone

    Unusually we are having some high temperatures here in the UK and as I have been on my jols (vacation to my American friends) we had a couple of the hottest days of the year. Fortunately I have trained my sons well and they brought all but 2 small cuttings through my week away.

    Even now the temperatures are quite high and for the last couple of days I have had to water before 8.00am to make sure that the plants do not become too stressed when the sun arrives over the house.

    Apart from moving plants around to find the shade I have resorted to providing them with overhead shading suspended on fine line. I am using garden fleece for this as I find that it allows a lot of light to penetrate but provides shade at the same time, and being light it can be pegged to the lines (I use the pegs used for hanging out the washing - but don't tell the wife OK).

    Luckily with working from home I am able to attend to my plants throughout the day, shading, turning plants and spraying the ground to increase the humidity throughout the day, it is difficult when you have to leabe them early in the morning and not return until after work, I know I did it for 20 years.

    The best advice regarding watering is to water as early as possible in the day, only watering those plants that need it, don't be tempted to water everything that you have as some plants won't have used up all the moisture in the compost and you are only adding to this. A quick 'dip' into the compost with your finger will tell you if the plant needs watering. Another tip is to feel the weight of the plant in it's pot you will get to know when it is dry by the weight and failing that 'knock' the plant out of the pot and have a look at the rootball.

    Oooooopppppps I have been going on for ages...... hope this helps and good growing.

    By the way I am starting to 'pot up' some of my plants for NEXT YEAR.... seems it never ends...


  • Mystyspassion

    I tried about 10 different places in my yard before I found the Perfect Spots for my Fuschia's; sometimes it's just a matter of moving the plant 1 ft to the right or left.

    Here is what I have found; In the Morning my plant usually will get about 1/2 hr of direct sunlight maybe a little more; then it is basically shaded from the tree's; then about 1pm it starts to get a little sun; giving it more direct sunlight around 1:30 - 2:00; then it is shaded by the house and trees again; and around 4:00 direct sunlight again. Usually the Direct Sunlight it in the Morning & Late Afternoon when the Sun isn't strong and only 1/2hr of Strong Mid-day sunlight.

    Usually I give the Plant 2 - 3 days in a certain spot; and if I notice a downfall I move it to a different spot. It took me about 10 days to find the perfect spot; but once I did my Fuschia were doing great until I killed them with Fertilizer Burn; but live & learn. I am buying new ones this week. But I now have the perfect spot for them, LOL.

    Also before the Heavy Mid Day Direct Sunlight I will usually give them a Small Drink so they have a refresher before the Direct Sunlight.

    Basically; not too much direct sunlight in Mid-day; but early morning & late Day Direct Sun will work; and just keep your eye on them; and move them around to different spots and I am sure you will find the perfect spot to make your Fuschia Happy.

  • bugerbare20


  • RodeoSquirrel

    2 dead here within 1 month
    heck i didnt overwater em those suckers were wilting and dried up like a prune when i missed just one day of watering.
    they were crispy i tell ya. so i put them in the garage to be thrown out in a few days when it was garbage day. i bought 2 hanging petunias instead, they are way easier.
    well a few days later garbage day came, i went to throw out the fuchsia's and well the lord works in mysterious ways because they never looked so good. well i now had no where to put em and i tossed em. maybe i should have kept them as a garage decoration, but nah those little buds drop everywhere

  • hld6

    Hi Rodeo Squirrel,

    There are a lot of ways to kill fuchsia! It seems like yours must have gotten too much sun. And yeah petunias are a LOT easier. The afternoon sun side of my porch has a petunia that I bought in the beginning of the summer with the two fuchsia I killed. Its still looking great. But, the shady sides of my porch don't get enough sun for petunias to grow - even impatiens did poorly there. So those are my fuchsia spots.

  • rizzir

    Maybe I'm weird but here I can just take a branch off mine if it breaks but still has living parts and stick it in vermiculite or even a pot with moist soil and it will grow. I even have one that comes back from the ground each year.

    However, the hanging basket one always tries to die on me. I'm thinking it's the "light" potting soil the greenhouse planted it in - it dries out so quickly and poor fuschia goes thirsty.

  • Auntkate

    I have a fuschia in a large planter(about 15" dia. and high) I set it under a Bradford Pear tree up on a plant bench about 2 ft off the ground. I have actually over-wintered this fuschia in my storage room two winters. I cut it back. I only water it maybe two or three times during the winter. I set it out again this year. It takes it a month or more to get going. It's not particularly full(4 0r 5 long branches), but it is full of blooms now.(middle of July) ALthough, I bought another one in a hanging basket. The leaves dried up from the ends. I guess it got too much water. I'm trying to save it so I hung it on a branch under the same tree. We'll see!!! Fuschia's are just picky.

  • Charlene Herndon

    Hello, I've been reading all the posts here and haven't seen the question I have addressed. I bought a hanging fuchsia, the tag said no direct sunlight. I live in an apartment where the carport faces north. I have the plant sitting on a stand on the carport. It gets bright light and good airflow but no actual sun exposure. Is that going to be ok? I've only had it a week, so I haven't over or under watered it to death yet. Lol Thanks, Char

  • steiconi

    Thanks for this thread; I killed two lovely fuschias last year and wondered why. Now I know; our area gets 170" of rain a year. If I want fuschias, I'll have to grow them indoors. eh, I'll just grow hibiscus and gardenias and vireyas instead.

  • Jay 6a Chicago

    I too can't seem to successfully grow any hanging fuchsias I buy.Also I'm in zone 6a and tried growing a hardy fuchsia and that failed too.It breaks my heart because I'm doing it mostly for the hummingbirds.Now I ordered a hanging one that's supposed to be more sun tolerant this year and as I stressed about the correct amount of watering and sunlight a chipmunk uprooted it as it hung in the tree.It looked like a freshly rooted cutting when I got it and still did.I replanted it,doused it probably way too much ,and it died anyway.I've had better luck with the gartenmeister variety.They seem to do better.The advice about not over watering might be the key I've been looking for.

  • minflick

    Over watering is important, yes, but there are other things to consider too. I have a pink & purple fuchsia thing I got at Home Depot 9 or 10 years ago. It was in a hanging pot for a long time, and then it went in a half wine barrel several years ago. Then the barrel got shuffled around the back yard to about 4 different locations before I found one that made the plant happy! It gets watered 2x weekly in the summer, and whenever it rains in the winter. It's pretty happy where it is, shaded for the majority of the day by the house, the chicken coop and redwood trees to the south, BUT, it gets some direct sunlight every day. Just not much.

    I got 10 babies (2" pots) from Earthworks last Fall. I've killed 1 or 2 pretty fast, gifted 4, and the rest are stumbling along.

    Pink Marshmallow got cooked in the heat from the driveway, moved to the clothes line out back, (still too hot and sunny for it), and is now in the shade in the front yard, but under a redwood tree. We'll see how it bounces back. Or if!

    Feather Duster looks cute, appears happy in its smallish shallow clay pot, but it's not thrilling to me. White/white discolors too frequently and quickly. I thought I'd like it more.

    Mancunian plant looks fine, never bloomed this summer... Hanging plastic pot, on an oak tree, we'll see how it winters and then grows on in the Spring.

    Snowburner - died... whitefly, mealy bugs, withered, dead... Everything ELSE in the barrel is going gangbusters, bugs or no bugs!

    HeRi Mochara did OK, not thrillingly, probably needs a bigger container next year. Likes where it is, though.

    Tropicana - plant fine, but no blooms. Hopefully it will do better next year.

    My point being that sometimes it's your care, sometimes it's the location you stuck it in, sometimes it's the plant that doesn't like something. Do your research, and keep plugging away until you find something that likes what you do, where you do it. Voila! Pretty flowers!

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