Become an expert with growing and using fuchsias.
Discover everything you ever wanted to know about fuchsias, from soil management and feeding to pruning and propagation. Learn how fuchsias are classified into several major groups, the characteristics of those groups and how/where to grow different types to achieve the best results.
Learn how to Grow and Use Fuchsias: A correspondence course for the enthusiast or commercial grower.
There are 8 lessons in this course:
Review of the system of plant identification
General characteristics of fuchsias
Information contacts (ie: nurseries, seed, clubs)
Pest & disease
Protection from wind etc.
Propagating and potting media
Methods of propagating this group of plants.
Softwood cuttings, Semi hardwood cuttings
Creating the best cutting environment
The Most Commonly Grown Varieties
Upright (bush or shrub) fuchsias
Tall growers (suited to standards)
Other Important Groups
Ellobium, Kierschlegeria,Skinnera and other groups
How to train a Standard Fuchsia
Creating an Espalier fuchsia
The Lesser Grown Varieties
Making the Best Use of Fuchsias
Special Assignment - On one selected plant or group.
HOW MANY FUCHSIA SPECIES ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH?
Here are just some of what you may explore throughout this course.
Grows 1 to 1.8m tall. Flower colour is coral apricot to red and sometimes deciduous.
F. apetala (syn. F. hirstua, F. macrantha, F. unduavensis)
From Peru. Clusters of long tubular pink and white flowers.
F. arborescens (syn. F. syringiflora)
Can greach 8 metres, but more often grown as a large bush.
F. austromontana (syn F. serratifolia)
Deciduous shrub to 1.8 metres from Peru with green oval shaped leaves. Avoid high humidity, extreme heat and drought.
F. ayavacensis (syn F. ampliata)
A spreading shrub to 3 metres tall. Leaves are large and have white hairs on the surface. Flowers orange to red.
From moist forests of the Andes at altitudes of 1800 to 3000 metres. Upright shrub to 3.5 metres
Avoid frosts, prefers semi- shade and needs moist soil.
F. cinnabarina (syn. F. reflexa)
Origin is unknown. Introduced into cultivation in 1829. A vigorous-growing species to 50cm tall with tiny orange-red flowers and attractive berries. Hardy to minus 5 degrees Celsius.
F. coccinea (syn. F. elegans, F. Montana, F. pendula, F. pubescens)
From southern parts of Brazil. Sometimes confused with F. magellanica. A fast-growing shrub to 3.5m tall. It flowers over summer into early autumn. Best in light shade. Red flowers. Fruit to around 1.7cm long is edible
From Mexico and Guatemala where it grows at 10,000 feet. A medium sized shrub. Sepals are scarlet with green tips, flower tube is dark scarlet, corolla is green, yellow and white. Leaves are almost as wide as long.
F. corymbifolia (syn. F. dependens, F. macropetala, F. volitina)
From Peru and Ecuador. To 4.5 metres tall with larger leaves than most fuchsias. Leaves have long leaf stalks, are arranged opposite on the stems and are covered with soft hairs (i.e. pubescent). Flowers are showy with long scarlet tube, scarlet sepals and coral red corolla. Grow in a cool conservatory or shaded garden area. Grows well if trained up a pillar or trellis.
F. cyrtrandroides (syn F. voluntina)
One species native to Tahiti, three from New Zealand, and others from Mexico and South America. Grows to 5 metres tall, small flowers around 1.5cm long are rose red with a bright magenta corolla.
F. dependens (Sunset Fuchsia)
From Ecuador, reported to 2 metres tall in cultivation but up to 8 metres in the wild. Can flower all year round. Long pink flowers in hanging clusters can reach 8cm. Prefers some shade. Purple fruits are edible.
From New Zealand, both north and south islands, in lowlands often along edges of forests. The common name is Tree Fuchsia or Kotukutuku. A shrub or small tree, which occasionally grows up to 10 metres tall. Loose paper-like bark. Flowers are 2 to 3cm long. Flowers can start with greenish to purplish tones, changing colour to be more reddish and purplish as they age. When fully dormant it tolerates temperatures occasionally as low as minus 10 degrees Celsius, otherwise it can be damaged by frost. It tolerates wind more than many fuchsias, but not salt winds on the coast. Adapts to most soil types if drained and kept moist.
From Mexico. A shrubby plant up to 1-2 metres tall. Petals can be yellowish to greenish at the tips but are otherwise bright red. Flowers hang in bunches on short racemes. Leaves are 5 to 10cm long, with a toothed margin and ovate to cordate in shape. Relatively easy to cultivate. Hardy in milder temperate climates over winter; but frost will damage the top. It can often regrow though in spring after frost damage.
From Brazil. Name comes from the fact that leaves are shiny and look almost glazed. Pink sepals, purple corolla. A compact shrub which is often used by breeders for developing new hybrids. Relatively frost-hardy, needs indirect sun to heavy shade and constant moisture. Resistant to mites.
Hardy, long thing leaves. Upright growth habit. Grows in sun or partial shade. Flowers don’t hang straight but bend. Red tubes (calyx) and purple corollas. Very long stamens extend well beyond the corolla. Upright habit to around 1 m tall and 70cm diameter.
From Costa Rica and Panama. Rich pink flowers with prominent white stigma. Green leaves.
From Ecuador. Upright shrub to 1.8m tall. Tiny flowers with a scarlet corolla and sepals, red flower tube.
From Peru. Shrub to 3 metres tall with a spreading or upright growth habit. Leaves are elliptic lanceolate to oblanceolate, 5 to 10cm long and pointed. Red flowers.
From Peru. Medium sized upright shrub. Flowers are also medium sized, sparse, and have pink sepals, a red floral tube and violet corolla.
F. longiflora (syn. F. macrostigma)
F. loxensis (syn. F. apiculata, F. umbrosia)
From Ecuador. Leaves are large. Plants have a strong upright growth habit. Flowers are relatively insignificant; with a deep red to scarlet sepals, dull red corolla, and a long tube.
F. lycioides (syn. F. rosea, F. spinosa)
From Chile. Shrub to 3 metres tall. Lanceolate to ovate shaped leaves, up to 2.5cm long, but often smaller. Flowers have red sepals, red calyx tube and purplish petals. Relatively hardy species.
From Argentinia and southern Chile. A shrub or semi-scandent plant to 3.5 metres tall. Flowers can be to around 4cm long, solitary on nodding pedicels. The calyx tube and sepals are red and the petals purple. There are many named cultivars and hybrids of this species.
From Mexico. A shrub or subshrub to 1.8 metres tall. Leathery leaves 1 to 2 cm long.
From Ecuador. Found in the Andes at altitudes between 1,000 and 3,000 metres. This is a threatened species with a shrubby growth habit to 2 metres tall. Orange to red flowers.
From New Zealand. A semi-trailing to climbing shrub with slender stems. Not very attractive unless trained and regularly pruned. Branches can grow to 5cm diameter. Bark is brown and papery. Leaves are ovate and acute; green on the upper surface and pale to whitish underneath. Flowers appear similar to F. colensoi, and are green to reddish brown, similar to F. excortica but shorter. The ripe berries are dark purple.
F. petiolaris (syn. F. curviflora, F. quinquensis)
From Columbia and Venezuela. Tallish to 2 metres, with an upright shrubby habit. Does not flower freely. Flowers are long and red.
From Ecuador. Rare plant, threatened in the wild. Growth habit is sprawling or epiphytic. Long white tubular flowers reddish ovary and petiole.
From Peru and Brazil. A low-growing shrub. Leaves are hairy. Small racemes of scarlet coloured flowers.
From Columbia. Shrub to 90cm tall. Flowers freely. Scarlet sepals, crimson corolla, purple to red floral tube.
From New Zealand. Prostrate growth habit. Can occasionally grow to a diameter of 5 metres or more in ideal conditions. Relatively hardy basket plant. Roundish leaves 1-2cm long. Flowers are erect with a dark red calyx tube and greenish sepals. Berries turn from green to plum purple when mature. Both green leaved and variegated foliage forms occur.
From Columbia. Upright shrub or small tree. Flowers freely, producing hanging clusters; each individual flower to 2cm or longer. Red to greenish sepals, scarlet coloured tube and corolla.
F. serratifolia (syn F. denticulate)
Often incorrectly used for F. austromontana.
From Peru. Shrub to 4 metres tall. Large lanceolate leaves 8 to 15cm long. Red flowers in drooping clusters.
From Mexico. Shrub or small tree. Leaves are ovate to cordate shape, 3 to 10cm long and have a toothed margin. Petals are green. Sepals are scarlet with a greenish tip.
From Ecuador. Hairy shrub growing 1 to 2 metres tall.
From Brazil and Peru. Grows into an upright shrub, 2 or 3 metres tall. Small to medium size red flowers, in bunches on tips of stems.
From Mexico and Guatamala. Sprawling, scandant shrub. Flowers are tiny and occur singly.
From Ecuador. To between 1 and 2 metres tall. Leaves arranged opposite on stem. Leaves are sparse (most occur at tips of young shoots). Red flowers to around 3cm long.
F. sylvatica (syn. F. atrotuba, F. nigricans)
From Columbia. Low shrubby growth habit. Smallish flowers clustered on terminal racemes. Sepals are pink to red, corolla crimson to purplish red, and floral tube is pink.
F. thymifolia (syn. F. alternans, F. ovate, F.parviflora)
From Mexico. Upright Shrub to 90cm tall. Leaves are an elliptic ovate shape normally around 1 to 2cm long. Flowers occur singly in leaf axils. Sepals and corolla are pink to white, and floral tube is white. As flowers mature, their colour darkens. Sometimes confused with F. microphylla, but this species has larger leaves and flowers that are more of an open funnel shape.
From Venezuela, found in cool Andean mountains. Prefers 40% humidity or higher, and protection from direct sun. Grows to 6 metres. Candy pink sepals and bright yellow stamens on bunches of pendant tubular flowers, to around 8cm long. Uniquely, this species doesn’t have petals. It is deciduous and has the ability to form small tubers. Fruits are edible and slightly sweet.
From Haiti and Santo Domingo. Known as “Honeysuckle Fuchsia”. A shrub 30 to 60cm tall. Foliage can be downy in appearance. Calyx tube is red, sepals are red, and petals are red at the apex.
From Peru. A tuberous rooted shrub to 80cm tall. Partially deciduous after flowering. Sepals are green. Calyx tube is red.
From Peru. A shrub to 1.5 m or taller, growing in shady places with moist soil.
From Columbia. Shrub or creeping habit. Elliptic leaves 5 to 10cm long in hanging clusters at the end of stems. Mostly red flowers, with some green.
This is a unique opportunity to study fuchsias in a way that few other colleges offer, anywhere in the world. Graduates will have a significantly expanded understanding of how to identify and grow different fuchsia cultivars and an expanded awareness of the many different ways they might be used.