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Course CodeVHT112
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment


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.

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • Review of the system of plant identification
    • General characteristics of fuchsias
    • Information contacts (ie: nurseries, seed, clubs)
  2. Culture
    • Planting
    • Staking
    • Mulching
    • Watering
    • Pest & disease
    • Feeding
    • Pruning
    • Protection from wind etc.
  3. Propagation
    • Propagating and potting media
    • Methods of propagating this group of plants.
    • Stock plants
    • Softwood cuttings, Semi hardwood cuttings
    • Hormones
    • Creating the best cutting environment
  4. The Most Commonly Grown Varieties
    • Magellanica hybrids
    • Triphylla hybrids
    • Upright (bush or shrub) fuchsias
    • Tall growers (suited to standards)
    • Dwarf Fuschsias
    • Trailing Fuchsias
  5. Other Important Groups
    • Quelusia Fuchsias
    • Eufuchsia Fuchsias
    • Ellobium, Kierschlegeria,Skinnera and other groups
    • How to train a Standard Fuchsia
    • Creating an Espalier fuchsia
  6. The Lesser Grown Varieties
    • Various species fuchsias
  7. Making the Best Use of Fuchsias
  8. Special Assignment - On one selected plant or group.

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


Here are just some of what you may explore throughout thisa course.

F. alpestris (syn. F. regia variety)

F. ampliata (syn. F. ayavacensis)

F. andrei
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.

F. boliviana
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. carnea
This species has no proper botanical standing; has been used to describe a low-growing plant with purple and red flowers.

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

F. conica (syn F. magellanica)

F. corallina (syn. F. exoniensis)

F. cordifolia
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. decussata (syn. F. fontinalis, F. fusea, F. scandens)
From Peru and Chile. Upright shrub to 3m tall or more; small flowers with red sepals and tube and a corolla that is purplish red.

F. denticulata (syn. F. serratifolia)
From Bolivia and Peru. Appearance is similar to F. austromontana, but with shorter sepals and narrower petals. A popular indoor plant in North America in the 19th century.

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.

F. discolor (syn. F. magellanica)

F. erecta
This species has no proper botanical standing.

F. excorticata
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.

F. fulgens
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.

F. glazioviana
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.

F. hatschbachii
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.

F. jimenezii
From Costa Rica and Panama. Rich pink flowers with prominent white stigma. Green leaves.

F. lehmannii
From Ecuador. Upright shrub to 1.8m tall. Tiny flowers with a scarlet corolla and sepals, red flower tube.

F. leptopoda
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.

F. llewelynii
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.

F. macrantha
From Peru. Trailing growth habit. Leaves are elliptic ovate in shape 5 to 10cm long. Plants are largely deciduous when in flower. Flowers are pinkish red.

F. macrophylla
From Peru. Upright shrub to 4 metres tall. Flowers are small. Sepals are red with a green tip, corolla is bright red and floral tube is scarlet in colour.

F. magellanica
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.

F. mathewsii
From Peru. Information on the species is scarce.

F. microphylla
From Mexico.  A shrub or subshrub to 1.8 metres tall. Leathery leaves 1 to 2 cm long.

F. orientalis
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.

F. perscandens
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.

F. pilaloensis
From Ecuador. Rare plant, threatened in the wild. Growth habit is sprawling or epiphytic. Long white tubular flowers reddish ovary and petiole.

F. pilosa
From Peru and Brazil. A low-growing shrub. Leaves are hairy. Small racemes of scarlet coloured flowers.

F. polyantha
From Columbia. Shrub to 90cm tall. Flowers freely. Scarlet sepals, crimson corolla, purple to red floral tube.

F. procumbens
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.

F. putumayensis
From Columbia. Smallish flowers occur on racemes. Flower sepals and corolla are scarlet, and floral tube is bright red.

F. ravenii
Upright growth habit can vary from 2 to 4 metres tall. Vigorous growth. Small scarlet flowers. This species cross pollinates so readily with other fuchsias that it is difficult to find plants that are not hybridised.

F. regia
From Brazil. To around 6 metres tall. Semi-scandent growth habit. Branches can be reddish. Oblong to ovate shaped leaves between 5 and 10cm long.

F. scabriuscula
From Ecuador. Low spreading growth habit. Flowers occur singly; can be to 2.5cm long and are red.

F. scandens (syn. F. decussata)

F. sessiliflora
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.

F. simplicicaulis
From Peru. Shrub to 4 metres tall. Large lanceolate leaves 8 to 15cm long. Red flowers in drooping clusters.

F. speciosa  
This species has no proper botanical standing, used to describe a number of different hybrids.

F. spinosa (syn. F. lycioides)

F. spectabilis (syn. F. macrostigma)

F. splendens
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.

F. steyermarkii
From Ecuador. Hairy shrub growing 1 to 2 metres tall.

F. storkii
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.

F. striolata
From Mexico and Guatamala. Sprawling, scandant shrub. Flowers are tiny and occur singly.

F. summa
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. syringiflora (syn. F. arborescens)

F. tasconiflora (syn. F. demticulata)

F. tenella (syn. F. magellanica)

F. Thompsonii
This species has no proper botanical standing.

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.

F. tillettiana
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.

F. triphylla
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.

F. tuberosa
From Peru. A tuberous rooted shrub to 80cm tall. Partially deciduous after flowering. Sepals are green. Calyx tube is red.

F. vargasiana
From Peru. A shrub to 1.5 m or taller, growing in shady places with moist soil.

F. venusta
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.

F. verrucosa
From Columbia and Venezuela. Upright growth habit to 1.6 metres or taller.  Small flowers occur sparsely and singly in upper leaf axils. Flowers are predominantly red, possibly with a touch of green.

F. vulcanica
From Columbia and Ecuador. Grows 1 to 1.7 metres tall. Flowers are around 5cm long and have rich red tunes and orange-pink sepals. Prefers temperatures between 18 and 29 degrees Celsius and humidity of 40% or higher. Resistant to mites.

F. woytkowskii
From Peru. A strong, upright shrub with large long flowers (to 5cm) occurring singly in upper leaf axils. Flowers have vermillion sepals, bright red corolla and rich vermillion floral tube.

F. wurdackii
Erect growth habit to 1.5 metres tall. Young stems covered by white hairs that eventually turn brown, leaves are dark green. Flowers are red and can be large (to 5cm).

Meet some of our academics

Rosemary Davies Leading horticultural expert in Australia. Rosemary trained in Horticultural Applied Science at Melbourne University. Initially she worked with Agriculture Victoria as an extension officer, taught horticulture students, worked on radio with ABC radio (clocking up over 24 years as a presenter of garden talkback programs, initially the only woman presenter on gardening in Victoria) and she simultaneously developed a career as a writer. She then studied Education and Training, teaching TAFE apprentices and developing curriculum for TAFE, before taking up an offer as a full time columnist with the Herald and Weekly Times and its magazine department after a number of years as columnist with the Age. She has worked for a number of companies in writing and publications, PR community education and management and has led several tours to Europe. In 1999 Rosemary was BPW Bendigo Business Woman of the Year and is one of the founders and the Patron, of the Friends of the Bendigo Botanic gardens. She has completed her 6th book this year and is working on concepts for several others. Rosemary has a B Ed, BSc Hort, Dip Advertising & Marketing
John Mason Parks Manager, Nurseryman, Landscape Designer, Garden Writer and Consultant. Over 40 years experience; working in Victoria, Queensland and the UK. He is one of the most widely published garden writers in the world; author of more than 70 books and editor for 4 different gardening magazines. John has been recognised by his peers being made a fellow of the Institute of Horticulture in the UK, as well as by the Australian Institute of Horticulture.
Diana Cole B.A. (Hons), Dip. Horticulture, BTEC Dip. Garden Design, Diploma Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, PTLLS (Preparing to Teach in the Life Long Learning Sector), P.D.C. In addition to the qualifications listed above, Diana holds City & Guild construction qualifications and an NPTC pesticide spraying licence (PA1/PA6). Diana runs her own landscape gardening business (Arbella Gardens). Active in many organisations including the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers.

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Garden Design Part 1This stunning full colour Garden Design ebook is full of useful tips, information and inspiration. It contains around 300 colour illustrations! It is comprised of three parts: Design, How a Garden Functions, and Aesthetics (making it look good). Let your inner designer out (outside). A great introductory text for garden designers. 299 high quality inspirational colour photos. 106 pages
Getting Work in HorticultureFind out what it is like to work in horticulture; how diverse the industry is, how to get a start, and how to build a sustainable, long term and diverse career that keeps your options broad, so you can move from sector to sector as demand and fashion changes across your working life.
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