My Fuchsias didn’t over winter very well so I wanted some new ‘cheap’ stock. My first attempt was to buy strong looking plants from a nursery but foolishly left them to get frosted in a very cold greenhouse. These cuttings were on sale in there own nifty mini greenhouse with the roots in a water-gel to sustain then through the retail lifecycle.
I got 12 plants for less than £3 and I have potted them on on a window ledge and 4 days later the largest is already for ‘stopping’. I will pinch it and then others out at the growing tip to encourage branching. If you are wanting a ‘standard’ shape ie a single bare stem topped with a globe of flowers, then do not pinch out the top but remove all the side shoots and main leaves on the stem until the stem is 12 inches tall and the head has been formed.
- Standards have already been discussed and they follow the training of a bush fuchsia. The bush fuchsia will be trained to have a stem of about 1.5 inches without branches and all growth then eminated from a selected number of laterals.
- A shrub has multiple growths from below soil level. training starts ater 2 or 3 pairs of leaves have formed by pinching out the growing tip. this process is repeated until the plant is the size and shape required.
- After every stop give the plants a nitrogenous feed to promote new branches. Plants flower 6-8 weeks after the last stop and in that time the feed can be changed to a 1:1:2 ratio with more potassium to encourage flowering.
- Other shapes of training include Pyramid. Pillar, Fan, Espalier and Conical. These use a stake or frame against which to tie the growth as they develop. Pinch out weaker of the leading shoots and tie in the leader to get the shape desired. Start when the fuchsia has 5 or 6 pairs of leaves.
- Different varieties have different attributes for training. Leaves in whorls of 3 are better for growing a quick head on a standard. Vigorous, free branching and free flowering varieties are best for cultivated shapes
- Cultural excellence and quality of growth is paramount but consideration will be given to the difficulty of culture.
- Prematurely opened buds, discoloured or damaged leaves will be penalised.
- Flowers should be typical in size, colour and form for the particular fuchsia.
- General grooming will be taken into account on close decisions but floral perfection and freshness will count highly. Containers should be clean in proportion to the plant which is free of pest and disease.
- Plants must be growing on root stock and confirm to the schedule.