Fuchsia plants are popular for summer flowers in borders, pots and hanging baskets. They have attractive pendent shaped flowers which come in a variety of different shades of pink and purple, often with highlights of white. With the correct care these beautiful flowers can bloom year after year. They grow well in the south of England where it is warmer as is evidenced by the huge amount of fuchsia bushes present in Cornwall and Devon. In colder climates they need to be planted in a warm position, sheltered from the wind, and in soil that is well drained. They need to be taken in during the winter or protected with coal ashes or fleece.
There are a huge number of fuchsia varieties available including ones with jumbo flowers, trailing fuchsia plants and an enormous range of colours too. They usually grow to about 50cm and bloom all through the summer guaranteeing you a really colourful display. Flowers will die off with the first sign of frost, unless you choose a really hardy variety.
Not many people realise that the fuchsia plant has edible fruit. However, the taste of the fruit varies from being almost tasteless to having an unpleasant aftertaste. The fruits can make good jam, but make sure you check if the varieties you have are the ones with the tasty berries. The easiest way to buy them is as fuchsia plug plants. They can then be trained into the type of plant that you want. You can plant them and let them grow naturally or you can take away all the leaves up to the top of the stem once it has grown to the required height to make a tall bush rather than an on the ground plant. The fuchsia plant was originally found in America and seeds were sent over to England. In 1825 the hybridising of the plant started with many different varieties being crossed to produce a whole range of plants with different colours and shapes of flowers. This is when the different varieties of trailing plants (often used in hanging baskets or tubs) and bushy plants (often planted in borders) were produced. There is even now a climbing variety called Lady Boothby which is now for sale. Ideal for hiding fencing or boring garden walls and covering them in a host of colourful blooms.