I have 4 new Fuchsias that came from my friend at church, Dick. I’ve since repotted them & now they are outside on our balcony! Dick gave me them because he has no room in his tiny garden but he was given them by his daughter. They were originally planted in big clay pots but as his daughter wanted the pots back I had to remove them from the pots & put them in four big plastic pots with fresh compost.
They are lovely plants & I hope to keep them for several years, at least! Three are trained as small standards but the other is untrained. I pruned off several very low branches & used them as cuttings. I hope these will root. I cut the branches up into a couple of cutting each so if they do root I will end up with another 10 plants!!!
I don’t have a photo yet of all 4 together but I do have a couple of photos of the first 2 he gave me together.
Although all these Fuchsia standards were given to me in full flower none of them seems very happy on the balcony. Even though I had to repot three of them (one later died) I don’t understand what’s the matter with them.
They start by dropping their flowers & then their leaves & I’m left with almost bare branches!
I have always had some pretty decent Fuchsia plants over many years on the balcony but for some strange reason, the Fuchsias given to me by my friend Dick, don’t seem at all happy! The last one he gave me, the only named one, has died on me & I’ve hardly done anything to it. At first, I put it behind the tomato plants, they were still quite low then but later I moved it out into a more sunnier position. After a few days, I noticed that a lot of the smaller branches were drying out so I pruned them back to healthy growth but as the days went by the whole plant started to dry out & now it appears to be completely dead.
That’s the 2nd Fuchsia plant that has died. The other half standards are still clinging onto life but none of the 4 looks particularly happy. One I seem to have identified as ‘Beacon’ as I have several plants of my own that look exactly the same, only the one from Dick has much smaller leaves than my own plants. I grew this variety for some years as standards of my own making with 1m/3ft clear trunks before the heads developed. I had them growing for quite some years until the terrible winter of 2009/10 killed them.
I have a big plant of this variety growing in a strawberry planter & it has grown there for at least 3 years perhaps four by now. This year it has grown much more than in any of the previous years since it’s been in there.
I think I’ve discovered the reason why a couple of the Fuchsias Dick gave me looked very unhappy at first & later died – they had no roots! Weeks after they died I emptied out the pots & found – or rather didn’t find – any roots! They makes it seem like the work of the Vine Weevil – they are partial to Fuchsia roots! Some years ago I had the same problem with some Fuchsias dying on me only I discovered the culprits a lot earlier then. Now that I think about it I should have realised earlier & then I might have saved them.
Vine Weevils were also responsible for the death of all my Busy Lizzies (Impatiens) in 2 out of three small troughs I had on the middle bar of the railing on the balcony. The plants had looked rater sorry for themselves for some weeks but I put it down to overwatering & the cold weather we had had, then I accidentally knocked one of the plants over & it just came out of the compost with no roots. Again I thought they had rotted due to overwatering & the cold. A couple of weeks later I decided I needed to empty the troughs of the summer bedding & replace it with spring bedding as I do every year. As I emptied out the first trough I was most surprised to find there were next to no roots in the trough! Then I spied some creamy white grubs with orange heads & knew immediately that they were Vine Weevil grubs & were responsible for eating the roots of the Busy Lizzies (Impatiens)! The 2nd trough was in the same state as well! But when I went to empty the third & last trough I found it was so tightly packed with fibrous roots that it came out as one solid brick! I would have expected the same with the other 2 troughs as well.
Obviously I got rid of all the compost & replaced it with clean compost before putting in Daffodils & Crocuses & Pansies. As I’d never had this problem before with any other plant other than Fuchsias I wasn’t prepared nor did it enter my mind that the cause might be Vine Weevils!
I have 4 standard Fuchsias from Dick that are still alive at present on the balcony. Until a few weeks ago none of them seemed at all happy but in the last few weeks since the cooler autumnal weather has arrived they seemed to have picked up & have flowered better than at any time after I was given them!
I have grouped them altogether & put a plastic mattress bag, doubled over twice, around them & put them in the most sheltered corner of the balcony. We had our first frost of this autumn the night of 5-6th November but no more since then. I covered them up with the plastic bag & they have come through without any problems. They would probably have done so even without the protection but I wanted to play it save as I have no cutting from the & would hate to lose them. As I don’t know their names I don’t know if any of them are hardy. Though one looks very much like ‘Beacon’ which is hardy.
A few days ago I made some changes again on the balcony that directly affected the 3 standard Fuchsias I have left. I moved them from the floor of the balcony & put them in the mini-greenhouse on the big table in the corner of the balcony. Here they will be much better protected & should survive the winter without any problems.
The mini-greenhouse came with a protective plastic cover. I have put that back on again after I dismantled it for the summer. I also put a couple of big plastic bags that a mattress came in underneath the greenhouse so that if the weather turns particularly frosty during the winter I can pull them up for added protection.
The 3 survivors have some flowers on them at present but I don’t expect them to last much longer. Once the weather starts to get really cold the last of the leaves & flowers will fall off & the plants will go dormant for the winter.