Saturday, 1 June 2013

The perfect Fuchsia cutting

I love Fuchsias and I'm determined to master the art of taking successful cuttings, I even want to have a go at training a standard.
After my recent problems with cuttings I took (I say recent but I've had the same problems every year I've tried doing them) I decided to dig out a book on Fuchsia that I knew I had somewhere. I then sat with a coffee and read the whole thing - well the bits that had pictures anyway, and then this morning I took it out to the polytunnel with me and followed the instructions to the letter.
It seems I have been making a few mistakes each time I've tried this
  1. I always use regular potting compost - too nutrient rich apparently.
  2. I've always put them in full sun - I've literally cooked them.
  3. I've always firmed the soil - no need apparently.
So with this new info in hand

I filled my pots with potting compost mixed with perlite, I took my cuttings of 'Paula Jane' (the only one I have left that has enough growth due to my previous attempts) according to the book - it seems that they don't need to be cut below a leaf node this time of year, who knew! - removed lower leaves and dipped each one in rooting hormone.

In one of the pots I did cuttings below a node (old habits die hard) and the other one as the book suggested.
The cuttings were then well watered in and I resisted the urge to firm them down. Finally I put them in the heated propagator and moved the propagator out of full sun - no cooking this time round.

If these don't survive (look too leafy and big for my liking) I'm giving up and I'll buy the ruddy things!

I haven't just been playing with Fuchsia though, I finally managed to get those Parsnip seeds sown and the Leeks out.
The first year I sowed Parsnips I simply sowed the seed on the soil and I had a fantastic crop that year but then I read it's a good idea to create a cone in the soil, fill it with compost and sow the seeds into that - it helps to prevent forked roots apparently. Ever since reading that it's the method I've used even though I didn't have a problem with forked roots, so this year I tried both methods and will compare the crops.
With the Leeks I've always used a piece of bamboo to create a deep hole and simply dropped the Leeks into the hole and watered them in, the soil settles itself eventually and I always get a decent crop.

Fleece covers everything right now to stop both critters and cats.

Leeks are uncovered but I'll be checking them tomorrow in case the feral cats (of which most have decided they like us because we offer free food 24/7) have left messages everywhere.

Oh the weather is glorious right now!


  1. I've always cut below a node too but I push the cuttings down the side of the pot rather then in the middle. I haven't had any fuchsias for ages though.

    Do they need a heated propagator as it's something I have never used for them.

    I have grown a half standard but it does take a while and I found overwintering it a pain as you have to keep the top growth alive - maybe indoors or in a heated greenhouse and we don't heat our greenhouse.

    Good Luck

    1. I've not used heat up until now sue and they still seem alive this morning so I'm hoping I have success.


  2. We are covered here too as we have such variable temps and the critters are always snooping. Love the parsnips planting idea. I will be trying these next year once I get another bed up or get rid of the ants in the one bed. Your cuttings look great.

    1. I'm trialling that Parsnip method against the method I very first used just to see what the difference is Donna, it'll be interesting to see the outcome.
      Those cutting still seem to be alive this morning so fingers crossed they stay that way.

  3. Love fuchsia, but have never had luck keeping them going. Or getting them to re-bloom should they survive for awhile. What conditions do you think they like?

    1. I have some Fuchsia that are now about 6 years old George called 'Paula Jane' and they look just as lovely each year. I'm trying to take cuttings of it now.
      I also have 'Hawkshead' which is hardy enough to survive outside all year round so I'd like to get cuttings of that too.
      'Tom Thumb' is another hardy one.
      I don't do anything special, I simply over winter them in the polytunnel or greenhouse and increase the watering in spring keeping fingers crossed that I see new growth.
      I lost my last standard because the stem froze but I shall use some pipe insulation this time round.

      Maybe certain varieties are easier to keep going than others. I had some of those giant headed ones but they never amounted to much and didn't survive. Perhaps you should stick to hardier ones that way you may have more luck.

      Good luck!


  4. Your Fuchsia cuttings look healthy so fingers crossed! I just poke them in the pot and they grow like wildfire!

    I like your tips for planting on the leek seedlings, I may give that a go!xxxx

    1. The Leeks grow so easily this way Snowbird.
      I'm going to try yours and DonnaD's method of Fuchsia propagation too.

  5. I must be either an amazing gardener or one lucky sucker (i think the latter). I bought a fuscia plant on the reduced shelf in a supermarket, it cost 64c. I got it home, hacked off every stem, took off all but the top leaves, stuck them in a pot each, left them on the windowsill, watered them very generously and not one failed. I must have made about 20 plants and the original plant is now growing nicely too. ive just done the very same with a hydrangea plant and im hoping for similar results.

    1. I'm officially jealous. My latest batch do seem to be taking - barr one casualty - but it's touch and go. Maybe I'm putting too much into it and should try your method - yes, I'm going to give it a go and see what happens.
      Would love to know if the hydrangea work that way too.


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