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Zones 4-6, 15-17, 21-24

Fuchsia procumbens

Onagraceae
Deciduous, Shrubs, Semi-evergreen, Decorative fruit or berries, Flowers

FUCHSIA

The fuchsia comes from wet, mountainous areas, mainly in tropical America. Most fuchsias bloom from late spring to first frost (and some bloom even longer), bearing unscented ­flowers frequented by hummingbirds. Pop­ular showy-blossomed fuchsias are forms of F. x hybrida and are discussed under that heading.

Some species fuchsias have blooms that are smaller overall than those of hybrids; others bear large, tubular flowers in unusual colors. Fuchsias grow best in cool-summer areas with much moisture in the atmosphere and soil. Plant in-ground fuchsias in full sun in the Northwest; give potted ones there and all fuchsias farther south either morning sun or all-day dappled shade. If you live where fog rolls in on summer afternoons, any place in your garden will supply ideal conditions. Where summers are warm, windy, or dry, seek or create favorable exposure protected from wind and hot afternoon sun.

A heavy mulch (1 1/2–3 in. thick) helps keep soil moist in hot climates. Frequent overhead sprinkling is beneficial in several ways: it keeps leaves clean, discourages some pests, and counteracts low humidity. Blooms appear on new wood, so do any pruning before spring growth begins. In addition to removing broken or crossing branches, you can prune as little or as much as desired to maintain size or to shape the plant.

Fuchsia procumbens

From New Zealand. Prostrate, spreading growth to about 6 in. high and 3–4 ft. wide. Heart-shaped, half-inch-long leaves. Tiny, petalless flowers in summer deserve close inspection: they have pale orange sepals with green markings and purple tips, and their anthers and pollen are bright blue. Showy, 3/4-in. bright red berries follow. Good as a groundcover and in containers. Resistant to fuchsia gall mite.

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