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Hardy Fuchsia Cuttings

I'm just grasping the moment to take semi ripe / hardwood cuttings of a various number of species of hardy fuchsia. These hardy perennials will also strike well from greenwood cuttings taken in the summer. That said, from my own experiences, I have had a higher success rate taking cuttings in late autumn/ early winter. 

I rarely use hormone rooting powder as a large number of woody and green stem cuttings root freely without its use. This being in relation to the (Auxins) plant hormones/growth regulators, a blog for another time on this interesting aspect of plant botany.

I am propagating the various hardy fuchsia species for our (Healing Garden). The fuchsia will be used within the Healing Garden as a low allergen plant. Our 8 metre fuchsia hedge is an understorey to the beech hedge which protects an area of our quarter acre garden from the prevailing west wind. The fuchsia hedge below provides plenty of selective cutting material for propagating.

The intention is to plant the established rooted plants into a mixed planting scheme in the Healing Garden. This will form an interesting mix with herbs such as lavender, thyme, sage, and marjoram. These herbs will provide the aroma filling the spaces beetween the fuchsia. It's great to be filled with such thoughts of optimism at this time of year. Fuchsia magellanica species is a wonderful selection for the Healing Garden, in particular the red and purple flowering from July to October.

To propagate the cuttings on this occasion I am using good old-fashioned home made compost. I have formed the compost from purely all plant based material and vegetable waste, (Vegan Gardening Compost) no chemicals used on plants to form the compost, no animal matter such as chicken manure etc. As per my articles for 'Grow Your Own'. 

A few handfulls of perlite are added to each mix to improve the porosity of the structure. This makes it more open in which to initiate root growth of the cuttings.

The laterals from cut fuchsia stems are stripped away from each main stem. I then prune each cutting to about 12-14 cm in length. The cuttings are then inserted into pots of the home made cutting compost. No heat is required to initiate root formation, a cool/cold glasshouse area or cold frame. The trick of successful rooting is to treat them hard.

I recall seeing the wild fuchsia growing along the hedgerows on the west coast of Ireland in the year 2000, a sight to behold. The  flowering image you see is the hardy fuchsia growing in the terrace borders of the Ryebeck Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere. 

Kevin Line Posted by Kevin Line

Kevin works as a Freelance Horticultural Plant Consultant in the south Lake District.

He is a member of Butterfly Conservation and the Cumbria Wildlife Trust, the Hardy Plant Society, the Wildflower Society, and the Botanical Society Of Britain & Ireland. He also writes for the RHS Plant Review (formerly RHS Plantsman), he is currently researching historic plant propagation/ taxonomy for the Gardens Trust ( formerly Garden History Society ).

Kevin had previously worked for three and a half years developing the garden of an Arts & Crafts period Country House Hotel to National Gardens Scheme standard. (South Lakes)

He has also previously worked as Head Gardener in the Cotswolds for over 10 years, prior to that, BBC Gardeners World, and the National Trust.

2 Comments To "Hardy Fuchsia Cuttings"

Janet stern On 04.08.2020
We are not having any luck what am I doing wrong. Janet Reply to this comment
Kevin line On 06.08.2020
Fuchsia cuttings are best taken as semi ripe - hardwood cuttings in the autumn/winter. Selected material should be about pencil thickness as a guideline, this taken further down the stem from the softer apex growth. Cuttings should then be inserted into pots of a very gritty mix comprising 2 parts compost- 1 of grit sand by ratio. No heat is required, ( cool glasshouse or cold frame) This process initiates good root formation in approximately two months. When the compost dries out, water sparingly, too much watering softens the stems within the compost. If you are taking greenwood cuttings now, especially softer tip growth, and in warmer conditions, these cuttings are less likely to root. The secret is timing, and treat them HARD.
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