How to Prune a Fuchsia

Updated February 21, 2017

Most fuchsia varieties are perennials and grow in a bush or hanging shape. Hanging and potted fuchsia need to be pruned six to eight weeks before the last frost is expected, to encourage flowering and increase health. Prune the woody, flower-bearing parts as well as the roots. Annual pruning leaves the plant looking a bit like a stump at first, but it will begin leaf and flower production within a few weeks as temperatures warm.

Remove the fuchsia from its pot and lay it on its side. If the roots have wrapped around the sides and bottom, creating a thick mat, you must remove some of this. Use a root saw to saw off about 1 inch of the bottom. Use the saw to scrape away some of the excess root growth around the sides.

Use your hands to loosen the soil on the bottom of the plant and sides. Remove the old soil from the pot, and add enough soil that the plant sits level with the rim of the pot. Reposition the plant in the pot and push soil into the cracks.

Prune out any broken or diseased wood from the top of the fuchsia. Cut off any leftover flowers and leaves. Cut the stems back at least an inch. Make the cut about 1/8 inch before a leaf bud (it feels like a bump on the stem).

Remove any thin canes and those that did not branch after last year's pruning. Balance the shape of the branches but do not remove more than one-third of the wood. Keep the plant in a cool area with medium light until there is no danger of frost. Then move it outside and care for it as usual.

Plant the cutting with the pruned end into potting soil. Keep the cutting warm and moist; it will start rooting within a month.

Things You'll Need

  • Fuchsia plant
  • Hand pruners
  • Potting soil
  • Root saw
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About the Author

Bonnie Grant began writing professionally in 1990. She has been published on various websites, specializing in garden-related instructional articles. Grant recently earned a Bachelor of Arts in business management with a hospitality focus from South Seattle Community College.