Fuchsias often adorn porches or patios during the summer months, hanging in decorative baskets and providing a colourful display. These one-season beauties bloom energetically, attracting hummingbirds and butterflies. If you enjoy fuchsias, consider planting hardy fuchsias as specimen plants or in containers instead. Although hardy fuchsias have the same general characteristics as tender fuchsias, with similar blossoms and foliage, they will return every year as an attractive shrub or potted plant.
Notice the growing location of the fuchsia. Hardy fuchsias generally grow as an ornamental shrub in a sunny location or as a large potted plant in a container. A healthy hardy fuchsia might grow as large as 10 feet wide and almost as tall, although there are many dwarf varieties and cultivars that fit ideally into a large container.
Examine the blossoms of the fuchsia. Fuchsia blossoms usually hang vertically from the stems with long, tubular and fluted petals. Some fuchsia varieties have sepals that stick out horizontally from the petals and other varieties have sepals that hang straight down over the petals. The sepals may be the same colour as the petals or they may be a contrasting colour. Look for the stamens and pistil to protrude from the bottom of the blossoms in a different, contrasting colour.
Observe the growing pattern of a hardy fuchsia. In the spring, hardy fuchsia shrubs are completely bare of foliage and you will see just bare stems. Fuchsias develop leaves later in the spring than many other perennial shrubs, but they will eventually put forth dark green, serrated leaves. The hardy fuchsia will begin blooming in late spring and will bloom profusely throughout the rest of the summer until cold weather ends the growing season. The hardy fuchsia shrub will lose its leaves in the autumn and will become dormant over the winter.