What to feed a Fuchsia plant

Written by contributing writer | 13/05/2017
What to feed a Fuchsia plant
Fuchsia requires the right fertiliser for its stage of growth. (Getty creative)

Fuchsias produce almost otherworldly shaped blooms in deep purples and pinks. These exotic flowers require a lot of fertiliser and are therefore classified as "heavy feeders." The fertiliser is available at nurseries or the garden departments of hardware stores. The stages of a fuchsia plant's growth cycle determine the types of fertiliser needed.

General fertiliser information

All fuchsia fertiliser should contain nitrogen, phosphorus and potash. The proportions of these vary depending on the plant's growth cycle.

The three types of fertiliser needed are water soluble and fed to the plant during watering. In high temperatures, water and feed once a day to keep the fuchsia from drying out. Colder weather requires watering, and therefore feeding, only two times a week. Coinciding feeding and watering insures that the plant receives a balanced rate of nutrition. This routine also encourages consistent watering, which is essential, as fertilising dehydrated plants can give them yellowed leaves, the result of a chemical burn from undiluted fertiliser in the plant's system. Add 1.5 ml (1/4 tsp) of fertiliser per litre of water.

Early spring growth

Begin fertilising in the early spring when fuchsias are beginning to develop their first growth of the season. When the plant is in its earliest stage, feed the fuchsia fertiliser high in nitrogen to give the plant enough energy to produce its initial foliage.

Early spring/late summer maintenance

Once the plant has begun to mature but has not reached its flowering peak, the fuchsia needs all of the nutrients equally. Balanced fertiliser nurtures the whole plant, giving it all the essential elements needed to stay healthy. Look for a fertiliser with equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potash.

Late summer/fall flowering

Fuchsias do most of their blooming in the summer and fall. The plant requires extra potash to continue producing the maximum amount of flowers and to keep the blooms bright and strong. You can use the same high potash fertiliser recommended for tomato plants.

Winter dormancy

As the plant stops producing flowers in late fall, the fertilisation process also ends. Do not feed a fuchsia during the winter because the plant does not produce growth during this season. However, it still requires water and protection from the cold to stay alive and not freeze.

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