Native to the Americas and New Zealand, fuchsias (Fuchsia triphylla flore coccineo) are available in about 7,000 varieties. They are perennials in their native tropics but grown as potted plants in temperate zones. Some types of fuchsias are trailing, some compact and some have an upright growth habit. Choose an upright fuchsia variety for training into a standard. Expect the training process to take at least two years for the fuchsia to reach its full, mature size.
Remove any shoots or branches growing off the main stem up to the point that it branches off to form the top or canopy of the standard, using pruning shears or sharp scissors.
Cut off the end of the main stem at the point you want it to branch out to form a canopy. Make the cut just above a set of leaves or, if the plant has already formed side branches, cut just above the point it emerges from the main stem.
Prune the growing tip of the side branches when they reach about 6 inches in length, just above a leaf juncture. Each side branch should contain at least two sets of leaves after pruning. This will encourage them to branch out from the leaf nodes, creating a fuller canopy.
Pinch out the growing tip on all new shoots that emerge from the leaf nodes of the side branches, after they have two sets of leaves. Repeat this process on shoots that emerge from the leaf nodes of these side branches, when they have two sets of leaves.
Prune to maintain the overall shape of the canopy when it reaches the desired size and shape. Cut off the ends of shoots and branches that stray outside the lines of the canopy.
Remove spent flowers soon after they begin to fade. This will encourage the fuchsia standard to produce more blossoms.
- Fuchsias are only hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture zone 10 or warmer. They should be grown as potted plants in a south-facing window indoors during winter in colder zones.
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