(Change of Heart Fuchsia) The flowers of Fuchsia ‘Change of Heart’ are a confection of reddish-purple corollas and magenta tubes that flare out into magenta sepals tipped in green. They hang from branches of mid-green foliage just lax enough to trail attractively in a container.
Although native to the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, and South America, Fuchsias became firmly rooted in California’s Bay Area in the mid-20th Century. By the 1980s, a tiny pest called the South American gall mite was destroying many varieties in North America.
Mary Cooke of Redwood City (the southwest side of San Francisco Bay) is one of the many Fuchsia hybridists who helped the genus begin recovering in North America. In 2011, she registered her mite-resistant Change of Heart with the American Fuchsia Society. Cooke recorded ‘Baby Pink’ x Fuchsia regia as one of its parent plants. It is, most likely, Baby Pink that gave Change of Heart its ability to resist gall mites.
Korean-American Soo Yun (Mrs. C.S. Field), who registered 82 Fuchsia hybrids from the 1960s until 1980, created the delicate looking yet tough Baby Pink in 1976. Similar to Baby Pink, Change of Heart has a fluffy, tutu-like shape. However, it doesn’t share that Fuchsia’s pale pink sweetness. Its coloring is more like that of the South American F. regia — a climbing species — but that ancestor's blossoms are so long and slender they seem to drip off their foliage.
Like Baby Pink and S. regia, Change of Heart is a double, which means its corolla has 8 or more petals. Semi-double Fuchsias have 5 to 7 petals and singles have four. Hummingbirds adore this long blooming, mid-sized shrub, which is lovely whether in a pot or massed as a hedge. Partial shade is best, but Fuchsia ‘Change of Heart’ can handle full sun. Give it average watering and rich soil.
Here are some guidelines for success with this plant in your garden.
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This plant needs or tolerates more than six hours of intense sunlight daily. Many Salvias only thrive in wide-open locations where they receive long hours of full sun. However, full-sun species sometimes tolerate a bit of partial shade. Or a Salvia that loves partial shade may be amenable to spending part of its time in full sun.
In general, this sun/shade adaptability shows up in Salvias that do best in cooler climates when grown in full sun and thrive in hot climates when partial shade is available. So full-sun Salvias sometimes are also categorized as partial-shade plants and vice versa.
This plant grows well in partial shade, such as the kind on the edge of woodlands or under deciduous trees with breaks in the foliage through which dappled sunlight penetrates. Many Salvias thrive in partial shade, including ones that spend part of their day in full sunlight. Some species need partial shade to overcome severe heat and dry soil.
This plant grows well in an outdoor container, such as on a patio.
Some containerized Salvias leaf out and flower year after year following a period of dormancy. Annuals in containers may die back and appear to grow again when they reseed.
During extreme heat, check the soil in container plantings once or twice daily to be sure it doesn't completely dry out. Feel its surface for coolness, then gently poke a finger into the soil to check for dryness.
To create a harmonious landscape plan, it is important to consider the heights of individual plants.
Height also affects function. Short Salvias often make excellent ground covers that conserve soil moisture and discourage weeds while also brightening your yard. Medium-height Salvias, such as ones 36 inches tall, often are ideal border plants. A tall Salvia planted singly can highlight a landscape; multiple plantings can form an attractive screen.
Plant this herbaceous species in the USDA Zones where it grows as a perennial, returning year after year.
After dying back to the ground at frost, herbaceous perennials emerge in the Spring with soft, new growth. A Salvia that is perennial in one region, may be an annual in another depending on local conditions, such as winter temperatures.
If you live in USDA Zone 5, for example, Salvias in our catalog cited as growing well in Zone 5 or lower will be perennial. Those cited as doing well in Zones 6 or higher may do well in Zone 5, but generally will act like annuals coming back from seed instead of the parent plant’s roots.
Shrubs are characterized not only by bushy foliage but also by woody stems.
Shrubby Salvias may be evergreen or deciduous. Some Winter-blooming, deciduous species lose their foliage during hot weather. Some Salvias, classified as subshrubs, have a combination of woody and tender, herbaceous growth.
Salvia shrubs range from tall, upright species to ground covers of short to moderate height. Their spread may match or exceed their height
By considering the width of a plant, you can determine how many to place in a row or what other plants to grow with it.
For example, a narrow, moderate-height Salvia may look good interplanted with bushier species, kind of like Mutt and Jeff.
In contrast, wide-spreading Salvias are economical for hiding lengths of wall and fence or for creating hedge-like divisions in a yard.
Plant hardiness Zones defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture tell you the minimum temperatures a plant can withstand in your garden. The USDA divides the nation into winter climate areas from coldest (Zone 1) to warmest (Zone 11).
However, it is sometimes possible to grow a Zone 6 Salvia as a perennial in Zone 5 if you provide preferential care, such as winter mulching and a location sheltered from harsh winds. In contrast, a Zone 9 Salvia may act like a perennial in Zone 10 if given a bit of shade or extra water.
This plant needs regular watering based on what is appropriate to your local conditions.
In some extremely hot, arid climates, this may mean daily watering in Summer. Although many drought-resistant Salvias survive on little to no watering due to local rainfall and deep roots meeting their moisture needs, others need regular doses. The size and frequency of the dose depends on your climate.
This plant reaches peak bloom in Fall or flowers for much of the season.
It may begin flowering much earlier in the year. Bloom time for some Salvias lasts from Spring till first frost. Others begin flowering in Summer and continue into Fall. There are also Salvias that don’t bloom until late Fall and continue into Winter if grown in mild-Winter areas.
There is a great deal of overlap in blooming seasons for Salvias.
Based on our experience and reports from customers, hummingbirds (Trochilidae spp.) love this plant.
Hummingbirds exist only in the Americas where their 300-plus species are particularly fond of the nectar in brightly colored Salvias from the Western Hemisphere. However, if favorites aren’t available, they dine on the nectar of most Salvias.
Hummingbirds repay thoughtful plantings by helping to pollinate your garden
(Fanfare Fuchsia) Slender and abundant, the 2-inch-long flowers of Fuchsia ‘Fanfare’ have deep red sepals that flare over a corolla of orange-red petals. Hummingbirds love these tubular blossoms hanging amid glossy, deep green leaves.
(Old Berkeley Fuchsia) White sepals mottled with rosy pink and tipped in green seem to float over the deep rose petals of Fuchsia ‘Old Berkeley’. They hang from mid-green, veined foliage with toothed edges. Hummingbirds love this mid-height shrub.
(Shell Dancer Sage) So many sages combine resilience and loveliness. This includes Salvia 'Shell Dancer', which withstands heat and drought yet has delicate looking blossoms and lush green foliage.
(Fuchsia Giant Bicentennial) Fireworks and fountains of nectar for hummingbirds! That’s what you get with Fuchsia ‘Bicentennial’, which is ideal for hanging baskets. The flowers are large bursts of marbled red and orange petals, creamy pink tubes, and sepals combining magenta and orange.
(Lemon Spritzer Cape Fuchsia) Slender, hot pink trumpet blossoms of Lemon Spritzer Cape Fuchsia dangle from red flower spikes. They hang over variegated foliage that looks like someone sprayed it with lime, forest green and cream accents.
(Genii Fuchsia) Chartreuse foliage so bright that it almost appears golden surrounds the dramatic flowers of Fuchsia ‘Genii’, a mid-sized shrub. The flower's skirt-like sepals, which are often described as “cerise” — sort of a cherry red — flip up over dark violet petals from which long, graceful, cerise anther and stigma filaments dangle.