Flowers of the Fuchsia genus are extravagantly rich in color and so evocative of petticoats and ballet tutus that many of us have childhood memories of plucking and twirling these hanging, tubular blossoms like dancers. Hummingbirds adore them due to their rich nectar and pigments in the red range, including cri oranges, pinks (rosy white to magenta), and purples. The genus includes about 110 species, which encompass creeping, climbing, trailing, and vertical, tree-like species. All thrive in partial shade, but some grow well in full sun in cooler, coastal settings.
Fuchsias love rich, moist, well-drained soil similar to that of their native settings in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, Mexico and Central America, and throughout South America all the way to its southern tip. Given these characteristics and origins, they are fine garden companions for Salvias that prefer rich, moist soils, such as Anise Scented Sages.
Depending on their species, or their hybrid parent plants (intentional or accidental), Fuchsias are cold tolerant from about USDA Cold Hardiness Zone 6 (F. magellanica) to Zone 11 (F. triphylla). Most have difficulty surviving frost and are only perennial in mild winter areas. However, they are excellent annuals in some colder zones. Although not native to America, the USDA identifies some Fuchsias as being introduced but not invasive in California, Hawaii, and Oregon. So, parts of these states are comfortable perennial homes for certain species and their many hybrids.
Father John Plumier (1646 - 1704) - a member of the French Catholic Order of Minims and a revered botanical illustrator and engraver - was the first plant explorer to record the Fuchsia genus. He did this through his drawings of the species F. triphylla, which he found on Hispaniola (the Dominican Republic) during his third voyage to the New World around 1695.
Pacific Horticulture notes that Fuchsias were being hybridized in Europe by the 1840s. It adds that in 1854, a San Francisco exhibition introduced 24 hybrids to California gardens, and a floral love affair blossomed. In the 1980s, many Fuchsias in North America succumbed to South American gall mites. But by 2006, horticulturists succeeded in creating a number of hybrids that resist these predators.
(Beacon Fuchsia) Upright with bushy, dark green foliage, Fuchsia ‘Beacon’ has deep pink sepals that flare or drape demurely over mauve-pink corollas. It’s a short, compact shrub that is ideal for perennial borders, containers, and for growing as a summer-blooming annual.
(Cardinal Fuchsia) Introduced in 1938 by the historic Evans & Reeves Nurseries in Southern California, Fuchsia ‘Cardinal’ is a tall shrub with flowers composed of lovely red sepals and magenta corollas.
(Celia Smedley Fuchsia) White to light pink sepals flare out over the strawberry red petals of Fuchsia ‘Celia Smedley’. The flowers hang pendulously amid the veined, mid-green foliage of this mid-sized, upright beauty.
(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.
(China Lantern Fuchsia) White, pale pink, and red combine in the elegant flowers of Fuchsia ‘China Lantern’. Hummingbirds love this is long blooming, trailing choice that is ideal for hanging baskets and containers.
(Christmas Elf Fuchsia) Looking like cute, white pantaloons, the fluffy petals of Fuchsia ‘Christmas Elf’ are exposed under bright red sepals that flex upward like a skirt twirling. Hummingbirds love it.
(Display Fuchsia) Along borders and in containers, the floriferous, petite Fuchsia ‘Display’ puts on a long-blooming show with its rose-pink corollas topped with flirty skirts of upward flipping carmine red sepals.
(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.
(Galadriel Fuchsia) One of the mysteries of Fuchsia 'Galadriel' is why some clones have creamy white sepals with red striped tips whereas others, such as the one we sell, have creamy red sepals. It's a puzzle, not a difference in soil or photographic light.
(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.
(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.
(Giant Voodoo Fuchsia) Long, rosy anther and stigma filaments sway beneath the dark red sepals and deep purple petals of giant Fuchsia ‘Giant Voodoo’ flowers nestled amid glossy mid-green foliage. It’s a hummingbird magnet that is dramatic spilling over a hanging basket.
(HeRi Mochara Fuchsia) What a lovely party dress of a blossom dresses up the trailing Fuchsia ‘HeRi Mochara’. It’s white-to-light violet sepals curl upwards above a ruffled purple corolla with white veins. The foliage is dark green.
(Margaret Fuchsia) Violet corollas with red stripes hang from the upwardly curled, carmine red sepals of Fuchsia ‘Margaret’. The flowers are surrounded by small, light green leaves with a subtle red tint.
(Marinka Fuchsia) Red, red, red — that’s Fuchsia ‘Marinka’ from the tubes and sepals of its blossoms to its corollas. This historic hybrid was introduced to horticulture sometime between 1890 and 1902.
(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.
(Peppermint Stick Fuchsia) Nestled in mid-green foliage, the flowers of Fuchsia ‘Peppermint Stick’ have light red sepals and corollas of purple splashed with pink. This mid-20th century hybrid was one of the first fuchsias with tricolor flowers.
(Phyllis Fuchsia) Creamy rose-red sepals flare over deep lavender-red corollas in Fuchsia ‘Phyllis’. It’s an upright shrub ideal as a short deciduous hedge where winter temperatures are moderate. Phyllis also grows well in containers and as a summer annual.
(Pixie Fuchsia) The red sepals and rosy lavender corollas of Fuchsia ‘Pixie’ flowers stand out amid its yellowish green foliage. The impressed veins of its lance-shaped leaves make this upright, deciduous shrub even more attractive.
(Prince of Orange Fuchsia) A pale salmon-pink tube and sepals top the deep salmon-orange corollas of Fuchsia ‘Prince of Orange’. Although an upright variety, this deciduous shrub has lax foliage ideal for container plantings. A deciduous perennial in warm winter regions, it’s a fine summer annual where winters are cold.
(Remembrance Fuchsia) Flowers comprised of red sepals turned upward above pale rose pink corollas with red veins in Fuchsia 'Remembrance' giving it the look of a delicious confection.
(Roesse Blacky Fuchsia) The crimson sepals of Fuchsia ‘Roesse Blacky’ contrast dramatically with ruffled corollas of a purple so dark it is almost black. This shade-loving, trailing Fuchsia is ideal for containers including hanging baskets.