winter sowing fuchsia?

clc70(8 Wa.)October 19, 2011

I collected some seed down in Oregon this past summer. (Huge plants growing in hedges). I would like to try to sprout them. Any suggestions? Connie.

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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Let me say firstly that I have never grown Fuchsias from seed, only from cuttings. However, given the kind of climate they come from I would not have thought that they needed a cold period and therefore are not really great candidates for winter sowing. Here are some instructions from the web.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fuchsias from seed

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 4:51PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

No photo of the plants, or idea which they may be?

I'm far from a fuchsia expert, but the only type I know that will winter sow and self sow in our climate are the f. magellanicas. I grow Hawkshead and f. magellanica var mollinae, both will self sow - and will germinate while being held many, many weeks moist at about 40F. Not likely what you saw, I don't think their growth habit would lend itself to hedge - too tall, not dense enough.

My neighbor grows one I could imagine as a deciduous hedge of about 4' but I don't know what it is and neither does she, it was there when she bought the house 30+ years ago. Its in a wide unmulched bed that should welcome self sowing, but I've never seen a seedling there - the plant doesn't suffer winter damage like my own did last winter but doesn't appear to 'winter sow' itself in our climate.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 12:09AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

morz8, hedges of Fuchsia magellanica are very common in coastal areas of the SW UK and Ireland. They have a fairly informal look, not tight clipped.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fuchsia hedge

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 1:41PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Oh my goodness, I wouldn't have guessed. My own are more specimen type shrubs, lanky/sparse at the bottoms. An entire hedge would be hummingbird heaven :)

I just searched for more images, found several of Fuchsia magellanica 'Riccartonii' (darker colored than mine) in hedge situations, described as ' an icon of West Cork'. Thank you for pointed that out to me - not that I have a place to grow them as a hedge but I'm happy to learn that its possible.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 2:36PM
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clc70(8 Wa.)

They did indeed look like magellanica. They were in a mixed hedge, not clipped, but quite tall, at least 4-5 feet. I have a green house so I can sow them in there. I have lights and big heating pads. I think I'll try it. Last year I tried to take cuttings but all rotted. May have been wrong time of year (August).

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 10:38PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

clc70 - if you get another chance to take cuttings (time of year is not really relevant as long as they are in leaf) you only need to take the soft tips with a couple of pairs of leaves. I often root new ones from the pieces I pinch out to make them bushier. Strip off the bottom pair of leaves and insert the stem into a pot with some compost, moisten thoroughly and put a plastic bag over the top with an elastic band tight around the top of the pot. Make sure the bag is inflated so it doesn't touch the cuttings. No further watering is necessary as the bag keeps the moisture in. Keep them in a warm light place. They should root in a week or two. If yours rotted they were probably too wet. Fuchsias are actually one of the easiest plants to root. I sometimes buy a single plant I like the look of in the spring and use it to make a batch of new fuchsias which will flower from late summer to frost.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 2:13PM
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