Bring a Touch of West Cork to your Garden with a fabulous Fuchsia
Fuchsia is one of our favourite plants at The Pavilion Garden Centre. Those of you familiar with the roads of West Cork and Kerry will easily recognise the tubular red and purple flowers of the Fuchsia which grows wild as hedges along the roadsides. Due to our very temperate climate fuchsias grow very well in the Cork region and are so well loved and associated with the area that a local initiative, West Cork Leader, uses the fuchsia flower as their logo. This roadside species of Fuchsia is called F. ‘Riccartonii’ and is not native to Ireland but is the result of planted hedges whose seeds were scattered by different means over the years. Fuchsia ‘Riccartonii’ makes a lovely hedge and grows very well in coastal areas.
Fuchsias are prized for their beautiful flowers, ease of care and long flowering season. They can be grown in containers, as hedges, specimen plants, in a boarder or as standard plants. The flowers can be single, double or semi-double in colours from deep purple, pink and white. Four waxy petals open out below the curved back sepals to form a bell, often in a contrasting colour to the sepals. Fuchsias can be deciduous or evergreen, frost hardy or frost tender depending on the type of fuchsia. Hardy fuchsias will survive outdoors all year if planted in a well-drained site. Prolonged low temperatures like the ones we experienced during the winters of 2009/10 can cause loss of top growth, however if plants are cut back to ground level in spring, they will rejuvenate.
Essential knowledge from The Pavillion Garden Centre:
- Site demands: plant in any well drained soil in full sun or partial shade.
- Planting practice: if potted can be planted at any time depending on weather conditions.
- Flowering time: early summer to mid autumn.
- Pruning: cut out broken or spindly branches or if frost damaged cut back to ground level.
- Pests and diseases: fuschias may suffer red spider mite, greenfly, rust and bud drop. This can easily be treated with insecticides and fungicides.
- Bonus points: many fuschias attract bees and other insects.
The Pavilion Garden Centre, Ballygarvan, recommend the following, which are all hardy varieties.
Fuchsia ‘Tom Thumb’
Is an early flowering upright shrub, bearing small single flowers with red sepals and purple petals. Height and spread 2ft x 2ft (60cm x 60cm)
Is a tall robust plant that has crimson sepals and purple petals. Height 7ft (210cm) and spread 4ft (120cm)
Fuchsia ‘Lady Thumb’
Is a lighter fuchsia for a more pastel colour scheme, it has semi-double flowers with white petals which are veined with pink and brighter pink/purple sepals.Height 2ft (60cm) spread 1.5ft (45cm).