Month-by-Month Care of Fuchsias

  

Year Plan 1S

 

 January

The main problem during the next three months is the heat and the wind, so you need to protect your plants from these elements as best you can. Don’t let the soil dry out, and if the weather is very hot and dry, damp down the surrounding areas once or twice during the day, if you can, and mist the leaves once the sun is off them.
Check for whitefly and red spider mite and also for rust if you live in a summer rainfall area. At this time of the year there is also the problem of the sudden death syndrome when plants seem to die for no particular reason.
Continue to feed with Multifeed Flowering or any 3.1.5. fertiliser.
If you have plants growing in your garden, it is a good idea to mulch them well, which will help to keep the roots cool.
Prune your plants lightly if they have stopped flowering, only cutting back two nodes or so from the tip. This will encourage them to produce another flush of flowers. Always remember to remove seed pods and dead flowers.

February
The program is much the same as for January, but be on the lookout for red spider, thrips, hawk moth caterpillar and rust.
If your plants are becoming stressed where they are, move them to a cooler place if possible – keep them as cool as possible.
Do not prune this month, but continue to feed with 3.1.5.

March
Treat the same as for February. Give plants their last feed of 3.1.5.
Start making plans regarding which plants you would like to enter in the annual show and take particular care of them.

April
As the weather becomes cooler, your plants will start sending out new shoots. Let these grow to three or four pairs of leaves, then use them as cuttings for new plants.
If you have been spraying regularly, your plants should be free of pests.
Start preparing fresh soil mixtures now for the planting of new young plants and the repotting of older plants. Tried and tested mixture: 1 part good potting soil, 2 parts good compost (NOT MUSHROOM), and half a part dry kraal manure.

May
If you took cuttings in April, these should be ready for potting on, using the soil mixture that you prepared last month. When your rooted cuttings have settled down (10 days or so), start feeding them weekly with Seagro or Nitrosol. Keep watering older plants if weather is dry.
Older plants will be looking very straggly now and it is not too early to prune, if you live in a frost-free area. It may be necessary to repot plants after pruning. It is important not let the soil of pruned plants dry out.
In frost prone areas check that you have enough ‘Frost Guard’ in your possession to protect your fuchsias from frost throughout the cold winter months.
Botrytis may appear at this time of the year.

June
Prune now if you have not already done so. When plants show signs of re-growth (approximately 3 weeks) and leaves have become recognizable, start feeding again with Multifeed Classic or a fertiliser with 3.2.1 formulation. Remember to take note of instructions on the container.
In frost free areas prune now if you have not already done so.

July
With all your young plants coming along nicely, albeit slowly, now is the time to pinch out (train) your babies. At the same time your mature plants must also be pinched out to obtain the best results. Remember that fuchsias only flower at the ends of branches, and by pinching out, you are creating more branches and therefore more flowers will be produced. Pinching and shaping continues until September.
Continue to feed young plants with a high nitrogen fertilizer, i.e. Seagro, Nitrosol, Multifeed Classic. Keep soil damp. If we get heavy rainfall for days/weeks on end, you may find that the soil is too damp to add liquid fertiliser, so you can foliar feed with a solution of any of the above.
Powdery mildew.

August
The dangers of frost should be over by now, and if you haven’t pruned yet, you should do so now. Warmer areas should be seeing a marked growth in all plants. Continue to feed mature plants with a high nitrogen fertiliser, i.e. Seagro, Nitrosol, Multifeed Classic. Check young growth for aphids and spray accordingly. Also check for rust, whitefly and red spider. Continue to pinch back and shape.

September
Towards the end of this month, the fertilising program can change to a high potassium formula, i.e. 3.1.5. If your plants have reached a height of about 20cm, change from Seagro to granular fertiliser. This formula encourages the formation of flowers and helps to harden the soft branches in readiness for supporting all those flowers!
Providing your plants have grown to the required shape and height, you can stop pinching out double flowers, in the middle of this month, as they take 8–10 weeks to flower, while the singles take 6–8 weeks, so you can go on pinching the single flowers for another two weeks if you are preparing them for the Show in the first week of December.
Check for aphids, whitefly, and rust. And don’t forget to turn the pots at least once a week, so that you have nicely rounded plants.

October
Since the weather is beginning to warm up now, your fuchsias should be growing well, so don’t neglect the feeding. Multifeed Flowering is a good water soluble food, or you can use Organic 3.1.5. that is obtainable at most Garden Centres or Pick ‘n Pay. Smelly, but effective! Roses like it too!
When the weather is warmer you can mulch fuchsias in the ground to help keep the soil cool. Make sure that the soil in both pots and garden is kept damp. If the weather becomes quite hot, check that the plants are not becoming stressed, and mist the leaves, once the sun is off them.
Check for aphids, whitefly, red spider and rust.

November
Check the undersides of leaves for red spider mite, and spray for whitefly if they appear. Continue to feed 3.1.5. – do not feed plants on a very hot day. If you stopped pinching in September, your plants should be showing signs of flowering. Particular attention should be given to your prospective show plants now, making sure that they are free of insect pests and diseases.

December
Show Time!
Keep the soil damp, and continue to feed 3.1.5. If you are going away for the holidays, perhaps you could get a neighbour to water your plants for you every second day, otherwise, if it is very warm, you may find all your potted fuchsias have succumbed to the heat. Check for pests and treat accordingly.

General information


Feeding
Nitrogen for leaves & shoots (N)
Phosphorus for stems & roots (P)
Potassium for flowers & fruits (K)
Kelpak stimulates growth, it’s not a food.
Seagrow is high in N – use only on young plants
Bounce Back is high in N – 2 handfuls in 2L, leave overnight, dilute ½ cup in 10L, use once a week.
Bonemeal is a rich source of calcium (20%), phosphate (9.5%) & nitrogen (3.4%) – slow release food.

Problems
Yellow leaves – plant needs magnesium – 1tsp Epsom salts in 5L
Bronzing or reddening of leaves – changes in temperature

January

The main problem during the next three months is the heat and the wind, so you need to protect your plants from these elements as best you can. Don’t let the soil dry out, and if the weather is very hot and dry, damp down the surrounding areas once or twice during the day, if you can, and mist the leaves once the sun is off them.

Check for whitefly and red spider mite and also for rust if you live in a summer rainfall area. At this time of the year there is also the problem of the sudden death syndrome when plants seem to die for no particular reason.

Continue to feed with Multifeed Flowering or any 3.1.5. fertiliser.

If you have plants growing in your garden, it is a good idea to mulch them well, which will help to keep the roots cool.

Prune your plants lightly if they have stopped flowering, only cutting back two nodes or so from the tip. This will encourage them to produce another flush of flowers.   Always remember to remove seed pods and dead flowers.

February

The program is much the same as for January, but be on the lookout for red spider, thrips, hawk moth caterpillar and rust.   

If your plants are becoming stressed where they are, move them to a cooler place if possible – keep them as cool as possible.

Do not prune this month, but continue to feed with 3.1.5.

March

Treat the same as for February. Give plants their last feed of 3.1.5.

 Start making plans regarding which plants you would like to enter in the annual show and take particular care of them.

April

As the weather becomes cooler, your plants will start sending out new shoots. Let these grow to three or four pairs of leaves, then use them as cuttings for new plants.  

If you have been spraying regularly, your plants should be free of pests.  

Start preparing fresh soil mixtures now for the planting of new young plants and the repotting of older plants. Tried and tested mixture: 1 part good potting soil, 2 parts good compost (NOT MUSHROOM), and half a part dry kraal manure.

May

If you took cuttings in April, these should be ready for potting on, using the soil mixture that you prepared last month. When your rooted cuttings have settled down (10 days or so), start feeding them weekly with Seagro or Nitrosol. Keep watering older plants if weather is dry.  

Older plants will be looking very straggly now and it is not too early to prune, if you live in a frost-free area. It may be necessary to repot plants after pruning. It is important not let the soil of pruned plants dry out.

In frost prone areas check that you have enough ‘Frost Guard’ in your possession to protect your fuchsias from frost throughout the cold winter months.

Botrytis may appear at this time of the year.

June

Prune now if you have not already done so. When plants show signs of re-growth (approximately 3 weeks) and leaves have become recognizable, start feeding again with Multifeed Classic or a fertiliser with 3.2.1 formulation. Remember to take note of instructions on the container.

In frost free areas prune now if you have not already done so.

July

With all your young plants coming along nicely, albeit slowly, now is the time to pinch out (train) your babies. At the same time your mature plants must also be pinched out to obtain the best results. Remember that fuchsias only flower at the ends of branches, and by pinching out, you are creating more branches and therefore more flowers will be produced. Pinching and shaping continues until September.

Continue to feed young plants with a high nitrogen fertilizer, i.e. Seagro, Nitrosol, Multifeed Classic. Keep soil damp. If we get heavy rainfall for days/weeks on end, you may find that the soil is too damp to add liquid fertiliser, so you can foliar feed with a solution of any of the above.

Powdery mildew.

 August

The dangers of frost should be over by now, and if you haven’t pruned yet, you should do so now. Warmer areas should be seeing a marked growth in all plants. Continue to feed mature plants with a high nitrogen fertiliser, i.e. Seagro, Nitrosol, Multifeed Classic. Check young growth for aphids and spray accordingly. Also check for rust, whitefly and red spider. Continue to pinch back and shape.

September

Towards the end of this month, the fertilising program can change to a high potassium formula, i.e. 3.1.5. If your plants have reached a height of about 20cm, change from Seagro to granular fertiliser. This formula encourages the formation of flowers and helps to harden the soft branches in readiness for supporting all those flowers!  

Providing your plants have grown to the required shape and height, you can stop pinching out double flowers, in the middle of this month, as they take 8–10 weeks to flower, while the singles take 6–8 weeks, so you can go on pinching the single flowers for another two weeks if you are preparing them for the Show in the first week of December.

Check for aphids, whitefly, and rust. And don’t forget to turn the pots at least once a week, so that you have nicely rounded plants.

October

Since the weather is beginning to warm up now, your fuchsias should be growing well, so don’t neglect the feeding. Multifeed Flowering is a good water soluble food, or you can use Organic 3.1.5. that is obtainable at most Garden Centres or Pick ‘n Pay.   Smelly, but effective!   Roses like it too!

When the weather is warmer you can mulch fuchsias in the ground to help keep the soil cool. Make sure that the soil in both pots and garden is kept damp. If the weather becomes quite hot, check that the plants are not becoming stressed, and mist the leaves, once the sun is off them.

Check for aphids, whitefly, red spider and rust.  

November

Check the undersides of leaves for red spider mite, and spray for whitefly if they appear. Continue to feed 3.1.5. – do not feed plants on a very hot day. If you stopped pinching in September, your plants should be showing signs of flowering. Particular attention should be given to your prospective show plants now, making sure that they are free of insect pests and diseases. 

December

Show Time!

Keep the soil damp, and continue to feed 3.1.5. If you are going away for the holidays, perhaps you could get a neighbour to water your plants for you every second day, otherwise, if it is very warm, you may find all your potted fuchsias have succumbed to the heat. Check for pests and treat accordingly.

General information

Feeding

Nitrogen for leaves & shoots (N)

Phosphorus  for stems & roots (P)

Potassium for flowers & fruits (K)

Kelpak stimulates growth, it’s not a food.

Seagrow is high in N – use only on young plants

Bounce Back is high in N – 2 handfuls in 2L, leave overnight, dilute ½ cup in 10L, use once a week.

Bonemeal is a rich source of calcium (20%), phosphate (9.5%) & nitrogen (3.4%) – slow release food.

Problems

Yellow leaves – plant needs magnesium – 1tsp Epsom salts in 5L

Bronzing or reddening of leaves – changes in temperature