Above: Tom Thumb miniature that won First Prize at a WCFS Annual Show in Kirstenbosch
Fuchsia lovers with limited space can still grow their favourite plants even though these may not be large; they could cultivate a miniature!
It is possible to use normal plants with large leaves and flowers and grow them in very small pots so that root growth is deliberately restricted. This forces the plant to flower when much smaller than would normally be the case. However, the simplest method is to select varieties that normally have small leaves and small flowers. These would be grown in the same way as large plants, but their size is restricted by root pruning, and careful attention to pruning and pinching for shape, as the balance between the size of the pot and the stem and leaf growth is very important.
For show purposes standards are in a 13cm pot and should have a free stem for not less than 15cm or more than 25cm; bushes in 13cm pots have a maximum height of around 30cm; and 15cm baskets have a maximum of 30cm from the top of the foliage to the bottom of the trailing stems.
These little plants, with their delicate flowers and foliage are most attractive, especially when used as table decorations. They may require a little more care and attention then their larger cousins, but are very rewarding to grow, and help to solve problems of limited space.