Common Name: lady's eardrops
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Zone: 10 to 11
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Red, pink, white, violet, purple and bicolors
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Suggested Use: Annual
Winter hardy to USDA Zones 10-11 where they are grown in organically rich, medium moisture, moisture-retentive soils in part shade to full shade. In St. Louis, grow as annuals in containers/ baskets or by placing plants out in the ground after last frost date. Plants may be allowed to die in fall or they may be overwintered indoors. Most St. Louis homes are unable to provide the high level of humidity needed to successfully overwinter these plants as houseplants. Therefore, it may be best bring containers indoors before last frost and force the plants into dormancy by cutting them back to several inches and placing them in dark corner of a cool (40s) basement until spring. Minimal moisture should be applied in winter (just enough to keep soils from totally drying out). Another option is to bring plants indoors to a bright cool spot and reduce winter watering to a bare minimum. Bedding plants can be potted up and similarly overwintered. Stem cuttings may also be taken in late summer and potted up for overwintering. Hybrid cultivars do not come true from seed.
Common fuchsia is a frost-tender, shade-loving shrubby plant that is most commonly sold in the St. Louis area as a container plant (either shrub or trained as standard) or in a hanging basket. It produces drooping, tubular flowers with prominent stamens from spring to frost. Flowering may decline and foliage may wilt in the heat of the summer however. Literally thousands of hybrid cultivars are available in commerce. They come with single or double flowers and with a great variety of flower colors, mostly bicolors featuring combinations of red, violet, purple, pink and white. Oval, dentate, medium green leaves (2-5” long). Plant habit varies from that of 1-2’ tall shrub to standards to weeping types with trailing stems. Upright varieties are best for containers. Weeping types are best for hanging baskets. Hummingbirds are attracted to the flowers.
Genus name honors Leonhart Fuchs (1501-1566), German physician and herbalist, professor at Tubingen, who published in 1542 and 1543 a herbal with unusually beautiful woodcuts of plants.
No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for aphids, spider mites and whiteflies.
Beds, borders, containers or hanging baskets. Houseplant only if high humidity requirements can be met.