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Unknown Fuchsia

JBDJBD Posts: 10

Hi Everyone!

I've spent a lot of time recently on the forums and the internet trying to discover what I should do about a fuchsia, a previous owner planted. Its exact variety is unknown but I have presumed it to be something like 'Hawkshead'.

The plant has very thin white/green petals, late summer flowers, two tone woody bark that flakes it's outer layers and long thin oval leaves with a pointed tips that drop over winter. Its stems are probably a good 3cm thick and the whole plant has been left to grow wild, approximately 3m x 3m x 1m(d).

I've been brutal about cutting back my common species of fuchsia and they have grown back a treat, but with this specific plant I'm not quite sure what to do. I've watched it through a full year of growth and believe me, it's not a fast grower... previous light pruning thorough out the year didn't seems to generate any new growth but did help to keep the worst of the tangled branches at bay.

I really like this plant and I didn't want to just cut it back like the other fuchsias just in case I killed it, but it's looking leggy and more than a little tired...  Does anyone have any advice on how to rejuvenate?



  • GardenmaidenGardenmaiden Posts: 1,126

    Do you have any pics of it with flowers as that might help to identify which one it is? Some fuchsias can be cut down to the ground and will sprout again, some are very tender and need to be kept in the greenhouse and some are just for hanging baskets.

  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,583

    Before you take the shears to the thing, take a few cuttings just in case the plant doesn't react well.

  • JBDJBD Posts: 10

    Thanks for all the responses!

    Gardenmaiden - Unfortunately I don't have any photo's of the flowers to show you... (last year was my fist year at the new house- rucky error!). The plant is only just starting to grow its leaves again.... so other than a bundle of branches there isn't too much to show at the moment! (not very useful, I know.) - It's planted outside and in 'slightly acid' soil with lots of shade from two gable ends - it gets its light mostly from the west. Other than dropping its leaves in winter, it doesn't actually die back into the ground over winter like the more commonly sold fuchsias I have.

    Ceres & Verdun - Cuttings, very obvious and for some reason I hadn't thought of it image. Good idea! Presumable... this might sound stupid, I just need to take the new shoots for propagation and not use hardwood cuttings too?

    If when I cut it back last year, it had bounced back into life like my 'common' fuchsias, then I wouldn't be being so cautious. it's obviously been in the ground a long time!

  • JBDJBD Posts: 10

    So, yesterday I got brave.... and gave the unknown fuchsia got the chop... my plan being that next year I'll take it back a little further until it's a more manageable size. It's top is now within arms reach, I think that's progress.

    the plant is very top heavy still and bare from the middle down(not because of my chopping attempt), but I figured if I cut it back too hard on it's first proper prune it might not flower at al this year? - I'd post a photo but for some reason, the site keeps giving me an error message - so I've changed my profile picture instead.... not ideal, but gives an idea!

    Thank you for the words of encouragement everyone!



  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    JBD you can prune a Hawkshead hard almost to the ground. Right now mine and a few of my clients are just showing their new growth. If you prune back to the new growth they'll romp away over the summer months and they'll be more manageable. Mine a pink hawkshead reaches 4 -5 ft every year.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,359

    A lot of us have to prune them right back most years because  the top growth is dead. They come back and I think they grow better on the years they've been cut back

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • JBDJBD Posts: 10

    Thanks for the advise everyone, I would have cut it back a little further, but since what I cut off filled brown bin completely, I thought It had probably had enough for the day - As I said it was huge!

    Next year I'll crop it further!

  • LynLyn Posts: 23,082

    Has it started shooting from the base?

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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