Hardy fuchsias make it into just about every garden we design. Fuchsia plants come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colors. Seasonal baskets usually drip with annual varieties that only strut their stuff until a cold snap that kills them, but the stunning array of hardy fuchsias is equally show-stopping — plus, these come back year after year. Both tender and hardy fuchsia plants feed hummingbirds and bees throughout the growing season. And, once pollinated, fuchsia fruits are edible – the bigger the flower, the bigger the fruit.
‘DebRon’s Black Cherry’ has us singing “Ch-ch-ch-cherry Bomb!” when it blooms.
The Fuchsia genus includes ground covers, woody shrubs, delicate perennials and basket dripping color pops – truly there’s a fuchsia for every garden. And don’t be fooled – fuchsias come in more than just the magenta color fuchsia.
When ‘DebRon’s Black Cherry’ blooms fully opens, it’s easy to understand the name. Labels claim it gets to four feet tall, but in the years we’ve grown it, it stays to a tiny 18″ at most, even when woody stems aren’t cut down for winter. This hummingbird favorite is hardy, having survived several cold winters, buried under several feet of snow!
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Other mid- to large size hardy fuchsia favorites:
Tried & true Fuchsia magellanica grows close to five feet tall each season — taller if you don’t cut it to the ground for winter. This species can be kept as a deciduous, peely bark shrub or cut to the ground each winter. Honeybees & hummingbirds adore this tough & tasty one!
Fuchsia magellanica ‘Molinae’ brightens dark corners with abundant pale pink blooms from late spring until frost. Expect this beauty to grow about three to four feet tall & wide over the years. It’s pretty, but not one pollinators seem to seek as much as others.
‘Hawkshead’ fuchsia is simplicity at its finest. This bright white flower touched with green at the petal tips, is simply stunning. Expect it to grow to about three feet tall & wide – perfect to dapple through evergreens. Mulch it well to help it get through cold winters.
Want a foliage & flowers in the colors of autumn?
Fuzzy Fuchsia speciosa is marginally hardy in the PacNW. This beauty is tucked in a protected pocket of our garden where it emerges each spring to show off fuzzy leaves, often tinted with purple. It grows to under a foot tall and wide each season. In late summer, peachy-orange tubular flowers grow in lovely clusters at the tips of each branch. It pairs beautifully with nearby autumn fern, Dicentra scandens & evergreen huckleberry.
Fuchsia ‘Autumnale’ could never bloom & we’d still love it for this fantastic foliage!
Check out some of the tiniest hardy Fuchsias around:
If you’re looking for a ground cover or a trailer for your perennial containers, try Fuchsia procumbens with jewel-like tiny flowers. Choose ‘Wirral’ for variegated leaves, but be sure to protect it well if you’re in a zone colder than 8!
Fuchsia procumbens blooms are tiny, but each is painted jewel. Plant it in a raised pot where you can really enjoy the flowers. Don’t want variegation? The species is what you want!
And, sometimes you get a surprise – happy or otherwise:
This surprise beauty re-appears each late summer. It might be ‘Delta’s Sarah’ or ‘Azure Sky’ or something else. We don’t know its name, but we just love it with nearby Aster divaricatus, native sword fern, monkshood, a bit of art & the soon-to-arise Cyclamen hederifolium.
‘Swingtime’ is supposed to bloom in a true red & white. We bought this one before it flowered one spring & ended up with a pink & white flower — poorly matched with other reds in this hanging basket. So we moved it! It’s now paired with ‘Peppermint Sticks’ chard. Perfect!
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