Fuchsia x colensoi

Germinating the seeds


Plant your seeds when you receive them for the best germination

   Getting started -- Use any small containers or cups that have drainage holes.  Use a well draining soil mix, such as 2 parts potting soil to 1 part perlite.  An alternate mix is 2 parts coir fiber or peat moss to 3 parts perlite or coarse sand.  Do not add lime to the mix, unless using peat moss.

 Fill each container and place a seed or 2 on top.  Then sprinkle a very thin layer of soil on top - just enough to barely cover the seeds, because light helps the seeds germinate.  Add water until the soil evenly moist.

 Until the seeds sprout, ensure that the soil surface always stays moist.  An easy way maintain moisture is to enclose the pots in a plastic dome or bag.  Leave it open a crack to allow some fresh air in.  You may need to drip a few drops of water on the seeds every day keep them moist.

 Keep the pots at about 64-76 degrees F (18-24C).  A little cooler at night is ok.  Avoid letting them get above 78F (26C).  I recommend keeping a minimum/maximum thermometer near the pots.

 The seeds should begin sprouting in 4 to 6 weeks, but allow up to 10 weeks for any slow ones to sprout, especially at cooler temperatures. Give your seedlings bright light, but avoid direct sunlight when they are small.  I recommend growing them indoors for at least 2-3 months.  If you have more than one seedling in each container, either snip off the weaker one(s) after 4 weeks or gently transplant them.

Growing onward...

Watering - This Fuchsia likes evenly moist soil, but it shouldn't be perpetually soggy either.  Never let the pots dry out, but don't let them sit in a tray of water either. 

If your tap water is very high in minerals (or "hard") i recommend using bottled spring water or rain water.

Climate -- It thrives when temperatures are mild during the day and cool at night.  It is untested in warm climates, but it might not thrive if temperatures regularly get above 85 F (29C), and nights are above 65 degrees F (18 C).  In warmer conditions, give the plants afternoon shade, and keep the pot shaded.  It can probably only survive a light frost (26F/-3C), but it's best to protect it from freezing temperatures.

Over about 40-45% humidity is recommended.  If the humidity drops too low indoors, consider using an ultrasonic humidifier, which you can get at home improvement stores or thrift shops.

Feeding -- For the first month, feed weekly with a very dilute (1/8 strength) liquid fertilizer.  Hydroponic fertilizer is perfect for seedlings, because it is complete and easily absorbed.  After the first month, you may switch to a granular, all-purpose fertilizer, following the directions on the package.  This Fuchsia has average fertilizing needs.

 It's normal for an older leaf to occasionally turn yellow and drop, but if it seems excessive, the soil may be too dry down in the root zone, or your plant may need more nitrogen fertilizer. 

If you have any questions, feel free to email me. 

Have fun growing them!

- Jeff

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