Propagating Fuchsias from Cuttings
Fuchsias are one of the easiest of all plants to take cuttings from and will root very easily under the correct conditions. Cuttings can be taken as softwood cuttings in spring or semi-hardwood cuttings in summer or early autumn. Cuttings taken in spring will root in 2-3 weeks and flower by the summer. Cuttings taken in summer or autumn will need protection over winter.
To take fuchsia cuttings you will need a sharp knife or secateurs, a clean pot or seed tray of free draining compost (made with one part sharp sand or grit and two parts potting compost) a dibber and a small planting widger/fork.
A heated propagator is ideal for rooting cuttings quickly but if you don't have one you can still root the cuttings very successfully by placing a plastic cover or clear plastic bag over the cuttings to retain moisture and humidity.
The general method for taking 'Fuchsia' cuttings is as follows:
- Choose a healthy donor plant with fresh shoots at least 8 cm (3 in) long.
- Take an 8 cm cutting just below a leaf joint of a non-flowering shoot.
Note: Fuchsia cuttings can wilt very quickly so if your not rooting them straight, away keep them in a sealed plastic bag or dip the ends in a glass of water until you are ready.
- Place on a flat surface and cut away the lower leaves with a sharp knife.
- Dust the base of the cutting in rooting hormone or rooting gel/liquid.
- Pot them in a free draining gritty compost mix. Inserting them about 3-6 cm (1-2 in) apart so the leaves are not touching.
- Water well and place the cuttings in a propagator or cover with clear plastic to retain high humidity.
- Place in a well lit position but not in direct sunlight and keep moist.
- Keep them at a temperature above 18°C (65°F) to ensure rooting.
- After 2/3 weeks once roots start to form, open the propagator vents and gradually remove the lid until the plants become acclimatised.
- Once a good root system has developed prick out the new plantlets into individual small pots, in general potting compost.
- Feed with liquid tomato feed to encourage flowering shoots.
- Harden-off and plant out once all danger of frost has passed in May.
- Once the plants have grown three or four leave joints, pinch out the tips to encourage bushy growth.
Note: If the tips are long enough you can use these to form more cuttings!
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