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How to grow fuchsias!

ST VALENTINE’S Day romance is coming! In stead of giving your lover a bunch of red roses why don't you give her a plug plant – along with a card that alludes to our continued ‘fuchsia’ together.
Fuchsia blooms are carried more or less continuously from summer to autumn. They are useful in bedding schemes, and some are hardy enough for hedges and permanent plantings.
There are 4 choices you can find in garden centres:
- Winston Churchill
- Bashful
- Leonora
- Margaret Pilkington

PRUNING HARDY OUTDOOR FUCHSIAS
Over the next six weeks or so, depending on where you live and how cold your garden is, you could prune your hardy fuchsias. With secateurs, cut back stems to the lowest bud (close to the ground). Don’t damage any buds at the base of the plant. If you have a hardy fuchsia hedge, prune in the same way. If it needs rejuvenating, stagger the pruning by cutting back every other plant one year, the remainder the next.
Follow all pruning with a general feed, and mulching with wellrotted compost or manure.

ONE PLUG CAN FILL TWO BASKETS!
You can make one tiny fuchsia plug plant costing 99p, fill two summer hanging baskets. If you
pot up the plug into a 3in (7.5cm) pot (circled) using multipurpose, and put it on a sunny
windowsill. In a few weeks you'll move it to the greenhouse. In time, the main hoot tip will be pinched off
carefully, rooted and potted up. As you are starting early in the season there will be time for successive tips
taken as cuttings.
By late May you should have six bushy little plants, ready to go into the two baskets!

Step by step Starting into growth
1. Fuchsias kept frost-free over winter may be showing small growths: at this stage they can be started back into growth. Cut back dead stems to visible buds, or simply to shape the bush.
2. Then repot the fuchsia into a clean 3½in (9cm) pot of multipurpose compost. Avoid airfilled gaps around the rootball, by gently tapping the pot on to a flat surface, and firming the compost.
3 Add slow-release feed (such as these Miracle-Gro Osmocote pellets) – just push them into the compost; every time you water they release nutrients. Stand plants in a sunny, frost-free place.

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