Experts reveal the vibrant plant that's making a comeback this summer
It’s the shade of the season, helping put the fuchsia plant back in fashion, but modern varieties of this fascinating perennial come in more shades than hot pink
The fantastic fuchsia plant had been out of gardening favor until its signature shade – hot pink – became a catwalk hit, adored by fashionistas such as Chiara Ferragni and celebrities including Jennifer Lopez, and even the UK Prime Minister’s wife, who rocked up off the plane on a recent trip to Rwanda in a fuchsia trouser suit.
And now we’re looking again at this low-maintenance and versatile perennial, which with care, can over-winter in all but the harshest of climates.
So if you haven't thought about adding these striking and colorful plants to your plot, perhaps now is the time to consider introducing on-trend fuchsias to your planting list.
Why are fuchsias making a comeback?
Evie Lane, garden expert at Primrose says fuchsia is top five in their 2022 bestselling garden plants league, according to the garden supplies company’s ‘Blossoming Trends’ report for 2022, ahead of verbena, roses and clematis.
'Shades of purple are proving very popular right now,' she says. 'And obviously, many varieties of fuchsia incorporate purple. Perhaps this is the influence of the Pantone Colour of the Year 2022, Very Peri. So we begin to embrace more originality and creativity in our gardens by adding a pop of purple to our gardens.'
If you want to jump on board this garden trend, the most important piece of advice is to take note of the fuchsia variety, says garden expert Sarah Raven. 'Some varieties are hardy, meaning they will survive the winter frosts, others are tender, so should either be grown as an annual or in pots so they can be moved inside over winter.'
Fuchsias were discovered by Charles Plumier (1646-1704), a French monk and botanist in the foothills of ‘Hispaniola’, now part of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, explains Charles Valin, plant breeder at seed company Thompson & Morgan.
In 1703, Plumier published the name of his discovery as Fuchsia triphylla, flore coccineo, in honour of Leonhard Fuchs, a German physician and botanist.
Fuchsias went on to become great favorites of the Victorian age, but Charles says that we’ve been saying it wrong all these years: 'Given the German origin of the name, we should actually pronounce fuchsia as "fook-sya". The commonly-used English pronunciation remains "fyusha".'
Super for shade
Sarah Raven says that fuchsia is a great plant if you’re looking for shade garden ideas. 'It’s sometimes hard to get the feeling of real lushness and abundance in the shade and that can feel like something missing in a garden. Fuchsia is a fantastic shrub to consider here, giving great shape and masses of rich and bright flowers from mid summer all the way through to the first frosts in autumn.'
Good shade-loving plants she recommends are hardy Fuschia ‘Whiteknights Pearl’ (from Sarah Raven) for elegant pearly-pink flowers, brilliant for lighting up shade in late summer and autumn. Another good option she suggests is Fuschia magellanica ‘Hawkshead’ (also from Sarah Raven), with delicate green-tipped white flowers, reaching almost 1m in height.
Jayne Dowle is an award-winning gardening, homes and property writer who writes for publications including Sunday Times Home, Times Bricks & Mortar, Grand Designs, House Beautiful and The Spectator. She was awarded the Garden Journalist of the Year accolade at the Property Press Awards in 2021.
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