Diversity of  Fuchsias

 At an exhibition, a newcomer to fuchsias usually stands in awe at the amazing diversity of this lovely plant. They are probably one of the most versatile species. Besides being able to be trained into different forms such as bushes, hanging baskets, standards and miniatures, their flowers come in many sizes, shapes and colours. You can find some with very tiny blooms that are only 6mm long; then there are others that measure up to 13cm across their petals.

The flowers’ shapes vary enormously; some are long, fine and elegant, while others are more open and saucer-shaped. There are dainty single fuchsias with just four petals (occasionally five), which are much more floriferous than the double-flowered varieties. On the one hand, there are the grand, exotic doubles that have more than eight petals – they often also have some small petals called petalloids. These cultivars do not produce as many flowers as the singles, but their size compensates for this lack. In between these two extremes there are many varieties called semi-doubles that have between five and eight petals.

Regarding their branches, some fuchsias have ones that arch, making them suitable for planting in hanging baskets. In contrast there are cultivars with stiff branches which can be grown as bushes and standards, with flowers either suspended like dancing ballerinas, or others that turn their faces up towards you.

The blooms of fuchsias also come in an amazing variety of colours, going from white to close on black, green and even brownish hues. The shades vary from delicate, pale colours to very flashy ones that stare you in the face.

Even the fuchsia’s foliage has many different colours that provide interest in a garden when there are no flowers. Some leaves have a matt appearance and others are glossy. Then there are the variegated leaves with different combinations of gray, pink, yellow and bronze.

 All plants require some care and, even though fuchsias need a little extra TLC, they are very rewarding. Whether grown in the garden, on a patio in a hanging basket or pots, in the garden to complement other plants, they can provide a wonderful display of flowers for many months of the year.