Standard Fuchsias

                                               Above is a Fokko's Karientje standard 

Fuchsias can be trained into beautiful standards that either have a strong upright habit like a bush, or the branches are softer and thus suitable for a weeping standard.

It is important to choose a strong, healthy cutting when you want to grow a standard, preferably one with three leaves per node in order to form a head that has a stronger support in due course. When the cutting has been rooted and transferred into your usual soil mix, place a small stake next to the plant in order to remind you that this is a potential standard – you must not pinch out the top leaves.

Feed the plant regularly with a high nitrogen fertiliser and water it carefully. You need to train the trunk to be as straight a possible by tying it loosely with strips of nylon hose to the stake at every second or third node – the stake should be changed every few months as the plant grows.

Although the main leaves are needed for the manufacture of food, the branches that develop in the leaf axils should be removed. By keeping the plant in a place where there is little light, it will grow quickly to reach the desired height. Don’t be concerned if the trunk is a little spindly, as it will get stronger once the plant is placed in a lighter position again.

In order to form the head of the standard, do not remove the new shoots of the top five or six joints while the plant is growing to the height you would like it