These are best pruned hard annually in early or mid-spring, as the new growth begins to appear. Cut down to a low framework or to just above where the new shoots are arising.
Trained forms of fuchsias are most commonly formed into bushes and standards. Fans and espaliers may be created in the same way as fruit trees.
Bush fuchsia: Begin training bushes as soon as the young plants have developed three sets of leaves.
- To form a bush, pinch (stop) the growing tip to stimulate two-to-four sideshoots to grow
- Once these sideshoots have each developed two sets of leaves, stop the shoots to encourage bushiness
- Repeat step two until the plant is as bushy as needed. Pinching out increases the potential number of blooms but delays actual flowering - flowers usually open six to eight weeks after you finish stopping
Standard fuchsia: It will take 18 months to achieve a full standard fuchsia and about six months for a quarter or mini standard. Here are some steps to creating a standard;
STEP 1. Leave the tip of a young fuchsia to grow and wait until sideshoots appear.
STEP 2. Pinch out all the sideshoots, but do not remove the leaves on the main stem.
STEP 3. Use a cane to support the plant and tie the stem at intervals along it.
STEP 4. Repot as soon as the roots have started to fill the existing container. This will ensure that it grows upwards as quickly as possible.
STEP 5. Continue until the desired length of stem has been reached. The recognised stem lengths for standard fuchsias are:
- "mini standard" 15-25cm (6-10in)
- "quarter standard" 25-45cm (10-18in)
- "half standard" 45-75cm (18in-2½ft)
- "full standard" 75cm-1m (2½-3¼ft)
STEP 6. Allow a further three sets of leaves to develop, and then pinch out the tip. After this, training involves the same stopping procedures as for a bush (steps two and three).