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Overwintering Fuschias

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by trogre, Oct 9, 2018.

  1. trogre

    trogre Gardener

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    Hi All. My normal routine for overwintering fuchsias in my garage is to trim them down about a 1/3 or so just to make them more manageable then to de-leaf what is left.

    Once done I then take them out of pot they grew in and get as much of the old compost away from roots as possible and then trim the roots and then re-pot in a much smaller pot. They are then kept the slightest bit damp all winter,more on the dry side really as they are dormant.I think the technical term is potting down:cool:
    Come spring when they have started to bud I re-pot into a bigger pot and off they go. Done this for years with no problems. Forgot to say once buds start to appear I then cut back hard.

    I was wondering ,if I cut the fuchsias down as normal by about a 1/3 but did not down-pot them and that is all I do. Come spring when they have been pruned back hard & starting to bud what if I then took them out of pot,trimmed back roots and re-potted in the same pot but with fresh compost???
    I know you are supposed to gradually "potup" but I have never done that and never had problems at all.
    I do not think "potting down" is a must but I think more for space. may be wrong but would be nice to know.
    Thanks for any info advice.
     
  2. Verdun

    Verdun Passionate gardener

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    Hiya trogre :)
    I do both ....as explained below....and not just with fuchsias however I think down potting generally is unnecessary. Some tender perennials are dug up from the ground, roots trimmed, excess soil removed and potted up....."down potting" I guess.
    My preferred method is to cut potted fuchsias and others back hard and keep in their pots until spring and then repot in fresh compost.
     
  3. pete

    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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    Only problem I see is they could be harbouring vine weevils, by removing from the pot you do get to have a look.
     
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    • ricky101

      ricky101 Super Gardener

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      Hi,

      Cannot see any point in down potting just for winter if you then repot again in spring, unless you are doing it to save physical space for storage.

      Often find you get better plants if you take cuttings now or in spring, the older plants can get too woody /large.

      While its still warm, now is a good time to give them a drench in a liquid vine weevil grub killer, assuming you do not eat the fruits.
       
    • Sirius

      Sirius Total Gardener

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      I am also planning on digging up and storing some of my Fuschias this year - first attempt.
      Was planning on putting a few together in a plastic container/pot and just filling in with some damp soil. And into greenhouse to keep them ticking over until spring.
       
    • ricky101

      ricky101 Super Gardener

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      Hi,

      Depends on the kind of winter, not many survived the Beast from the East.

      Unless they are really tender, many will survive outdoors if you place a pile of compost or peat around the crown, say 3 to 6" deep.

      Though the remaining top growth may be lost, they usually send new shoots up from the base, providing you use some slug repellents etc.

      Always best to take some cuttings now, in case the stored plants fail.
       
    • trogre

      trogre Gardener

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      Thanks for all your replies & help.Once all cut down & de-leafed I do give them all a good spray fgggggggtfgfvbbbbfgggggggggghgbvbggggbvfhhgbgvghhgbhbgfvfvbmnbvbbvggggggggggggggggggggggggggfbvgbgggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggghvbvbbhnbvgv with pravado vine weevil spray which seems to do the trick . On the web one grower who shows his fuchsias as well as sell them plunges the whole plant including root ball into hot water!!
      I think potting down was done mostly as I needed the room and that was how I read it had to be done.
      It was a long process getting about 40 ish fuchsias out of their pots,removing most of soil,cutting down the roots and then re-potting only to pot up come spring. I have now cut down the amout of fuchsias in pots to a more manageable level and therefore have loads more room so hence the question do I really need to pot down over winter.
       
    • trogre

      trogre Gardener

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      Ha My cat was walking over the keyboard as I was about to post but did not realize what he typed until I just read it!!!!! Must be some sort of cat code!!!!:):yikes:
       
    • ricky101

      ricky101 Super Gardener

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      Hi,

      Spraying Provado is not enough, you need to immerse /drench them into a bucket of the solution and let it soak fully into the root ball and kill the evil grubs. eg , no more air bubble coming up.

      It does use a lot of the mixture so buy a big bottle, more economic, a lot of places selling it off cheaper now to clear space of the xmas stuff.

      You could also look more at the plants for signs that the adults have been chewing on the plant.
       

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    • trogre

      trogre Gardener

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      ricky101. I will take on board what you say about immersing root ball in a solution of weevil killer.It makes sense that the grubs will be in the soil and not on the bare stems:blue thumb: Good point about looking for places selling it off cheaply.
      Now a dumb question:) The fuchsias in pots are now stripped bare of leaves and ready to go into dormancy. Would I plunge rootball into solution now or wait till spring?? Having asked the question I am thinking that even before spring I have had buds coming through and growing very early so if I wait till spring to plunge the grubs could attack new shoots?
       
    • ricky101

      ricky101 Super Gardener

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      Hi,

      No, by spring the grub will have eaten thought the roots and killed the plant, so you must drench them now, as the grubs will be hatching out of the eggs now or very soon.
      The problem with drenching is that you want to get it done in this mild weather so the pots dry out quickly otherwise if its very cold you could end up rotting the roots, a kind of double edged sword !
      Equally if in a greenhouse the moisture and this warm weather my cause your bare stems to break out in fresh leaves, though I would let them alone.

      Typical signs of vine weevil attack in the spring is that the plants do not seem to be growing, and if you move the base of the main stem/s they just come away and digging down you find all the grubs.

      As you have not really mentioned such symptoms on your fuchsia leaves or other plants not growing last spring, its sounds like you are not infected by these nasty critters, so its a difficult one to say if you really need to drench them.

      If that is the case, I would say do not bother and risk loosing the odd plant if by chance you do have a few, they will not move into other pots, only the adults can do that next spring.

      If you do use those vine weevil products to drench or spray do use big rubber gloves and even a mask and eye protection, its not the nicest of things.

      Vine weevil/RHS Gardening
       
    • Mike Allen

      Mike Allen Gardener

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      I have to admit. I love books. For many, in this case, gardeners. Books may well have been our introduction to what has perhaps become our greatest pastime. On the other hand, perhaps we witnessed the efforts of a friend and decided to have a go at gardening. Either way it's not long before we take to the books.

      Now we might begin to get confused. One author really drives it home that, their method of growing is, 'The Right Method' Another writer is adament that his/her method is correct. Today even the worlds top growers have this idea that they are right. I could list many authors and many titles.

      Nowadays we have the internet and of course forums for so many subjects. This IMO is where so much of todays learning takes place. A member asks a question and others reply. Answers can vary so much and perhaps some responces may seem a bit off-track. In many instances more is learned from a forum like GC than from many books.

      So. Overwintering Fuchsias. My method. First and foremost. If your method suits you and works. Then stick with it. Greenhouse stock and plants bought in from the garden for winter protection. Check the pots for the obvious bug or whatever hiding under the rim etc. Cutting back. I don't go in for cutting back by a third or whatever. Whispy growth is nipped out, out of control branches get shortened. Defoliating...NO. Doing so actually leaves an open wound on the branch. Repotting...Why? The plant is entering a state of dormacy. It's important to just keep the compost slightly damp. The nutients in the fresh compost will have been long gone by the time new growth starts. Soil treatment against vine weevils can be carried out. As new growth starts, this is when I would consider repotting, having done this then. Cutting back time. Especially if you want to propagate via cuttings, even the tiniest new shoots can used, even splitting the attached stem. So the more the merrier. Once a reasonable amount of fresh growth is showing, then I would after having taken cuttings, then I would consider gutting back and re-shaping. Keep turing the pots and clearing fallen leaves. In time attend to pinching out and feeding. This is IMO. Each to their own. Good luck and happy growing.
       
    • WeeTam

      WeeTam Total Gardener

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      Prune mine back,hang in garage by window,leave them till signs of fresh shoots,bring into conservatory,usually works out.
       

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