Deadheading a Fuchsia

Fuchsia plants are best known for their variety and their trailing branches covered in vibrant flowers. Though there are varieties that grow as bushes, the dangling flowers are a common factor. The tender, trailing varieties look stunning in a hanging basket in a garden or on a porch and the bushy types are a beautiful addition to any garden.

Why Deadhead?

Deadheading a flowering plant is a popular technique for encouraging further flowers. The plants' energy is not being spent on creating seeds, so more flowers are produced. Additionally, deadheading creates a tidier appearance for your plants.

Fuchsias: Natural Deadheaders

Fuchsia flowers often fall on their own. This is a natural form of deadheading that requires no effort from the gardener. However, fallen flowers can make a mess on the surface of a porch or balcony, or in the grass or flowerbed around a bush. Removing the flowers before they fall will help to keep your garden or porch clean and tidy.

Fuchsia Seeds: To Remove or Not to Remove

The seeds of the fuchsia grow in pods immediately behind the flowers. Just after the flower fades, they are small green bumps, but the bumps mature into red or purple berries. These seed berries are edible, though most varieties are rather bland. Allowing the plant to go to seed will require more energy from the plant and can limit the flowering cycle for the year.

Some gardeners say that because the berries are small, allowing them to grow does not require much energy from the plant. Other gardeners highly recommend removing the berries as soon as possible. If you want to be sure your fuchsia will keep flowering into the autumn, it is best to remove these berries with the flower when deadheading or remove them soon after the flower falls.

Remember the Flower Stems

In relation to removing the seeds, it is recommended to remove the entire stem that the flower is on. No new growth will occur on this stem so there is no need to maintain it. However, in the process of removing the stem, be careful not to damage any buds near the base. Those buds will become leaves and other flowers, which you want.

Deadheading Tools

Cutting off the flower, seed and stem with shears or scissors rather than pulling them off improves your chances of not damaging the main branch or other buds. With some varieties the stems are soft, so it is not necessary to use shears or scissors. A pair of sharp nails can do the job, nipping the flower stem at the base and breaking it off.

Whatever tool you use for your deadheading, use sharp, clean blades. Clean the blades after use and dry them before storage. This will keep the blades from carrying diseases to other plants. If you use your nails, clean them before and after working with your fuchsia for the same reasons.