I have 3 Dark Eyes Fuchsia plants. One is fairly large, the other 2 quite small. I would like to keep them over the winter but it gets much too cold here. How can I keep them over the winter?
Answer: Fuchsias are pretty easy to overwinter but they do desire a period of rest, so they are not an attractive winter houseplant. Discontinue any feeding by September to allow them to begin their descent into dormancy. I bring mine inside before the first frost. When you bring them inside they will prefer a bright, cool location free from drafts. You will want to slowly reduce watering in October and November as the blooms and leaves fade. Once the leaves have dropped, trim the stems back to about six inches above the soil. You can store your resting plant anywhere, as long as the temperature does not drop below 40 degrees F. Basements or garages will work. Check on it throughout the winter, making sure the soil does not become too dry, and during this dormancy period you do not want to fertilize it. Your plant should start to show some signs of new growth once the spring returns. When you see these signs you can place it in a cool location or return it to an outside shaded area, if all danger of frost has passed. Trim back the new growth to encourage more fullness. Once the growth has begun you can return to usual watering and fertilizing routines.