Dwarf Fuchsias!

Aiki_Joker

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Came across a specialist that used to work at a fuchsia nursery recently and she had developed some into bonsai forms. These dwarf cultivars have tiny flowers and leaves! The smallest flower trumpet was a few mm in diameter! Some of the leaves remind me of serissas or Chinese elms. These small specimens are not winter hardy in the UK.
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Aiki_Joker

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Unfortunately the developed trees were not for sale Carol. But they had shrub forms and cuttings. I got two 2L pots. One cultivar considered threatened in the UK by the NCPP. They are even more threatened now I've got them! :0/
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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I have grown fuchsia as bonsai, forms very similar to these. I don't have any now because every time my friends or other bonsai people see them in bloom they offer to buy or trade pottery or whatever to get me to give up the tree. I've started 6 and never had been able to get past 4 years with out some one making an offer to good to pass up. (no, I've never traded one for sex, yet.... ? )

They are easy as outside for summer, under lights for winter. They will tolerate light frost, but best to bring in before frost to avoid chances of loosing a branch. Bright shade to half day sun. They are montane plants, they dislike heat above 30 C or above 85 F. Shade for heat of summer.

Constant moisture, but good draining mix.
Edible fruit if you let it develop.
 

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I have grown fuchsia as bonsai, forms very similar to these. I don't have any now because every time my friends or other bonsai people see them in bloom they offer to buy or trade pottery or whatever to get me to give up the tree. I've started 6 and never had been able to get past 4 years with out some one making an offer to good to pass up. (no, I've never traded one for sex, yet.... ? )

They are easy as outside for summer, under lights for winter. They will tolerate light frost, but best to bring in before frost to avoid chances of loosing a branch. Bright shade to half day sun. They are montane plants, they dislike heat above 30 C or above 85 F. Shade for heat of summer.

Constant moisture, but good draining mix.
Edible fruit if you let it develop.
Great info Leo. Thanks for sharing. They said dont go below 5oC with these. Scotland should be good for them but a few guys have killed all of theirs off over the years at the club over watering in winter.

Can they afford to dry out a bit or would you suggest mildly moist over winter in a shaded area of the house?

Nobody in the Scottish Bonsai Association has had any success with these as far as gathered at the show :(
 

fredman

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They grow them as shrubs mainly and use peat, choir and vermiculite :) not sure of the percentages and not sure if they use a different substrate for developing bonsai
Yeah mine didn't do well for a few years now in a free draining inorganic mix. This past season I removed the top half from the three I have, and placed just compost on. They immediately responded with much better growth. Next year i'll use a much more organic mix. They don't like to much fertilizer to I read somewhere.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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Great info Leo. Thanks for sharing. They said dont go below 5oC with these. Scotland should be good for them but a few guys have killed all of theirs off over the years at the club over watering in winter.

Can they afford to dry out a bit or would you suggest mildly moist over winter in a shaded area of the house?

Nobody in the Scottish Bonsai Association has had any success with these as far as gathered at the show :(
5 C as a minimum should be fine. I did visit Scotland once, and was struck how long your days were in June. Hence, your daylight is very short in winter. I run my Fuchsia under lights, with an 18 hour daylength, all winter long. This long day length helps with compensating for lower light intensities under lights. and helps keeping the plants growing. I would get blooms under lights. Most Fuchsia species occur from Colombia south thru Peru and into Chile, in the Andes mountains, this whole region is close enough to the equator that it is unlikely the Fuchsia are day length sensitive. Meaning, you can give them long day length year round and they will just keep growing year round. They do not have or need a marked dormancy. IF kept warm enough, above 5 C, and bright enough, they will keep growing all year round. It is possible that in Scotland, the winter day length is too short to keep Fuchsia happy, which means wintering in a greenhouse or on a windowsill without supplemental light might be a problem. But I am just guessing.

I have always used a potting media that I would use for azalea or maples or hornbeam. I usually use a media that is near 50% composted bark. I have also used Kanuma, and Akadama with good results. The few times I used a potting media appropriate for Pines, an all mineral mix dominated by pumice, the Fuschia did poorly.

I have also used a potted plant, houseplant media, based on peat moss, this actually worked well too for sizing up small plants to develop trunks. This was for plastic pots, nursery containers, not for fine bonsai pots.

So I believe they need a somewhat ''organic'' mix. I never dry them out entirely. Lightly moist is as dry as they get.
 

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Very good info guys! This is great stuff. So they are not deciduous. They said that they were deciduous lol, I guess this makes sense for Scotland. Classic generic advice :( These guys were from England. Not sure where they were based but England does get more light in winter for sure.

I will have lights for bougies Leo so will eventually use these. Anything that normally grows year round is better growing year round for sure. The guys in Scotland all lost them over winter. I can see why now. Very good info and will pass it on and give them links here.

I notice they need alot of water and the tips wilt like peppers in hot weather or when stressed they also get the same pests. Stems, leaves and pedicels are very similar! Maybe the nursery soil needs opening up a bit or they need repotting for the tip wilt though. I'll watch them this year and not do any major work yet.

Is it best to cut these back for structure in winter or during the growing season? Most tropicals respond well when in full 'growth mode' right? If vigorous, is it possible to remove alot of roots (balanced with top growth)? I notice there are alot of fine roots filling each pot.
 

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This nursery had them in heated greenhouses in England in winter BTW. Day length must mean they are deciduous in UK :)
 

fredman

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When I used to leave them outside in winter they lost their leaves and got really sad looking. Although it goes down to 0°C inside the cold frame, they are still full in leaf so far. The leaves are still bright green and full of lustre. This will be the first winter for them inside. It does go up to 14°C during a sunny day inside. Will see how they go during the rest of winter as its only started really.
You don't have to be shy to remove roots from them come spring. They bounce back very well when conditions are favourable for them.
 

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