Fuchsias: The Complete Guide

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9780881923285: Fuchsias: The Complete Guide

This comprehensive book encompasses every aspect of fuchsia growing, from the basics to hybridizing. It provides descriptions of species and cultivars, including the new scented fuchsias, advice on the best selections for beds and baskets, and information on cultivation, pruning, and propagation.

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About the Author:

Edwin Goulding is a nurseryman and fuchsia hybridist. He has been, at various times, show manager and editor for the British Fuchsia Society and president of the East Anglian Fuchsia Fellowship. He has written extensively for magazines and society publications, and lives in East Anglia, England.

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Fuchsias, like other plants, rarely grow into perfectly shaped bushes on their own. There are various ways of improving on natural shapes. The first of these is to remove developing growth. Nipping, stopping and pinching are all terms used for the process of removing the growing points from fuchsias as they develop. There are several reasons why this might be worthwhile, most notably, in commercial terms, so that extra material is available for cuttings. From the point of view of the amateur gardener or competitor, other reasons are more likely, as we will see in a moment.

Removal of the growing point is most obviously advantageous for cuttings. Each growing point starts as a single shoot with leaves and immature side-growth buds. If the central growing point ('lead shoot') is removed immediately above a pair of leaves, two new branches are encouraged to grow. Increasing the number of side shoots ('laterals') makes for denser, bushier and generally more attractive plants. Fuchsias grown out-of-doors will normally produce side shoots more freely than will those grown under glass. This is because air moves the branches. Japanese experiments have shown that the same results can be achieved by gently moving the branches of cuttings (with a fine brush) by hand, two or three times a day.

Nipping is the method most commonly employed by competitors to encourage the production of laterals. Commercially, chemicals are often used to encourage the production of laterals' growth. The increased number of branches brings a bonus in the quantity of flowers than can be carried. This is an obvious advantage when a large flush of bloom is required on a particular date, for an exhibition or competitive show. Pot-grown plants are likely to be more stable when fully flowered if their growth is shorter and bushier. Nipping ensures that this happens.

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Edwin Goulding
Published by Timber Press, Incorporated (1995)
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