17 January 2011

Fuchsia decidua: THIS close to amazing

Last year I wrote a post getting all excited about ordering seeds for Fuchsia decidua from Gardens North.

It germinated easily, and grew happily all summer, with really quite attractive reddish leaves.
As fall came along, I brought it inside, let the soil dry out, and most of the leaves dropped off. Then, just as advertised, the nearly bare stems started pumping out flower buds. Lots of them. Big clusters of tiny buds that grow and grow...
They get to the point where I'm expecting them to open soon... and then they fall off. It is rather devastating. Because the amazing thing is these little plants starting sending out buds back in November (I think) and they are STILL at it! If only they would all bloom instead of falling off, it would be an incredible multi-month long display of flowers!
But... they ARE falling off, I don't know what to do about it. I have a couple theories: Maybe my house is too cold (55 at night, 64 during the day) or maybe the humidity is too low (we run about ~40% humidity most of the time) or maybe I'm not watering them enough. At first I wasn't watering them at all, figuring that when it came to a dry dormant period they wanted it DRY, but now I'm trying to keep them very slightly moist (I don't want them rotting out either...) so we'll see if that helps. If anyone else has ideas, please let me know! I want this to be my favorite winter flowering houseplant... if only I can get it to flower.

6 comments:

Cyndy said...

That is exciting Joseph! You might try doing what I do with camellias to prevent bud drop: I prop the pot above a large flat container of water, providing a little localized humidity. Hope you get some blooms soon!

Tom said...

I have no idea about your plant (but if I had to take a stab in the dark I'd guess it was something with the water...but that's completely uneducated and me assuming that it would stop producing buds if that was too cold yet it keeps on making them anyways) but I'm happy to find another source of plants!

Greensparrow said...

Cyndy, I like your idea. I'll give that a try and see if it helps.

Tracy 'the Tree' said...

Hi Joseph! Awesome Blog! I would like to suggest more sunlight or perhaps a grow lamp? Is there a way to construct a greenhouse-like structure in your home? This may help keep things balanced (moisture, heat, humidity). Can't wait to see them bloom!

Leslie said...

A web search came up with some interesting information. The article at http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/pbs/2006-July/025541.html talks about fog and mountain coolness. Sounds like more humidity is a good idea.

Hope you post pictures when you get those flowers!

Greensparrow said...

Leslie,
Thank you so much for that -- I hadn't seen that information. I'll start working on bringing up the humidity.