I had been growing fuchsias for many years, but then noticed that one of my favourite varieties Marinka consistently produced more than one pair of flowers at each leaf node. I had previously thought that they all produced only one pair of flowers at each node, as indeed most varieties seem to.
So then I started looking at them all much more closely and found that some of the other varieties in my greenhouse had similar tendencies, so I started to keep notes of all the varieties that I grow which I observed were producing twice or even in some cases three times the expected number of blooms.
It appears that early in the growing season these tendencies often do not occur, and just one pair of flowers per node is produced, but as conditions become more favourable then the plants go into overdrive.
Just for clarification, a node usually has a pair of leaves growing on opposite sides of the stem, very very occasionally there are three leaves equally spaced around the stem. In this description I have assumed the norm as two leaves per node. When these plants are producing extra flowers one can see the first one which is fully formed, then there will be one that is still growing but is nearly ready to open and in extreme cases there will also be the tiny start of a third flower all growing from the very same leaf joint.
So listed below are some of the varieties I have observed in my own greenhouse which will produce more than one pair of flowers per node under the right conditions. Common sense tells me this list is only just a limted one given that there are thousands of different varieties.
I hope you find this interesting and useful.
Anna of Longleat
Empress of Prussia
Isle of Purbeck
Lady Isobel Barnett
Mrs Lovell Swisher
Nice 'n Easy
Wilsons Sugar Pink
Varieties with the RHS Award of Garden Merit are shown in Red
Perhaps you will look at varieties that you are growing a little closer now. I have many books and catalogues on fuchsias but this feature seems to be generally ignored, except that some of these varieties may be vaguely referred to as "floriforous" or something similar.
The Father of the Fuchsia is really CHARLES PLUMIER, not Leonhart Fuchs as a lot of people think. Fuchs never ever saw a fuchsia nor would not have known what they were.
The first fuchsias were discovered by Charles Plumier (b 1646) and the first description and illustration was of a fuchsia triphylla. Plumier honoured the memory of a great botanist by naming them after Leonhart Fuchs (b 1501).
HINTS and TIPS
I grow my fuchsias in Coir Compost, which was recommended to me by a commercial grower, who had done tests on various composts and Coir gave them the best results with good strong root systems. Coir is also easier to water if it gets very dry whereas peat usually allowed the water to run around the outside edges and straight out of the bottom of the pot.
Coir is also a sustainable compost wheras peat is not.
Another useful tip they gave me was to dunk all cuttings, to sterilise them, completely in a solution of Milton which is better known for sterilising babies bottles. Make up the solution at the normal recommended strength for bottle sterilising.
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