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Fuchsias and Double Impatiens

Question:

Good morning. My first Question: is on my trailing double fuchsia. I don’t know the name there was no tag with it. Everyone says you can’t grow them as house plants but I have mine in my sunroom on a pebble tray with bright diffused light and a humidifier nearby. Will I be able to keep It indoors as the temps outside are going to the 90″s. Same thing with my double impatience fiesta series. I had to shake out the loose buds as they were dropping My sun room is unheated and stays around 60 like flies. The bigger buds so far are starting to open up. I assume some yellowing leaves are normal? My sun room is unheated and stays around 60 during the winter. Should I still put my Fuchsia into dormancy and will my double Impatience plant be ok? thank you. I keep the humidity around 65%

Answer:

Most people grow Fuchsias (correct spelling) and Impatiens outside in summer as annuals and discard them in the fall. It is a fair amount of work, but they can be over wintered successfully.

For now and well into the fall, keep your Fuchsia in a sunny window, preferably west-facing. Although they prefer semi-shade outside, indoor light is much less intense, even in a sunroom, so be sure to provide enough light. Resist the temptation to repot it. Keep the soil moderately damp at all times. Humidity is not an issue as long as the soil is kept moist. Fuchsias always benefit from cooler temps during the warmer months and good air circulation from a fan is more important than a humidifier. Remove spent flowers as they die.

In the fall after most of the flowers have faded is the time to put your Fuchsia into semi-dormancy. Provide cool temps, but above freezing at all times. Reduce watering substantially, but not completely – just enough to keep it alive. You will have some leaf drop and that’s okay, but it should retain most of its leaves. Some time in February, you can gradually increase the watering to trigger fresh growth. This is also the time to prune back leggy stems and get the plant into the shape that you prefer for the summer ahead.

Impatiens require less light than Fuchsias and generally prefer protection from much direct sunlight. They also do much better when kept cool in summer. Water as you would the Fuchsia and don’t worry about humidity. Bright indirect sunlight, cool temps, moist soil and good air circulation should keep your Impatiens in flower all summer and well into the fall. Impatiens has no dormant period, but it does tend to languish as the days get shorter during the cooler months. Allow the soil to get a bit drier at this time. Expect few flowers and some leaf loss. You can prune back leggy stems at any time, but late winter is the best time to prune back sharply.

The conventional advice is to repot each spring, but because you are growing yours indoors, I recommend that you keep them in the same pots. As long as you are able to water frequently enough to keep the soil moist during the summer, then larger pots are not necessary. Nutrients are best replenished by using liquid fertilizer regularly during the growing season, but not at all from September through February.