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Hanging Baskets

This method of training is one of the most attractive ways of growing fuchsias and there are many cultivars well suited to this type of growth. Plant growth should fill the centre and top, continuing to surge over the edge in a sweeping cascade effect. Growth should be uniform with an abundance of bloom

It is better to plant one type of cultivar, not to mix, as growth and flowering are more easily controlled. If cultivars are mixed different cultivars have different growth habits and may flower at different times especially if single and double flowers are used. The three most commonly used basket sizes are 12in, 14in and 16in. Three plants should be sufficient for 12in and five plants for 14 and 16in baskets. The selected plants should be grown on in 3in pots, pinching out at every two or three pairs of leaves to obtain balanced growth, and in early April planted into the baskets. When planting a 14 or i6in basket one plant is placed in the centre and the remainder planted equidistant at a slight angle facing outwards to encourage lateral growth. To obtain slightly higher growth in the centre of the basket do not plant the centre one at this stage but grow it on separately for a week or two before inserting it in the basket. Just place an empty pot of similar size in the middle of the basket until such time you are ready to fill the space

After planting leave a shallow depression in the middle for watering purposes and place the basket in a shady position for a few days. Remember the turning procedure to obtain uniformity of growth. Pinching out the growing tips will encourage further growth to fill out the basket before the plants start to trail over the edges. Keep in mind the last pinch to flowering routine. After the last pinch single flowers will bloom in approximately 8 to 10 weeks and double flowers in 10 to 12 weeks depending on the cultivars and, of course, the more pinches you make the more flowers will be on the plants.

During warm weather keep the baskets well watered, sometimes in exceptionally warm weather this can mean two or three times a day. Feeding is an essential exercise to obtain the best from a basket. There are many cultivars suitable for baskets but varieties with lax growth are usually best  for this purpose

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