• Which potting soil should I use for my fuchsia? visuel 1

The main elements in the composition of fuchsia compost

Always remember the natural environment: in its country of origin (Latin America), the natural habitat of the fuchsia is in a temperate environment at high altitude, in undergrowth or on the edge of a forest, in a rather acidic, humus-rich and well-drained soil. The range of varieties on offer allows for multiple uses, from decorating the garden, windows, balconies and terraces to vase decoration, which is very beautiful but still little known.

Composition of the compost

Here are the main components of fuchsia compost:

- Potting soil: comes from the decomposition of the materials used to make up the thermogenic layers; it constitutes a very rich medium, pH 6 to 7.

- Leaf compost: decomposition of tree leaves, especially oak (the most commonly used) pH: oak: 4.5; hornbeam: 5.5; beech: 6.5.

- Heather soil: decomposition of ferns, heathers, mosses, lichens and various grasses, from a soil that is usually siliceous. Depending on its origin, it is more or less rich in sand and humus. The pH of the soil is between 3 and 5 at the time of harvesting, and tends to increase afterwards.

- Potting soil made from compost and household waste: to be used after one year of composting and add a moderate amount of lime.

- Loam or grass soil: comes from the decomposition of grass patches that have been placed in a pile and then cut up; depending on the soil, the pH is around 6.

- Peat: results from the decomposition of sphagnum moss. They have many uses, notably to lighten heavy mixtures and to give body to light mixtures.

- Sands: non-calcareous sands are used in the composition of composts, in a proportion of 1/5; added to peat, they are used for cuttings.

- Ready-made potting soils are available commercially. A good potting soil or geranium soil mixed with 1/3 of good rich garden soil will often produce beautiful fuchsias.

Fuchsias should preferably be planted in an eastern or semi-shaded position and in a place sheltered from the wind, as they do not tolerate heat waves.

The fuchsia has few rootlets. Its roots are shallow. It needs freshness and oxygen at the root level, but too much watering can drown it.
In midsummer, watering should be done in the morning before 10 am at the base of the plant, and should be accompanied by spraying the foliage.

Caution: Fading leaves are not always due to a lack of water, the plant may have suffered from excessive heat, always check the soil in the pot before watering. To avoid burns, it is necessary to moisten the root ball before applying liquid fertiliser.

Small doses of fertiliser every week are also preferable to a large monthly dose.
We would say that with fuchsia the rule is: not too much, not too little!