Fuchsia plants are famous as vibrant additions to an outdoor garden, but they also make outstanding houseplants.
They bring that rich color indoors – even when your space doesn’t have the bright light that many blossoming plants require.
Whether you’re bringing a beloved potted plant indoors for the winter or you want a year-round addition to your interior, this guide will help you make it happen.
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Growing fuchsias as houseplants is easier than you might imagine, so let’s jump right in.
The first step is to pick the right spot for your fuchsia houseplant.
They’ll do best with bright but indirect sunlight. If you have a window with sheer curtains, right in front of it is the perfect spot.
As long as you keep them moist, these plants can tolerate some direct morning sun. Just keep them away from direct afternoon sun because too much heat can burn the foliage.
If you don’t have that much sun, don’t worry. You can still keep your plant happy and blossoming in a shadier spot, though it might become leggy and produce fewer flowers than it would otherwise.
Your fuchsia can’t tolerate a completely dark corner in a basement, however. It needs at least some light to bloom.
These plants prefer temperatures right around 60-70°F, which is near the air temperature in many homes.
They can tolerate temperatures about 10 degrees cooler or warmer, though blossoming might be impacted.
Perhaps the biggest challenge with growing fuchsia indoors is that these plants need a lot of water.
You’ve probably noticed that the air in your home is drier than it is outside, thanks to air conditioning and heating.
That means you’ll need to be diligent about keeping the soil moist, especially if you live in a cool climate where you have the heater blasting away during the winter months.
The soil should never be allowed to dry out, and that can mean you’ll be watering as often as once a day sometimes.
If you touch the soil and it feels dry, your plant needs water (well, except during the winter, but we’ll cover that in a minute).
I find the easiest solution is to use a self-watering container. This one allows you to water the base and the soil can gradually suck up the moisture as it needs it.
You can also buy a moisture meter and stick it in the soil. It will tell you exactly when it’s time to get the watering can out.
Arbico Organics sells the Active Air 3-Way Meter, which tells you how much moisture is in the soil, how much light the plant is getting, and what the soil pH is, which is super handy.
Looks like my fuchsia is ready for a drink, according to the meter I use!
Another challenge is keeping the humidity high enough.
To help increase humidity, you can place your fuchsia in a grouping of houseplants, or use a humidity tray.
Fuchsias need rich, loamy soil that is well-draining.
I love Miracle-Gro’s Moisture Control Potting Mix because it contains sphagnum moss, coconut coir, and perlite, all of which help retain moisture without letting the soil become waterlogged.
Care and Maintenance
You’ll need to repot your plant once a year during the spring or fall. The purpose of repotting isn’t just to accommodate your growing houseplant, but to replenish the soil as well.
As we know, fuchsias need rich, loamy soil. As potting soil ages, it loses nutrients as the plant uses them up, and tends to compact as the organic matter breaks down.
When you repot, gently knock away as much soil from the roots as possible and replant with fresh potting soil.
If your plant grows larger than you’d like, divide it and plant the two fuchsias in separate pots.
If you want to take your plant outdoors during the warmer weather, feel free. Just be sure to gradually introduce the plant to the outdoors so you don’t shock it.
That means putting it outside in a shady spot for an hour before taking it back inside, and add an hour each day for a week until it is acclimated to the outside conditions.
If you aren’t sure how to grow your fuchsia outside, how to divide it, or how to repot, our growing guide has all the info you need.
Fuchsias are heavy feeders, and no matter how good your potting soil was to start out, they’ll quickly suck up all the nutrients.
To keep them fed well, apply a balanced water-based fertilizer once a week.
Miracle-Gro Indoor Plant Food is meant to be applied weekly, which I find convenient.
If that sounds right for you, pick some up at Amazon.
You can use a formulation made for monthly applications, but just be sure to dilute it accordingly.
For instance, if you purchase a fertilizer that calls for one ounce applied once a month, apply a fourth of an ounce each week instead.
Deadhead the flowers throughout the blooming season (usually around June to October) to encourage more blooms to form. If your plant receives enough light indoors, it may stay in bloom for the majority of the year.
Prune in the spring to reduce the overall size and remove any weak or leggy branches.
By the way, rather than tossing them out, you can use those cuttings to make new plants! Fuchsias are easy to propagate by cuttings and they root extremely well.
Pinch the ends of the branches any time from spring to fall to create a bushier shape. At each leaf node where you’ve pinched a branch, two new branches will form.
And P.S. you can train fuchsias into some of the prettiest bonsais you’ve ever seen.
Even though they’re living indoors, houseplants are “aware” of the seasons. When winter comes around, most plants, including fuchsia, go dormant.
When that happens, it’s time to cut back on watering. Let the top inch of soil just barely dry out before watering again. You should also pinch off any remaining blooms.
Most homes are much drier in the winter season because we have our heat running and there is less natural humidity in the air during the cold months in most areas.
Increase the humidity by misting the plant once a day or putting it on a humidity tray. You can also group plants together.
Finally, don’t fertilize, prune heavily, or repot your plant during the winter.
If you are planning to bring a plant in from the outdoors during the winter, introduce it slowly by bringing it in for a few hours for a day and gradually extending that time daily over the course of a week.
It’s not the end of the world if you can’t do this gradually (such as if a surprise freeze is on the horizon), but you might lose a few leaves in the process.
You can learn more about how to prepare fuchsia for winter in our guide.
Cultivars to Select
There are dozens of fuchsia species, most of which can’t tolerate any amount of cold.
Then there’s hardy fuchsia (F. magellanica) which can handle temps down to 23°F with mulch or other protection.
While it doesn’t matter one way or the other if you plan on keeping your plant indoors full time, if you want to move it outside for part of the year or if you think you might want to put it in the ground eventually, you might want to pick a hardy variety.
Any fuchsia can survive indoors with the right care but there are a few cultivars that are a bit more suited to indoor living.
Smaller plants can be easier to keep compact indoors, though you can keep any fuchsia small through pruning.
The following cultivars stay under two feet tall:
‘Papoose’ has bright red sepals (the top, outer petals) and dark violet corollas (the lower, usually vertical petals) on a burgundy stem, which adds color even when the flowers are gone.
‘Peewee Rose’ has single or double rosy red flowers. ‘Rose of Denmark’ features pale pink sepals and lilac corollas, and it’s one of my personal favorites.
‘Tom West’ has variegated foliage (not too common with fuchsias) and bright red, petite blossoms.
‘Alice Hoffman’ is one of the smallest hardy fuchsias, so if you want a plant that you can move indoors and out more easily, this is a good option.
And it can handle a freeze, so if you forget to bring it in before the first frost, it won’t die.
It shows off from spring until fall with bright pink sepals and creamy white corollas.
As a bonus, the foliage has a reddish-bronze hue, so it provides some color even when it isn’t blooming.
Some people are looking for a houseplant that trails out of the pot for use in hanging baskets or taller spots in the home.
The following cultivars have a trailing growth habit:
‘Blush of Dawn’ is one of my favorites, with frilly double flowers. The blossoms feature white sepals and lavender gray corollas (another fave combo). ‘Dark Eyes’ has large blossoms in deep blue and red.
‘Harry Gray’ is perfect for a clean, modern space, with double flowers in white or pale pink. ‘Lady in Black’ is a climbing variety, so give it something to wrap around. It has near black corollas with a deep red sepal.
Bring These Beautiful Blossoms Into Your Home
When you get right down to it, growing fuchsias as houseplants isn’t much harder than growing any blooming houseplant.
It’s certainly easier than trying to keep a fussy orchid alive, right? (Unless that’s your thing…)
As a reward for your efforts, you’ll have nearly year-round blooms that are stunningly attractive. Even when they aren’t covered in blossoms, I think the plants are beautiful.
Are you growing fuchsia indoors? Let us know in the comments section below and feel free to share a picture!
If you feel like this guide helped you to be ready to bring the fun of fuchsia indoors, here are a few other guides that that might catch your eye:
- Why Your Fuchsia Is Dropping Buds and How to Fix It
- How and When to Transplant Hardy Fuchsia
- How to Harvest and Save Fuchsia Seeds
Photos by Kristine Lofgren © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Product photos via Arbico Organics, Home Depot, and Miracle-Gro. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock.