Skill rating



South and Central America.

Type of plant ?

Deciduous perennial shrub.

Hardiness zone ?

RHS zone

Frost hardy

EGF zone


USDA zone


Eventual size

To 75cm height and 45cm spread.

Growth rate ?

Moderate, will reach full size in 2 to 5 years.

Shape it grows into

Vigorous, upright shrub.

Season/s of interest

Foliage from spring and flowers throughout summer and autumn.

Where to grow it

Happy in full sun or part shade.
Prefers well drained to moist soil.

Prefers a sheltered (not north facing) location and fertile (nutrient-rich) soil of any type and pH. Temperatures above 32°C should be avoided.

Fuchsia 'Checkerboard'


A free-flowering shrub with upright growth covered with dark green, deciduous foliage (if temperatures stay above 4°C then the foliage may remain over winter (ie it will be evergreen)).The pendulous flowers have deep red/pink tubes ending in slightly reflexed white sepals around deep red/pink petals from which light pink/white style and filaments extend.

What to use it for

The dangling, long lasting flowers are a great addition to beds and borders. This fuchsia can also be used in containers. Bees, bumblebees and moth caterpillars are attracted by fuchsias, making them an attractive choice for a wildlife garden.

How to look after it

This plant isn’t fully hardy so, depending on the harshness of your winters, you may need to bring it indoors or give it winter protection. If you bring it indoors, keep the soil just moist over the winter.

Alternatively, to save space, take cuttings from the plant (see ‘how to propagate it’, below). Grow the cuttings for planting out the following year, treating the parent plant as an annual, so you can enjoy its flowers as late in the year as possible, allowing it to die over winter.

When watering your fuchsia it’s best to do so in the morning as afternoon or evening watering can cause the plant to draw up too much water, which can then seep out through leaves and buds, potentially marking the unopened flowers.

How to prune it

Prune back in early spring, once the new growth has started. If it’s a young plant then pinch out the stem tips to encourage bushy growth. Once established, prune back lateral growth to healthy buds to keep it compact. If the top growth is lost, due to a harsh winter, hard prune it in spring to remove the all the damaged growth. Straggly plants can also be cut back hard to renovate them. If you wish, you can also prune it back lightly (shortening stems by one-third) in autumn to prevent them being damaged by harsh winter winds.

This fuchsia can be trained as a standard or a fan. Trim it in autumn to remove flowered shoots, but leave the bulk of the pruning and training to the spring.

Regular deadheading (rather than waiting for the flowers to drop naturally) over the flowering period will prolong it for as long as possible.

How to propagate it

Stem cuttings are by far the easiest way of propagating fuchsias. Softwood cuttings, taken at any time, should root within 10-20 days. Semi-ripe cuttings are also reliable. Take these from midsummer to early autumn and pinch off the soft, new growth at the top of the cutting back to a healthy nodal area.

Fuchsias can also be propagated from seed although cultivars are unlikely to come true to type from seed. Collect seeds from the berries in late winter, clean and store them for sowing in spring. Keep the sown seeds at 20°C and they should germinate in 3 weeks. It may grow slowly at first, but if kept warm the new plant should flower that year.

Fuchsias can also be hybridised with relative ease, so you can create your very own cultivar.

Common problems

Aphids, thrips, fuchsia gall mites and capsid bugs can infest fuchsias. Fuchsia rust, chlorosis of the leaves and wilts can also be a problem.

Prolonged low temperatures may cause a loss of the top growth.

Other useful information

The genus Fuchsia is named after German botanist Leonhart Fuchs (1501–1566).

This Fuchsia has been given the Award of Garden Merit by the RHS.