A genus comprising about fifty species of small shrubs or trees, most of them having been introduced from South America and Mexico. Fuchsias are among the most popular and ornamental of our garden plants, especially along the coast where they receive the benefit of the cool ocean breeze and attain a height of twenty feet. Whether the garden be large or small, it should have a few representative Fuchsia plants. They are excellent for covering fences or walls, where then-branches with their panicles of rich flowers should be allowed to grow and droop naturally. For forming bush or pyramid-shaped specimens, Fuchsias are admirably adapted; if for pyramid, they should be trained with a single stem, the branches being pinched when they grow out of shape and the main stem being allowed to take the lead, it being pinched only when it fails to branch. When a bush-shape is wanted, pinch the main shoot and allow the branches to grow freely, pinching those only which are inclined to grow ahead of the others and thus threaten to get the plant out of shape. Before growth commences in Spring, the plants should be pruned back to the shape desired, and at least half of the previous year's growth cut off.
Propagate in September by cuttings placed in a cold frame and kept close and shaded for about two weeks when a little more air may be admitted, or they may be struck (in the open air) in a shaded place away from draughts of air, and kept moist. Soil for the cuttings should be composed of half sand and half leaf-mold; as soon as the cuttings are well rooted, they should be potted singly in three-inch pots and replaced in the frame until they form fresh roots. Protect the plant from frost during the first Winter by a covering of light cloth or branches of Cypress or other evergreen. There are numerous varieties of the Fuchsia, some of them of large size, very free-flowering and of all shades of red, purple and white.