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Fuchsias Training And Management

We confess to have a special liking for the Fuchsias, and think no assortment of house plants is complete without one or two varieties of these beautiful flowers. They are easily propagated, either from cuttings or by layers, and the amount of bloom one strong, healthy plant is capable of producing under favorable circumstances, is truly wonderful. Upon one plant of Fuchsia speciosa, started from a cutting of a single eye in March, we counted at one time, in the December following, one hundred and fifty perfect blossoms. The plant stood in an eight-inch pot, and measured four feet in hight. Some kinds do better as house plants than others, among the best are F. speciosa, F. fulgens, and the Rose of Castile, and I would particularly recommend these sorts as superior to all others for the window-garden. The right kind of soil has everything to do with success in growing fine Fuchsias; it should be of a light peaty quality, with one-third cow manure, and thoroughly mixed together until well decayed. They also relish an abundance of water; and if they have, while growing, an application of liquid manure once or twice a week, it will be beneficial; never allow the roots to become potbound, but when the roots begin to form a mat on the outside of the ball of earth, it is time to shift the plant into a pot of the next larger size, and so on as the plant requires it. This is a very important point, and should not be overlooked if strong, healthy plants are expected. Fuchsias are especially desirable for training on trellises. They can be trained over an upright trellis, and have a very pretty effect, but the best form is that of an umbrella. Secure a strong, vigorous plant, and allow one shoot to grow upright until about two feet high, then pinch off the top of the shoot. It will branch out and form a head, each shoot of which, when sufficiently long, may have a fine thread or hair-wire attached to the tip, by which to draw it downward; fasten the other end of the wire or thread to the stem of the plant, and all the shoots will then be pendent. When each of these branches has attained a length of eight inches, pinch off the tip, and the whole will form a dense head, resembling an umbrella in shape, and the graceful flowers pendent from each shoot will be handsome indeed. Remember to keep the stock clear of side-shoots, in order to throw the growth into the head. If properly taken care of, most Fuchsias will bloom the year round, but some kinds can be especially recommended for winter blooming, among them are F. speciosa, flesh-colored, with scarlet corolla; F. serratifolia, orange-scarlet corolla, greenish sepals; Meteor, deep-red corolla, light-pink sepals. The following are the finest in every respect that the market affords: Mrs. Bennett, pink; Sir Cohn Campbell, double blue; Rose of Castile, single violet; Elm City, double scarlet; Carl Holt, crimson; Tower of London, double blue; Wave of Life, foliage yellow, corolla violet; F. speciosa, single, flesh-colored, and F. fulgens, long red corolla.

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