Fuschia

Q. Is it possible to grow a beautiful, large fuchsia indoors in winter?

A. When bringing a fuchsia indoors during cold weather, best results come from letting it rest and slide into dormancy. Bring it inside before the fall frost and place in a cool (45 degrees at night, 55 degrees during days), bright room. During active growth a fuchsia needs moist soil, but as it prepares for dormancy, withhold water in October and November, watering slightly only when the soil is quite dry. Check during winter for problems. Leaf drop and failure to flower are normal at this time. In March, gradually resume watering and fertilizing at half strength. Prune the plant severely at this time. Fuchsia blooms on new wood, and this hard pruning will reinvigorate the plant to produce new flowers. Place the plant in a bright, warm, 65-degree room until it can be moved permanently outdoors. Protect from afternoon sun, drying winds and intense heat.