Germinating the seeds
Plant your seeds when you receive them for the best germination
Getting started -- If you have germinated Fuchsia seeds successfully before, you may use the same method that worked for you. The tips below have worked for me.
Use small containers or cups that have drainage holes. Use a well draining soil mix, such as 2 parts potting soil and 1 part perlite (use small- or medium-sized perlite, not large chunks). Any alternate mix is equal parts of coco fiber and perlite, with some granular fertilizer mixed in. Don't add lime to the mix, since Fuchsias like slightly-acid soil.
Fill each container, place a seed or 2 on top, and sprinkle a thin layer of soil on top - just enough to barely cover the seeds. Add water until the soil is evenly moist (not fully saturated).
Until the seeds sprout, ensure that the soil surface always stays moist. If you enclose the pots in a plastic container to maintain moisture, leave it open slightly to allow some fresh air in. You may need to drip a few drops of water on the seeds every day keep them moist.
Keep the pots at about 65-77 degrees F (18-25°C). A little cooler at night is ok, but avoid letting them get above 80°F (27°C). I recommend keeping a minimum/maximum thermometer near the pots.
The seeds tend to begin sprouting in 4 to 6 weeks, but may take up to 8 weeks to start, especially at cooler temperatures.
Give your seedlings bright light, but avoid direct sunlight when they are small. A bright LED or fluorescent bulb kept 3 inches (8 cm) away provides the right amount of light (See: "Growing indoors with LED lights").
I recommend growing them indoors for at least 2-3 months. If you have more than one seedling in each container, either snip off the weaker one(s) after 4 weeks or gently transplant them when they are 6-8 weeks old.
Watering - This Fuchsia likes evenly moist soil, but it shouldn't be perpetually soggy either. Never let the pots dry out, but don't let them sit in a tray of water either.
If your tap water is very high in minerals (or "hard"), you might need to use bottled spring water or rain water.
Climate -- It thrives when temperatures are mild during the day and cool at night. The plant might not thrive if temperatures regularly get above 85° F (29°C), and nights are above 65 degrees F (18 C). In warmer conditions, give the plants afternoon shade, and keep the pot shaded. The plant can probably only survive a light frost (26°F/-3°C), but it's best to protect it from freezing temperatures.
Over about 40% humidity is best. If the plants seems to suffer from low humidity indoors, consider using an ultrasonic humidifier, sold at home improvement stores and some thrift shops.
Fertilizing -- The first 2 months, feed weekly with a small amount of dilute (1/8 strength) liquid fertilizer. Hydroponic fertilizer is ideal for seedlings, because it is easily absorbed and contains all essential nutrients. After 2 months, if you wish, you may switch to a granular fertilizer that contains micronutrients. Or continue feeding with some diluted liquid fertilizer each week.
Pruning -- The plant tends to have a wide growth habit, but you can encourage a more upward, tree-like shape by removing some of the lower side branches after the plant is 6 months old.
Pests to watch for - Watch for any bugs that can affect your other plants.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
Have fun growing them!
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