Durban - For Tony and Carlene Clark, a visit to a local fuchsia show over 20 years ago was all it took to sow the seeds for a long-term blooming business plan to grow and sell fuchsias.
“We were hooked and fuchsias became our passion,” says Tony, who with wife Carlene owns Hilton-based Tanglewood Nursery, now the largest supplier in KZN of top quality fuchsias.
“Fuchsia fans know how much fun it is to pot up a small plant and watch it grow in just a few weeks, into a stunning plant with flowers that resemble tiny ballerinas dancing down the sides of a hanging basket, or standard, or bush.”
One of the most widely cultivated plants in the world, fuchsias come in a kaleidoscope of colours and different forms to suit almost any outdoor situation.
“The flower colours range from deepest purple to delicate shades of blue, from flaming red to the palest of pinks.
“There are now over 7 000 fuchsia varieties, each a jewel in its own right,” Tony enthuses.
The fuchsia species, which originates from South America and New Zealand, has been hybridised into today’s beautiful cultivars.
“The only colour that is not in the fuchsia genes is yellow. I am sure that before long fuchsia fundis will manage to manipulate the genes to produce a yellow beauty for us all to enjoy.”
Fuchsias are prolific flowering plants which can be grown in the garden, in pots, hanging baskets or even as “lollipop” standards.
The big blowsy spring fuchsia basket in the right position with the correct care can produce an eye-catching spectacle throughout the season.
Tanglewood Nursery has been a part of the Tribune Garden and Leisure Show landscape for more than 19 years.
The nursery stocks up to 100 fuchsia hybrids and species with new varieties added each season.
All varieties are tried and tested for local conditions before being released for sale to the public.
Fuchsia enthusiasts flock to the stand to get advice, share their growing experiences and check out the latest blooms.
“Our season would never be the same without meeting up with our loyal Garden Show customers,” says Tony.
“We also look forward to connecting with new fuchsia devotees this year.”
Tanglewood fuschia growing guide
Cool environmental semi-shade with plenty of light. Prefer morning sun until midday and then dappled shade in the afternoon. Southeast or south facing. Baskets are best hung under lightly shaded tree. Not recommended for indoors.
Add ample compost and 1 tablespoon superphosphate when planting out.
Water frequently, spray foliage in hot day weather
Feed weekly with liquid fertiliser and monthly with 5:1:5 granular fertiliser
Spray frequently, trim in January and prune in May. Remove spent flowers, seed pods and yellowing leaves.
Fuchsia plants always flower on new growth. Pinching will force your fuchsia plant to grow new branches. Pinch or cut the end ¼ to ½ of each branch off. Within about six weeks of this pinching, fuchsias normally begin to flower.