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Gardening in the Rainy Zone.
Fuchsia 'Tom West'
Pronounced: FEWK-see-ah (Most people pronounce it FEW-shah.)
Sunset zones: No listing.
USDA zones: 7-10.
Height: 2 feet (60 cm).
Width: 3-4 feet (90-120 cm).
Summer until first frost.
Red sepals and purple corollas.
The beauty of this sub shrub is its red stems that carry variegated cream, green, and red leaves with red veins.
Partial shade—morning sun with afternoon shade.
Fertile, moist, well-drained soil.
Heavy feeders, so fertilize monthly with a complete organic fertilizer, from spring through July.
Softwood cuttings in spring.
Semi-ripe cuttings in late summer.
After buds begin to swell in spring, prune dead twigs back to where there is new growth along the stem. Fuchsias die back to the ground in colder regions of our maritime climate. In milder areas of the Pacific Northwest, hardy fuchsias will normally winter over with little die back, with the exception of harsher then normal winters. When this happens, prune dead stems to ground level. At times when fuchsias do not die back after a few years of mild winter weather, they can grow considerably large. Prune in spring when necessary to reduce size.
Rainy Side Notes
We can thank hybridizer Meillez, who found ‘Tom West' as a sport on Fuchsia ‘Corallina' in the mid 19th century. This upright, but lax fuchsia adds vibrant color to the sunny garden. ‘Tom West' can take full sun; however, I grow it in partial shade created by a large rhododendron. Although pretty in themselves, the flowers tend to get lost in the vibrant leaves. The foliage is the main reason I grow this fuchsia that looks amazing trailing over a wall, container or in a hanging basket. Even growing on flat ground, the plant is a jewel in the garden. Face it, this is a remarkable fuchsia!
Photographed in author's garden.
Perennials indexed by botanical names. Click on corresponding letter below.