THYME LEAFED FUCHSIA
Pronounced: FEWK-see-ah (Most people pronounce it FEW-shah.)
Mexico to North Guatemala.
Sunset zones: 14-17, 20-24, possible hardiness in warmer PNW zones with protection.
USDA zones: 7-9.
Height: 2 feet (60 cm).
Width: 2 feet (60 cm).
Spring until first frost.
Nodding, ½-inch long, pink flowers with purple stamens.
Up to 2 inches long, glossy, dark green leaves.
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.
When buds begin to swell in spring, cut back dead stems as necessary.
Rainy Side Notes
Fuchsia thymifolia is in the Encliandra group of fuchsias that grow in the cool, evergreen, cloud forests from Mexico to North Guatemala at altitudes between 4,500 to 10,000 feet.
A miniature fuchsia, this little cutie has pink and red mini-flowers and glossy dark green mini-leaves, unlike the blousy blossoms of most hybrids in cultivation. It prefers partial shade, but it will grow in more shade. Give it plenty of moisture during our summer drought. It continually blooms from early spring until first frost.
F. thymifolia is resistant to fuchsia mite. The hardiness of this plant is not quite clear. In my garden, it has survived our winters, but we have yet to get below 20ºF. I have seen it listed for USDA zones of 7-9, but most references say it is not hardy to below 20ºF. If you want to try this in your Pacific Northwest garden, take insurance cuttings to winter over in case it doesn't survive. Try it in a sheltered area of the garden or keep it in a container and winter over in a frost-free environment as you would other fuchsias.
Update: I lost this plant in the garden in 2009.
Photographed in author's garden.
Perennials indexed by botanical names. Click on corresponding letter below.