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Zauschneria - Care Guide

Caring for Zauschneria

California Fuchsia

Zauschneria are herbaceous perennials originating from California and Mexico. They become woody at the base and are usually referred to as subshrubs. However, in our climate, although they are generally frost hardy, they are also short lived and quickly become scruffy and in need of rejuvenation. Many gardeners tend therefore to treat them as annuals or biennials and root basal cuttings with bottom heat in spring to start the plants off again to best effect. Equally, softwood cuttings in summer can be overwintered in the greenhouse.

The attraction of these plants is the huge profusion of funnel shaped flowers in late summer and early autumn. We offer Zauschneria californica ‘Dublin’ which is deciduous and has bright orange-red flowers and grows around 10-12in tall with a similar spread. Flowering is best after a hot dry summer and can be disappointing after a wet one. The leaves are hairy, lance shaped, and grey-green in colour.

Zauschneria look good at the edge of a border and combine happily beside other fuchsias or dahlias which flower on into the autumn. They need hot, dry, well drained conditions and are happy growing in a rockery or from crevices in a dry stone wall. Coastal locations suit this plant but protection from cold east winds is essential.

Many of our customers, in Cornwall especially, lost this plant in ‘The Beast from the East’ in early March 2018. Since propagation is straightforward, either from seed or cuttings, replacements have been readily to hand.

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