There are more than 100 different fuchsia varieties, including the common fuchsia hybrida as well as triphylla, magellanica, and encliandra hybrids. More than 3,000 individual cultivars of fuchsia are in existence. Many varieties can be grown as either perennials or annuals and as either trailing or upright.
Fuchsia hybrida, also called ladies' eardrops, is the hybrid form that is best known by gardeners. These plants are descendants of two different wild species of fuchsia. Common fuchsias have large blooms of pink, red, purple, salmon, or white. They are not the hardiest of the fuchsia varieties and might not survive a significant frost.
Triphylla hybrids include the Thalia, Koralle, and Gartenmeister Bonstedt cultivars. These fuchsia varieties are more tolerant of direct sun than some species, but they tend not to live through a hard frost. Thus, triphyllas are considered good choices for hot climates. Blooms on these hybrid fuchsias range from red-orange to pink.
Magellanica fuchsia varieties are extremely cold tolerant. The flowers are most often red or purple. Unusually colored cultivars of this species include Alba and Sharpitor. In areas with mild weather in winter, this type of fuchsia can grow unusually tall.
The encliandra fuchsia varieties feature especially dainty and small flowers but will tolerate extreme cold. One cultivar of this fuchsia is Ariel, with magenta blooms. Neopolitan is another variety that has pink, red, and white blossoms on one plant.
Some fuchsia varieties are particularly well suited for growing in a container or hanging basket. The cultivars called Heidi Ann, Royal Velvet, Tennessee Waltz, and Winston Churchill are said to be good container plants. Species that are often used in hanging baskets include Marinka and Pink Galore. Different fuchsia varieties are typically known by horticulturalists as being either upright or trailing type. Fuchsias can also be grown as a garden shrub.
Fuchsias grown indoors prefer an indirect but bright source of sunlight. Outdoor fuchsia plants will do well in partially shady areas. For outdoor fuchsias in containers or baskets, it is recommended to bring them indoors in autumn before frost to spend the winter in a cool area. Autumn and winter are rest periods during which the indoor fuchsia should be watered infrequently, only enough to keep the soil from total dryness.
Container fuchsias will thrive if provided a soluble fertilizer during the active season. Fertilizing can be done as often as every two weeks. Gardeners should stop giving fertilizer about two weeks previous to transferring the fuchsia indoors for winter.