Transplanting a Very Old Hardy Fuchsia

Asked September 30, 2018, 11:41 PM EDT

I have a beautiful hardy fuchsia that is anywhere from 35 to 50 years old (I have lived here 24 years and bought the house from the original owners who bought it in 1964. It is on the side of my house in a place where no one can see it. I never fertilize it or water it, and up until now it has been doing fine. However, our recent dry summers have taken a toll, and I'd like to move it where it will do better and most importantly, I've always wanted to move it to somewhere I can see it. Do you have any tips on the best time to do this and how to proceed? About 15 years ago I tried to move part of it with a good piece of root but it died. Also, how do you grow hardy fuchsias from a start? I know in most rooting instructions it will say to dip the cut end into a rooting compound, but then I don't remember any of them saying what to do with it afterward. Do you stick it into water to root, or stick it into a planting medium? Please be specific regarding the details of both questions, if possible. I should tell you that I used to be a landscaper and am not a novice gardener, but fuchsia propagation seems to elude me.

Multnomah County Oregon trees and shrubs plant propagation

1 Response

Moving old established shrubs of any type requires strength, planning, and some risk. Generally do it in the fall once the plant is dormant and take as much rootball as possible. I don't have instructions to share for a hardy Fuchsia. Root-pruning a year ahead of time may help. That's cutting into the soil along the drip-line of the branches with a sharp shovel, to encourage a strong rootball forming closer to the trunk. Hardy Fuchsias are popular now, and you'll find the old ones and new cultivars at area nurseries should you decide to start over.
Propagating Fuchsias is pretty easy, with rooting hormone and rooting-mix in pots. I'll include links to publications about it that tell more about the timing, materials to use, and more.
Garden Mastery Tips- Fuchsia- from WSU Clark County Master Gardeners: https://s3.wp.wsu.edu/uploads/sites/2079/2014/02/Fuchsia.pdf
Propagating Shrubs, Vines, and Trees from Stem Cuttings, PNW152: https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/pnw152
Transplanting or Moving Trees and Shrubs in the Landscape from PennState Extension: https://extension.psu.edu/transplanting-or-moving-trees-and-shrubs-in-the-landscape