California Fuchsia Provide Color and Nectar

The orange-red tubular flowers of the California fuchsia (Epilobium/Zauschneria species) are easy to grow and provide welcome color at this time of the year. Hummingbirds and bees also appreciate this late season bloomer. California fuchsia, unrelated to the shade and water loving non-native fuchsia, can look a bit unkempt without proper care.

O'Brien, Landis and Mackey in "Care and Maintenance of Southern California Native Plant Gardens" suggest the following to keep California fuchsias performing to perfection:

"Never prune your plant hard until after it is established (after one or two summers). Then, cut back hard every winter after the plant has finished blooming and before new growth appears. The plant can be cut back to short stubs about 1 to 2 inches long. If the plant is not cut back hard, new growth will appear at the tips of the existing stems and from the base of the plant giving it a 'messy' appearance." (pg. 121)

Visit the Cultivar Garden at Rancho to see a wide variety of California fuchsias, ranging in size and form from low-growing ground covers to upright subshrubs, and in color from white and pink to the more common brilliant reds and oranges.