California Fuchsia “Silver Select”

It was by pure accident that I discovered California fuchsias.  The Old Man and I were in the process of transforming our dull, and rather dead (thank you drought), yard into a more water-wise and heat tolerant landscape.  An internet search for drought tolerant plants to use led us to the discovery of a nursery, not too terribly far away in the neighboring foothills, that specializes in California native plants, which by their nature are rather used to not getting much rain.

20170919_182823We purchased this plant along with a couple of other varieties of California fuchsia (Zauschneria californica).  They were described as being hummingbird magnets, and nothing could be more true.  We now have a couple of nesting pairs of hummingbirds that swoop in and out of our yard feasting on the flowers.  The buzz of their wings is unmistakable and frequently startles us as we putter around in the yard.

(All links open a new page, so you won’t lose your spot when you look around!  Get information on gardening and cultural traditions, recipes, stories, and more!)

A handy growing summary chart is at the end of the article.

20180816_175248

Look closely, there are two giant black bumblebees in this picture.  A small sampling of the dozen or so buzzing about at the time!

Our California fuchsia has valiantly slugged through our summer heat, which can reach 110+ without much effort, and ranks low on the water use meter.  It does not appear to be very cold hardy, however.  I see various zones listed, but not really much below zone 7, so it will likely require some help if you get cold winters.

20170919_182837The biggest thing to watch out for is that the branches are rather brittle and will break easily.  It will not do well to be near an area with a lot of traffic right next to it, as a result.  The branches can also get a little floppy as the plant grows outward, but let them be because they will fill in with new growth.  It’s current size in our yard is about 2-3 feet tall by 4-5 feet wide.

20170930_164542The grey-green foliage of “Silver Select” makes it stand out amongst other typical green plants, and the brilliant orange-red tubular flowers are a show stopper.  They are profuse and bloom in the late summer to late fall for a boost in color when most other plants are slowing down.  Forget buying a hummingbird feeder, plant this and you will automatically have one!

Plant Summary:

  • Perrenial
  • Evergreen, but may die back in cold weather
  • Flower Color: orange-red
  • Height: up to 2-3 feet
  • Width: up to 4-5 feet
  • Sun: full sun
  • Water: drought tolerant
  • Soil pH: 6.5 – 7.5
  • Soil type: tolerates various soils
  • Key nutrients: balanced
  • Planting time: early spring

 

One thought on “California Fuchsia “Silver Select”

  1. Pingback: Plants I Grow (Really!) | Mostly Greek

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s