Fuchsia Companion Plants

Fuchsia is a genus of plants that includes varieties of varying hardiness levels. The more recognizable tender perennial types are often used for hanging baskets and seasonal color, while the fully hardy shrub types can be used as structural elements in a garden plan. All fuchsia appreciates part sun or full shade, especially during the hottest time of the day. Well-draining but consistently moist soil is also very important for vigorous and healthy growth. If you are looking to add a shot of color that lasts from early summer to late autumn in most growing zones, consider planting fuchsias in your garden. 


Photo by K M, unmodified, Flickr, copyright CC BY 2.0 DEED

Shrubs To Plant With Fuchsia

The hardy fuchsias can be planted as part of an informal flowering hedge that combines other deciduous and evergreen shrubs. For vibrant foliage color, select from nandina, choisya, fatsia, and weigela, which can be used to highlight the smaller flowers of hardy fuchsia shrubs. Low-growing hardy fuchsia and tender perennial fuchsia both can be used for a weed-suppressing ground cover near and around other established shrubs. 

To keep the fuchsia blooming all season, apply a slow-release fertilizer at planting time. A balanced formulation with an NPK ratio of 5-5-5 encourages good foliage color as well as heavy blooming. 

Perennials To Plant With Fuchsia

Hardy fuchsia shrubs can be underplanted with herbaceous perennials to create a colorful, layered garden bed. Because fuchsia tolerates shade and some sun, many perennials grow well with it. For shady locations, plant fuchsia with hostas, bleeding hearts, hellebore, columbine, and all types of ferns. For sunny areas, fuchsia combines well with cranesbill, lady’s mantle, coral bells, liriope, and other small ornamental grasses. All of these plants appreciate regular irrigation and would benefit from a drip system or a soaker hose for supplemental watering. 

Annuals To Plant With Fuchsia

Fuchsias are traditionally planted with annuals in containers, but they also make a nice bedding plant for temporary garden designs. A temporary design is great for gardeners who like to change the color scheme of an outdoor space or are likely to move due to renting or job type. Plant fuchsia with tuberous begonias, ivy-leaved geranium, wishbone flower, alyssum, lobelia, and New Guinea impatiens for an annual display of bold color. These plants all tolerate full shade to part sun. A garden composed of annuals is easily dismantled without a lot of extra effort or digging. 

Best Companion Plants For Fuchsia in Containers

Use fuchsia in a container design as either the thriller, filler, or spiller element. Classic annual companions for fuchsia include dichondra, petunias, geraniums and tuberous begonias. Plant them together in a hanging basket for any spot needing some color. Make sure the container has plenty of drainage holes at the bottom to ensure that the potting mix can dry between waterings. Fertilize fuchsia containers with a diluted liquid fertilizer for container plants. Apply the product at half the label’s recommended strength once a month to offset the frequent watering and leaching of nutrients from the potting mix. 


Photo by K M, unmodified, Flickr, copyright CC BY 2.0 DEED

Plants Not To Grow With Fuchsia

Fuchsia does not tolerate extended periods of drought. The absolute worst location to plant fuchsia would be alongside drought-tolerant plants such as lavender, rosemary, coneflowers, or echeverias. Xeric plants also tend to grow best on poor, lean soils, which do not support fuchsia growth. Fuchsias require consistent moisture and regular fertilization to support their prolific blooming and fleshy foliage. 

Best Plants To Grow With Fuchsia

Fuchsia looks best planted alongside perennials and annuals that have contrasting or complementary coloring on their leaves or flowers. Variation in foliage shape is also important in garden design and will enhance any planting with fuchsia. For a fresh tropical look, use hardy fuchsia at the center of a garden bed edged in strongly colored tropical foliage plants such as lime green bloodleaf and deep maroon red Joseph’s Coat.


Photo by K M, cropped, Flickr, copyright CC BY 2.0 DEED


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Author Robbin Small - Published 10-11-2023