GROWING STANDARDS and PILLARS /
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Pages updated September, 2018.
Once established, standards are easy to maintain. The standard of Pixie below is old and gnarled. It was moved after growing in my Mother's garden for 12 years. It was cut back severely when moved and it looked dead for 4 months. I was just deciding whether to discard it when one morning my neighbour came and excitedly exclaimed that it had several shoots.
By the end of November it was as lush as ever, and had survived several days of 40 degree heat with little damage. In between the only thing necessary was an occasional trim due to weather conditions, or the fact that the "head" was just too heavy. Even dead-heading seemed unnecessary. Nothing seems to stop Pixie flowering. This medium single flowering fuchsia is one of my favourites - a must for any garden.. You too can have standards if you follow a few easy steps.
There is a lot of work in the first 18 months, this is my method:
· Let it grow the height you want to the base of the head (between 2 and 6ft) then let it grow three more sets of leaves.
· Follow the planting instructions above.
· Check the ties regularly and replace any that have grown too tight – in the first year the trunk may grow to about 1” thick.
· Fertilise regularly with a high nitrogen fertiliser, remove any flowers while training as they will slow the development.
Two 6ft high pillars in the sun,
except for late afternoon.
A 7' high standard of Ambassador.
2 Standards still at the whip
stage, behind them one section of a Gartenmeister Bonstedt hedge that is all along the verandah.
3 partly trained standards. Unfortunately I couldn't resist letting them flower. I always put in the stake I am going to finish with at the beginning, so I don't have the hassle of replacing stakes. When I have tried the replacement method in the past I have snapped off all or part of the plant. A friend says that the fuchsias get an inferiority complex when as a 3" plant they are given a 6' stake but as you see they still try to get to the top.
What you shouldn't do: Checkerboard standard put on a spurt of growth due to hot wet weather. I couldn't bear to cut off the dozens of buds, I now have trimmed it back so it will be more compact in a few weeks.
Small standard of Papoose
with tiny flowers. I really like these small
o Growing Fuchsias in the ground PDF print-friendly version