Now that your cuttings have rooted they are ready for potting up, but the first thing to do is to acclimatise them slowly from the propagator environment to that of the outside word. To do this, introduce air a bit at a time over 2 or 3 days and then remove whatever cover you have been using completely.Again a general purpose peat based compost can be used for potting up and a formula used by most fuchsia growers is 6 parts compost - 1 part perlite or vermiculite - 1 part fine grit. For the last couple of years I have started to sieve the compost to get rid of any lumps, twigs, etc. which seems to be more common in bags of compost these days. More info on this on the Composts & Feeding page.
On the left you can see a a batch of 5 cuttings which have been rooted in a 2” pot. Either keep them together and pot them up into a 3” pot and grow them on as one plant or pot them individually into 2” pots. The choice is yours. Once potted up careful watering is needed at this stage, do not saturate them. A plastic washing up bottle is ideal as you will have more control.On the right we have a batch of cuttings just potted up into 2” pots.
Once the cuttings have established themselves into their new homes it won’t be long until we reach the next stage, depending of course on the cultivar and the vigour of growth. Not all cultivars grow at the same rate, some grow like weeds while others seem slow.Here we have the same cuttings a few weeks on and ready for potting up again with the roots reaching the side of the pot. I always give them a little watering before potting up to to keep the compost in place whilst handling and to help the cutting settle into it’s new home.An easy way of potting up is shown here. I have gone from a 2” pot to a 3.5” to make it clearer, they should go into a 3”. A little compost in the bottom, place an empty 2” pot in, hold it and fill in around the outside. Remove the 2” pot, carefully tap your cutting out of it’s pot and drop into it’s new home. It will never know it has been moved. A couple of taps on the bench, gently squeeze the whole lot down making sure there is room for water. The compost has to be moist to be able to do this. Once potted up careful watering again has to be adhered to. If your cuttings are destined for baskets, tubs, etc. you could use the much cheaper 3” square plastic pots.The same process can be applied when potting up 3” to 4”, 5” to 6” and so on.
The cuttings have now become young plants in 3” pots. Once the roots have reached the sides of the pot they are the right size for making up baskets, hanging pots, tubs, etc. They will also be ready for their their first stop or pinch (same thing). It could well have been done whilst they were still in their 2” pots, depending on the cultivar and vigour. This subject is dealt with on the next page. A couple of weeks after being potted up into 3” pots I start feeding.I have a 28 gallon water butt in the greenhouse which contains a quarter strength feed. This is given at at every watering. I feel a little often is better than a lot all at once. A high nitrogen feed such as Chempack No 2 is given from the end of September through to late Spring when I switch to a balanced feed through the summer but avoiding the high potash feeds such as Tomorite (see Novice Page).