Anyone who enjoys growing fuchsias should try growing at least one of these cultivars. With their dark green leaves and flowers in varying shades of orange/red they make striking summer bedding plants either in the ground or in patio pots and will stand full sun unlike the usual cultivars.
Most Triphyllas are strong growers, but they are long jointed, upright growers which makes them fairly hard to grow as a show plant. Another drawback is the fast ripening of the stems which leads to them losing young lower leaves.For those of you who intend using them around the garden then these drawbacks are negligible but to achieve a plant such as the one on the left is going to take three years, if not more. Growers will use methods to overcome these drawbacks such as taking long cuttings so that leaf nodes are buried to encourage shoots from below compost level - Pruning back very hard in Autumn to encourage more growth from the base - Cutting off large portions of the root ball in Spring and dropping the plant down into the pot.You should also bear in mind that Triphyllas will take about 13 weeks to flower from the last stop/pinch but, because they flower in clusters on the tip of the stems, when they do start they go on and on.
This web site is aimed at the newcomer or novice ,so growing Triphyllas can be made a lot easier by following the same rules as described on the Fuchsias in Containers page.Again I will put 3 young plants into a 6” or 7” pot at the end of April/beginning of March and immediately pinch out any growing tips. They are then treated as one plant and will receive one more stop all over as soon as it is big enough and that will be it.The one on the right is a fine example of what can be achieved in one season. From young plants in March to full flowering in the middle of August. This one is Koralle.I have to add that I lost two branches from the middle whilst transporting it to a show but it still won me a 3rd prize card.It’s pretty obvious that using this method will get you to the stage of a single plant in well under half the time and will result in a much bigger specimen the following year.
Whilst Triphyllas will stand hot sun (should we ever get any in the U.K.) at the other end of the scale they are very frost tender and should be the ones to get ready for winter first, just in case a surprise frost hits. They also need extra care during the winter months. Any I have will be in the warmest part of the greenhouse and well away from the glass. Unlike the usual fuchsias in pots, these can be cut hard back to within 2 or 3 inches of the compost. As stated before you want new growth to come from the base.
On the left is the same Koralle which was cut back at the end of September and this is the stage it is now at on the 1st November with lots of new growth coming. This will be kept in a heated greenhouse as described on the Over Wintering Fuchsias page.If your plants are being kept dormant and just frost free than you can expect growth like this to start in Spring.Because of the mass of roots that Triphyllas produce, I will always pot them up in Spring, teasing the roots away from the root ball slightly to encourage them into the new compost. For instance, this one is in a 6” pot and will go into an 8” pot ready for next year’s show.
This is were things can get confusing. I feel the only true Triphylla is the one pictured on the left, F.Triphylla (the Species)Not seen very often now but was used extensively to produce what are called Triphylla Type Hybrids. It was crossed withSpecies such as F. Splendens, F. Corymbiflora, F. Fulgens and others and all these Hybrids have the distinct long tubeof Triphyllas we know today i.e. Thalia - Koralle - Leverhulme - Mary - Adinda - Insulinde are just a few.
The one thing these Hybrids all have in common is that they have F Triphylla (the Species) in their parentage and the habit of flowering from the tips ofbranches in bunches called Racemes. Some hybridizing has led to some varieties, whilst retaining the long tube shape, flowering down the stem like ordinaryfuchsias. These are known as Triphylla Variants. A full list of showbench Triphyllas can be downloaded from the British Fuchsia Society’s website.January 2017In September 2016 I volunteered to stage a display of Triphyllas at the North West Fuchsia Societies Workshop at Bilsborrow. I have always grown 2 or 3 so the hunt was on to collect some more. I managed to gather about 24 plants from various nurseries and was quite pleased with the result which youcan see below. I really enjoyed growing these so much that I have decided to increase my collection and am eagerly awaiting new varieties