Fuchsias have been blooming shyly since May but now in August they are boisterously beckoning you and the hummingbirds to come and enjoy their bright red-orange nodding bells. Fuchsia nectar is irresistible to hummingbirds, and butterflies. This week’s featured plant is California Fuchsia also known as Hummingbird Trumpet. A wide variety of native fuchsias are available in nurseries carrying native plants. They come is a range of leaf colors, and heights. Flowers range from the standard red-orange to salmon, pink, orange and even white. California Fuchsia is easy to grow, spreads non aggressively from underground runners and benefits from trimming back close to the ground after a hard frost. Fuchsias come back from underground roots in the spring and are very easy to propagate from cuttings or clump divisions.
Maintenance is easy, just mow or trim to the base in fall or early winter to stimulate new growth. Unwanted rhizomes can be pulled at any time. Fuchsia does best in full sun. Watering needs vary, in full sun and fast draining soil they benefit from weekly watering but can survive on every other week watering during the hottest months on the valley floor. California Fuchsia is not fussy about soil or drainage.
California Fuchsias grow wild in our foothills and mountains. This plant is on several fire-resistant plant lists, including FireSafe Marin and County of San Diego. Consider a trip to the foothills or higher to see this plant in its native setting. Balch Park has several areas where California Fuchsia grows close to trails.
California Fuchsia is a super choice, for native, low water use gardens, hillsides, and sad parking strips. More information on this plant can be found at calscape.org by searching for the plant by name.
The following are just five of the plants which you can see blooming in a quarter mile walk along the Tule River Parkway between Jaye Street and Parkway Drive.
- California Fuchsia (Epilobium canum)
- Desert Marigold (Baileya multiradiata)
- Red Hummingbird Monardella (Monardella macrantha)
- Wild Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)
- Common Lippia (Phyla nodiflora)
Many California native plants are available at Luis’ Nursery 139 S Mariposa Ave, Visalia, Quercus Landscape Design in Springville https://quercuslandscapedesign.com/availability, and Alta Vista Nursery in Three Rivers which is open by appointment 559 799 7438.
Each of the Native Plant Demonstration Gardens is featured on the website tuleriverparkwayassociation.org
The Tule River Parkway is a City of Porterville public park which features a three-mile paved walking and bicycle path. The gardens were planted and maintained by volunteers with project management by the Tule River Parkway Association. We have three volunteer garden days each month. Follow Tule River Parkway Association on Facebook for announcements. Volunteers are welcome to join us to care for the gardens on August 13, 18, and 20 from 7:30am till 10:30 am. TRPA is holding a special event on Sunday September 4, 2022. The event will include a docent lead walk of the gardens at 9 am and a milkweed giveaway to home gardeners at 10 am.
Visit and join our Facebook group of the same name. The public is encouraged to explore the gardens to learn more about the featured plants and the project. We are looking for volunteers to adopt a garden or restoration area. For More information contact TRPA at [email protected] or Cathy Capone at 559 361 9164.