Planning Ahead: Remember Two Tough Annuals

This was my 2012 Fuchsia fulgens that kept it's bloom until early January 2013. A little frost won't kill it.

This was my 2012 Fuchsia fulgens that kept blooming until  January 2013. A little frost won’t kill it.

Of all my garden plants, Cuphea ignea and Fuchsia fulgens keep their flowers the longest. Blooms usually make it deep into fall, as a little frost won’t kill them.

Both have bright tubular flowers, making them hummingbird favorites. As annuals, they’re great garden investments because of their staying power. Plan to make them part of your garden next year.

Cuphea ignea

Cuphea ignea blooms are a hummingbird favorite.

Cuphea ignea – Right after Thanksgiving, I watched a humming-bird hit every last orange bloom before buzzing on. The Cuphea reaches the size of a small bush, and it flowers continuously after planting. I purchased this one at the West Seattle Farmers’ Market for $3.

Fuchsia fulgens – I knew this plant as an annual Fuchsia until I did a little research. The fulgens has been a perennial for a few local gardeners, but not for me. I had one that flowered into January, but this year’s crop only made into December. The Fuchsia’s blooms are bigger than the Cuphea, but it isn’t quite as hardy. My best Fuchsia fulgens this year cost $1.50 on clearance at McClendon’s in June.

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