Fuchsia Whips and Standards
A standard plant is one grown with a single, bare stem with the head usually in the shape of a ball. A whip is a young plant in the process of being trained into a standard.
A standard fuchsia makes an impressive sight in a garden, adding height whilst allowing you to plant underneath. We keep stocks of both fully grown standards and whips at various stages of growth depending on the time of year.
Our standards and whips are grown on the nursery from cuttings specially taken each spring. We only use varieties which are known to make a good standard. This means a variety which can give a sturdy stem, but which will also create a nicely shaped head - not too small, or with straggly branches.
Caring for a fully grown standard is fairly similar to looking after any other fuchsia - just pinch out the branches as necessary.
Whips take a bit more work. As the stem grows pinch out all but the three or four topmost pairs of side shoots, but leave any leaves on the stem. As the stem grows, keep removing side shoots so you plant only has three to four pairs at the top.
When the plant reaches the desired height pinch out the 'lead' shoot (the growing tip) and allow the three or four pairs of side shoots to develop into the head. Pinch out as you would any other fuchsia. Once the head is established, remove the leaves from the stem.
Whether you choose a standard or whip, just make sure that the stem is supported by a sturdy cane or stake and protect the plant from strong winds.
Also, bear in mind that no standard can be considered hardy, even if it a normally hardy variety. This is because the growing point is above ground, and therefore more exposed to cold weather.
We recommend standards are put in a frost free conservatory or glasshouse over winter, or protected with fleece, bubblewrap, straw etc in an unheated greenhouse.
Standards are available all year. Whips are grown from cuttings taken in spring, so the sizes available will depend on the season.