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I just spent a good chunk of money on trailing fuschias for a hanging basket. They were sold as annuals. I am in Seattle, which only experiences a few frosts per year (zone ~8b). If I simply bring in the basket during these times, can the plants last multiple years?

I’m reading about how to put them in dormancy in the garage by trimming and removing all leaves. Is that really necessary?

Big picture —- can annuals last a few years if you simply prevent them experiencing frost?

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Fuchsias are only annuals in the sense that they die if they experience temperatures that are too cold. They are woody plants that can be long-lived if they're happy. I've over-wintered hanging basket fuchsias in my zone 5 garden by keeping them in my basement over our long winter, with natural light provided by a rather large basement window made of glass bricks. They were extremely unhappy, but lived, so I'd expect that yours would do just fine being taken inside during cold snaps.

A larger question is - are you aware that there are fuchsias that are hardy in your zone? For example, Fuchsia magellanica is hardy to zone 6 and can be grown in the ground in your zone if you're not restricted to containers. If you are container gardening, you could plant one in a container and leave it outdoors all winter. See the linked fact sheet for cultural info such as drainage and light requirements.

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  • Thanks for your answer!
    – Justin
    Mar 27 at 13:18
  • I was surprised to see fuchsias growing as shrubs in Scotland (Aberdeen), so they tolerate cool weather. Mar 27 at 16:32

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