It’s a fuchsia Jim, but not as we know it

OK, it’s not really a fuchsia, but the common name is Australian fuchsia. And it makes a good title for the blog, paraphrasing Star Trek’s Captain Spock.

Correa backhouseana is a winter flowering shrub you are unlikely to find in any run-of-the-mill Garden Centre; mine came from a small nursery stand at an RHS Show last year. It  needs a sheltered position, sunny or perhaps slightly shaded, when it will eventually make a shrub up to six feet tall and slightly more across. The early growth is more upright, middle-age spread only setting in later in its life. It prefers a slightly acid soil, not too wet, but one that doesn’t dry out either. It should take -5C, maybe a couple of degrees colder, but nothing below that. The flowers are usually either pink or a creamy-green colour, but I found this white form.

Correa backhouseana 'Alba' - 2017

And just now, it’s gearing up for its winter performance against a west-facing fence, sheltered between two other shrubs. If the temperatures gets really cold, I will throw some horticultural fleece over it for a few days, but it came through last winter, when the mercury hit -4C one night, with no hint of a problem.

I hope I have found the right position for it, and to finish with another of Spock’s quotes, it will “live long and prosper.”



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