How to Grow Zauschneria Plants

Guide to Growing California Fuchsia, Zauschneria, and Hummingbird Flower.

Zauschneria are half hardy perennials that range from 30 to 60 cm (one to two feet) in height.

They bloom from summer through to the start of autumn, when they carry red hanging tubular flowers.

The foliage is greyish green.

A common variety grown in gardens is the California Fuchsia.

Zauschneria californica
Zauschneria californica by Derrick Coetzee.

How to Grow California Fuchsia and other Zauschneria Plants

When growing California Fuchsia and related species from seed it is best to start them off outdoors. Sow the seeds in the springtime on the surface.

Zauschneria plants should be spaced at about 40 to 50 cm (16 to 20 inches) apart

They are able to grow in either a sunny or partially shady part of the garden.

It is important that the plant grow in soils that have good drainage; a slightly alkaline to neutral pH of 7 to 8 should give best results.

They usually take one or two months to germinate at a temperature of 15 to 18 degrees centigrade (59 to 64°F) in the light.

Zauschneria Growing and Care Guide

  • Common Names: California fuchsia, Zauschneria, Hummingbird Flower, Hummingbird Trumpet, Firechalice, Northern Willowherb.
  • Syn.: Epilobium canum.
  • Life Cycle: Half-hardy perennial.
  • Height: 12 to 24 inches (30 – 60 cm).
  • Native: Western North America.

  • Growing Region: Zones 8 to 10.
  • Flowers: Summer through to early autumn.
  • Flower Details: Red-orange, pink. Racemes. Tubular, funnel shaped. About one inch (2.5 cm) long.
  • Foliage: Widely variable (Zauschneria has numerous subspecies). Green, grey to white. Opposite or alternate. Lanceolate or ovate.

  • Sow Outside: Surface. Spring. Germination time: one to two months. Space at 15 to 18 (38–45 cm). Nursery bought plants should be planted out after the last frost.
  • Sow Inside: No.

  • Requirements and care: Full sunlight or partial shade. Good drainage. Neutral to slightly alkaline soil pH 7 to 8. Most soils. Protect from the wind. Protect from heavy rain. Pinch tips of seedlings to encourage bushiness. Deadhead to improve appearance. Propagate: by dividing in the spring or take stem cuttings in the autumn.

  • Family: Onagraceae
  • Closely Related Species: Willowherb, Evening Primrose.
  • Miscellaneous: Zauschneria plant species have now been reclassified into the Willowherb (Epilobium) genus, and are now known as Epilobium canum (California fuchsia) and Epilobium septentrionale (Northern Willowherb). As their common name suggests, these plants are especially attractive to Hummingbirds, which pollinate the plants. Plants can become invasive, so consider growing in a contained area.

Caring for Zauschneria

Once Zauschneria becomes established pinch back the young tips; this will encourage branching and result in a bushier growth.

Dead-head plants regularly.

They are drought tolerant, so they have no special watering needs.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Zauschneria. You may also enjoy the following growing guides: How to grow Begonia and Cape Fuschia.