The Q&A Archives: brugmansia fails to bloom

Question: A friend gave me a brugmansia seedling about five years ago. It bloomed it's second year as did the first clone from it. I now have seven plants which I take in for the winter and keep at about 55 degrees. They get light and water so don't go dormant.My original plant did bloom in December last year but overall the lack of blooms disappoints me. Should I be giving them fertilizer or treat them differently to encourage blooms?Do you suggest cutting them back severely for the winter? Perhaps witholding water? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thankyou...Jeff Baker..

Answer: My research indicates that the main stem of your brugmansia must form a "Y" before it can flower. It's not the same as branching out, but is a distinctive "Y". You will see unequal leaf bases where a plant has formed a "Y". I have some plants that reach 6+ feet before they will form a "Y" and others that will bloom while still very small. I had the experience with a 3 yr. old brugmansia that was 5 ft. tall and even though I gave it all the care it should receive, it refused to make a Y. At the end of the growing season, before I took it indoors, I got mad and cut the top off so the plant was only 8 inches tall. I told it to make a "Y" or it was going into the compost bin. In a few weeks it made a "Y" so I expect it will bloom right on schedule. You might do the same with yours. Hope this helps!

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