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Name: Valery Leonard
Palm beach county, florida (Zone 10a)
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Valery
Nov 22, 2014 7:42 AM CST
When I lived in NJ in the planter in yard I had the most beautiful datura the plants got over 5 feet tall and every morning I'd go out to smell the sweet intoxicating scent before the the flowers fade. They reseeded beautifully, I got tons of seeds to dry and save and spread around. Now here in south florida I'm having a heck of a time trying to grow them. One plant came up for me. So much smaller than what I was used to. The reseeding just isn't happening. Whether on it's own or with my help. I just cut it down to the ground, it's coming back nicely but having some trouble dealing with the sun. What am I doing wrong? I saw pictures on this sight of gorgeous one, all different types, growing in pots. I haven't had luck there either. I have some seeds left, they are two years old now. Are they still viable? It's my favorite plant in the world, even with it's toxicity. Please, help.
Valery
Valery
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Nov 22, 2014 3:29 PM CST
Both Datura and Brugmansia (a close relative) do much better here in Florida if you grow them in pots. We have nematodes in the soil here, and unless you solarize (bake) your soil regularly, they will invade the roots of the plant and cause it to grow stunted, decline and eventually die. Lots of plants here are not affected by the nematodes, but the Dats and Brugs really are!

So that's the first thing. Grow them in BIG pots, and use fresh potting soil to start out with. Don't set the pot directly on the ground, either, as the nematodes can invade the pot through the drain hole after a while.

They grow extremely fast here with the warm, humid weather. So you need to water and feed them like crazy too. Cold nights in winter will slow them down quite a bit, but they'll just take off in spring once the nights are reliably warm.

If you do have one that is failing, try taking a cutting and starting a new plant. It's faster than starting from seeds, too. The cuttings will make roots within a week or two if just kept in a jar of water on a bright windowsill. If there's a big, healthy plant in your neighborhood, ask for a cutting from it. Maybe it's a variety that does particularly well there.

I've honestly never started one from seed, so I don't know how long your seeds will be viable, but no harm in trying.

Btw, we have a whole forum for Brugmansias here at ATP, so come on over and take a look.
http://garden.org/forums/view/brugmansias/
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Valery Leonard
Palm beach county, florida (Zone 10a)
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Valery
Nov 22, 2014 11:15 PM CST
Thank you so much Elaine. I will try the pots and give the seeds a try. They came up quite quickly from seed in NJ. Huge plants. I keep forgetting about nematodes. And the plants actually over wintered in place. I cut them back of course. I was very surprised in the spring. They were back better than the year before.
Valery
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Nov 23, 2014 8:35 AM CST
No need to cut them back in Florida, Valery. Mine bloomed right through the winter last year, and I have one in bloom right now, despite the cold nights we had this week!

They do get sort of 'tired' after a few years, so it's not a bad practice to start new plants every few years from cuttings. My biggest one is 9ft tall at the moment, but it's really not as robust as it used to be so I'm ready to re-start it next spring, or get a few new ones.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Nov 24, 2014 6:26 PM CST
I had them when I lived in Hobe Sound Valerie. I had no trouble getting the seeds to sprout; in fact I had TOO many. Mine did have a bit of shade though. When plants say full sun, you have to remember that means 6 hours per day & where you are the sun is so strong and in summer lasts a good 12 hours. When you consider that, almost every single thing you grow down there needs some shade. And I agree with Elaine, water & feed like crazy.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Valery Leonard
Palm beach county, florida (Zone 10a)
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Valery
Nov 25, 2014 6:25 AM CST
Again, thank you thank you. I'll get on a feeding schedule starting today.
Valery

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