Brugmansias forum: Brugs in containers and poison concern

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Name: Stillwood Blakely
Madison, Alabama (Zone 7b)
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blakelyatstillwood
Dec 17, 2015 7:48 AM CST
Where should I look to find if brugs can be grown in containers? Also, since they are so poisonous, I am unsure if it would be a good idea. My husband and I share a house (we have a downstairs suite - apartment) with our son, DIL, and 4 grandchildren. I know many plants are not good to eat, but I have always had the concern about brugs especially. A neighbor has a large yellow one and she kindly brought me over 2 cuttings to root and encouraged me to grow them in the yard (Madison, AL). I appreciate it, but am concerned a bit. Anyway, my main question is can they be grown in a large container instead of being in the ground. They will have to stay outside in the winter. My neighbor cuts hers to the ground (just did it) and they come back out in the spring.

mszbdog1
Dec 19, 2015 9:03 AM CST
blakelyatstillwood said:Where should I look to find if brugs can be grown in containers? Also, since they are so poisonous, I am unsure if it would be a good idea. My husband and I share a house (we have a downstairs suite - apartment) with our son, DIL, and 4 grandchildren. I know many plants are not good to eat, but I have always had the concern about brugs especially. A neighbor has a large yellow one and she kindly brought me over 2 cuttings to root and encouraged me to grow them in the yard (Madison, AL). I appreciate it, but am concerned a bit. Anyway, my main question is can they be grown in a large container instead of being in the ground. They will have to stay outside in the winter. My neighbor cuts hers to the ground (just did it) and they come back out in the spring.

If you are in Madison county Alabama they need to be grown in containers. My daughter lives in Madison county Alabama and hasn't had them come back when planted in ground. I'm in Tuscaloosa county Alabama and some of mine came back last year, some didn't. I take cuttings to root over winter just in case they don't come back. 3 grandkids and my two bulldogs and cat have never messed with mine, as they have been taught not too. All parts of brugmansia are toxic. So just teach your grandchildren not to mess with tgem. Pets are pretty smart and have never touch one thing toxic in my garden....they smell it and walk on. My oldest bulldog eats my cilantro before I get a chance. I also plant for wildlife....animals are smarter than we give them credit for.

Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Dec 19, 2015 10:02 AM CST
I agree There are many more plants in your yard that are toxic and some are much more attractive to children. Wild things like pigeon pea, and nightshade even have red berries that look very edible. I'm sure you and your DIL watch those kids closely enough to be sure they would not eat any part of a plant without you giving it to them. Brugs also get tall quickly enough that you could prune it up out of reach of a very small child or a dog.

All my brugs grow well in large containers. Our soil here is too poor and the nematodes kill them off in a year if they do survive that long in the ground. I would definitely take some pains to protect them in winter where you are, though. Place the containers on a south-facing wall or somewhere they would be warm, and mulch around them with leaves or other insulating material.

Or just take cuttings each fall, and start new plants in the springtime. I've kept cuttings in water for so long, they've bloomed! I had to once break a wine bottle to get a rooted cutting out, there were so many roots it wouldn't come out the neck of the bottle.

For now, I'd advise you to keep the cuttings indoors, in water or in small pots until late Feb. or March. A new, small plant isn't going to survive outdoors through winter.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Stillwood Blakely
Madison, Alabama (Zone 7b)
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blakelyatstillwood
Dec 20, 2015 8:02 PM CST
Interesting comments - I think I will keep the 2 cuttings in water inside for the winter and use containers in the spring after consulting with my DIL to be sure she does not object (her house). You are right about teaching the children - we do it for most other things and they are old enough to understand if it is explained to them that this plant will make them very sick, so just look and do not touch. They tend to be reasonable and responsible when a situation is explained so that they understand. I like the idea of new cuttings each spring. I'll let you know what happens in the months ahead. Thanks again.

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