Brugmansias forum: Overwintering Brugs

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Name: Deborah Pryor
Orangeburg, SC Zone 8a (Zone 8a)
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!
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Deebie
Oct 30, 2011 1:21 PM CST
Help! Can brugs be barerooted and stored over the winter like plummies? I've cut too many and need to squeeze them in the garage.
Name: Veronica Dykes
central Texas
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BettyDee
Oct 31, 2011 12:16 AM CST
No. They need to be overwintered in slightly moist soil or potting mix. If they were in the ground, you can store them in smaller pots or garbage bags, but be careful if you put them in garbage bags because you will have to add a cup or two of water every so often so that the soil will remain barely damp. If you need to conserve space, prune the tops. You can cut them down to a foot or so, but because you have removed the "Y", they will have to go through the vegetative growth cycle before they "Y" and bloom. You could also prune back leaving 2 or 3 sets of "Y"s on each plant.

If your winters are not consistently below 45ºF, your Brugs will not go dormant. They will still put out some new growth over winter although if they don't get sufficient light the growth will be spindly. Be sure to spray any cut surfaces with a fungicide.

You could also choose to take in your most valuable or desirable Brugs and take large cuttings of the rest to root over winter. If the cuttings are nice and large, place them in buckets and use bubblers to keep the water fresher.
VLD
[Last edited by BettyDee - Oct 30, 2011 7:20 PM (+)]
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Name: Deborah Pryor
Orangeburg, SC Zone 8a (Zone 8a)
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!
Charter ATP Member Amaryllis Region: United States of America Tropicals Seed Starter Plumerias
Plant and/or Seed Trader Peonies Lilies Irises Hummingbirder Echinacea
Deebie
Oct 31, 2011 6:35 AM CST
Thanks, Veronica. You have been so informative. I'll place them in garbage bags (and keep moist) to conserve space. I want to preserve the y's for earlier bloom. Next year I'll place them in the ground with heavy much and take cuttings for good measure.

Deborah
Name: Veronica Dykes
central Texas
Brug lover
Charter ATP Member Cat Lover Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Plumerias Raises cows
Region: Texas Tropicals
BettyDee
Oct 31, 2011 10:23 AM CST
I so envy people who can plant their Brugs in the ground. I'm surrounded by all kinds of Bermuda grass, the scourge of the earth and impossible to get rid of. With the amount of fertilizer and water that Brugs need, I would be knee high in grass. Then I would have to worry about what is hiding in that grass since we have water moccasins, copperheads, rattlesnakes and coral snakes to worry about, but mostly the first two. I keep my Brugs in pots. It's safer!
VLD
Name: Brian
Ontario Canada (Zone 5b)
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bearsearch
Nov 26, 2013 9:41 AM CST
I'm way up here in zone 5 and have been growing some Brugmansias for a couple years now. I keep them in the garage over winter which is heated to about 50 deg. but place them closest to the garage door where it's cooler. Each year there is considerable die back and I'm wondering what I can do to prevent this. I have them in large pots now because when I used to plant in the ground and dig in the fall I thought there was more die back than the pots have. They are kept barely moist and allowed to dry between waterings. They survive but die back so far that I don't get any blooms till so late in the fall I sometimes have to cut a lot of them off because they have to go back into the garage for winter. What can I do to decrease the die back and encourage earlier blooms?
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Nov 26, 2013 12:19 PM CST
Keep them warmer!! Keep them growing all winter if you can. Brugs do not need to go dormant at all, they are tropical plants. They bloom year 'round in Hawaii where they don't get as low temps as we do. Maybe try moving them to the back of the garage and use a grow light with a timer on them if there isn't a window? Or, ideally -

If you have a sunny window in the house, you could keep at least one or two growing full blast indoors. I'd still cut them back halfway or so to keep your house from becoming a jungle, but if it comes time to move them in, and they are in bloom you could take the plants indoors, enjoy the blooms for a week then when they're finished, cut the plant back (but leave some leaves!) Keep up the water and fert but probably at a lower rate than outdoors. Then when you set them outside in the spring, once the nights are warm (above 50deg. F at least) up the fert againn, and they will spring right into bloom, and you could get 3 or 4 bloom cycles over the summer.

Start the cuttings for more plants, to grow or give away, too. They root really easily. I just put the cuttings all together in water, in a bright area, keep them warm and they have enough roots to pot in a week or two. If the cuttings are made above the first Y, they will form a shrubby plant rather than a tall tree, and will bloom much sooner, too. I've had cuttings put on flowers while they are still in the water.

They need to be warm. That's the 'bottom line'.

Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Brian
Ontario Canada (Zone 5b)
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bearsearch
Nov 28, 2013 8:59 AM CST
Thanks Elaine! Well that's completely opposite to what I've bee told before (which never seemed to work) but really it makes more sense for a tropical plant. It's too late to move things about for this year (over a foot of snow) but I will move the plants to a warmer spot in the garage. I have a heated sun porch that I'll put them in next year and I'll keep the temp higher than I have been so they can continue to grow. I'm sure some of the other plants I've been overwintering out there will appreciate the higher temps too.
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 28, 2013 10:15 AM CST
Okaay! The sun porch sounds like just the place for overwintering your brugs, Brian! You don't have to break the bank keeping it at tropical temperatures, just keep it about 55 or 60 at night and they will be happy and grow slowly.

Too bad about all that snow, I know this was a nasty storm up your way. Yesterday when I looked at the weather map it stretched all the way from Cuba up to Nova Scotia!

We had temps in the low 40's last night so my brugs will be dormant now for a month or two. They were all in full bloom, too! Crying We usually don't get temps that low until January. Saddest of all is that it will now be warm and lovely for the next week. But once they get chilled, it takes a while for them to bloom again. They keep growing, slowly though.
Thumb of 2013-11-28/dyzzypyxxy/ea0ebc

Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Rhapsody Hooks
Long Beach Ca USA (Zone 10a)
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Rhapsody616
Nov 30, 2013 6:26 PM CST
I am just sooooo happy I do not have to overwinter anything except my wax apple plant and vanilla vines. It is truly a labor of love.
Rhapsody Group hug
Walk in Peace, Walk in Light, Blessed Be!
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
Dec 6, 2013 10:50 AM CST
I'm with you, Rhaps. I do flutter around with frost cloth for a few cold nights here, but not enough to be a pain.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Doris Klene
Greensburg,Indiana.
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kareoke
Dec 7, 2013 7:13 AM CST
JUst feel lucky you do not have any of this COLD WHITE STUFF we have 4" and still snowing. Thumbs down
Name: Rhapsody Hooks
Long Beach Ca USA (Zone 10a)
Cat Lover Winter Sowing Moon Gardener Plumerias Tropicals Roses
Bee Lover Butterflies Region: California Cottage Gardener Herbs Composter
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Rhapsody616
Dec 26, 2013 8:55 PM CST
Yes, I just came from the snow... 9 degrees in Colorado Springs. Snow it the enemy. LOL, I will be happy with my 80 degrees in sunny California.

LOL
Walk in Peace, Walk in Light, Blessed Be!

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