Branching Out

Foreverlad(9b - Tampa Bay)May 24, 2013

A month ago I picked up my first two Brugs (unsure of name). I definitely wanted to turn them into standards/trees. When I purchased them they were already headed in that direction, but I'm uncertain of a few things.

I know flowers form on new growth, and most advice suggests cutting older growth away. If I want to promote more branching, is it safe to cut away some green growth (like any ordinary plant), or do I have to wait for the hardening of green stems before slicing?

Recycled pic of one of the two A.T.s

Any help is greatly appreciated


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PKponder TX(7b)

Feel free to cut away any growth outside of the desired shape. You can probably root the cuttings in potting soil in the shade.

I have an old reliable pink NOID that looks a lot like that. Does it have a lemony fragrance?

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 2:31PM
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Foreverlad(9b - Tampa Bay)

Thanks Pk.

Honestly, I haven't noticed much of a fragrance at all. There's something there, if I put my nose up to it, but it's not very distinctive. Plant was purchased as a generic. It had 2 flowers when I bought it, so I knew the color and could guess the potential height, but I don't know it's name or what I should expect from it.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 8:37PM
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AllanRandall(z7 OKC)

Hey Foreverlad, and welcome to the Brugmansia club. It's been my experience that you can pretty much cut any of it. Just be aware that the more you cut the fewer blooms you get. However, you can pretty much shape it how you want. As pkponder mentioned, one of the best things is that anything you cut off can become a new plant.

By the way, I'm not certain how much you know about them, but i noticed you said that you weren't getting much of a smell. If you haven't already tried smelling them at night, that is when they open up and have a heavy fragrance. Good luck with your new plants.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 11:40PM
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Foreverlad(9b - Tampa Bay)

Wow Allan, thanks, I wasn't aware of the night-scent. I'll definitely have to test that out.

While I'm (obviously?) interested in the blooms, one of my first goals is to produce as tall and wide a standard I can. If the AT is anything like most other plants, cutting back juvenile growth should ultimately lead to more branching, which in turn....blah blah blah. I was basically trying to turn my Brug into an oversized Coleus =)

When I purchased my 2 brugs, I had to cut off about 2 feet from each plant, with each plant having 3 trunks, just to get them in my car. When I got home I took cuttings from it all. I think I've got 20+ well-adjusted cuttings already.

Which reminds me. Most Angel Trumpets are decently sized. How on earth do people collect them? I can see having 2 or 3 on a 1/4 acre, but I can't fathom what a yard with 10+ varieties would look like. How does anyone have room for anything else?!? lol

Thanks again!


    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 11:52PM
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AllanRandall(z7 OKC)

Make, the question is, why would you want anything else. I'm kidding, but between these and plumeria, I've got my hands full. At least you live in a place where you can plant them. I have to bring mine in when it gets cold.

You are in for a real surprise when you smell them at night. You may also want to try Datura, which is a shrubby relative.

I think that the best advice that can be offered to a new grower is to spray water under the leaves every few days. You will eventually have mite problems if you don't

Also, you are probably already learning that they love water and fertilizer.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 8:15PM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

Allan, I don't know WHERE in Oklahoma you live, but I live in North Texas, and I grow brugs inground. Matter of fact, I have thirty or so in the ground now. I simply have a brug cutting event in November to give away most of the cuttings. I cut them as close to the ground as possible, mulch and they will emerge the next Spring and grow to give you blooms. I have a couple of Dr. Seuss inground in full Texas sun and they grow multiple branch "trees" in this amount of time and give me flushes of 50 to 100 blooms at a time. As for plumeria, I have a friend who grows them inground, digs or pulls them each fall and hangs them upside down in her garage each winter. She just gave me a "stick" with dry roots which I have planted inground, and it is leafing out now. I have others that I put in the greenhouse each winter and they are not that far ahead of the one I just received in their leafing out. I am going to try her method this fall and see how it works for me.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 9:13AM
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AllanRandall(z7 OKC)

Carrie, I live on the border of 7a and 7b. I could always root a no-id and give your method a try. However, i have my doubts if it would come back out. We have at least one or two ice storms a year and our soil is solid clay. It's worth a shot though.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 2:06PM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

We don't have consistently cold winters, Allan, but on occasion we get one of those like in 2011 ....January and February when it stays freezing for long periods of time. My brugs have been inground for eight years now, and have survived all that MN has thrown at them. Would be worth a trial as they are so much less trouble that way.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 6:22PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

had to comment on the beautiful display of caladiums in the background. one of my favorite plants. have been experimenting with "evergreen "types but find they go dormant also lol Granted for shorter periods but don't seem as vigorous as the regulars gary

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 4:13AM
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Foreverlad(9b - Tampa Bay)

Thanks Gary. Last year those were on the other side of the yard. They were 4 ft tall and looking amazing. Had to move them for part of my renovation project. Those Gardenias are pretty much unmanageable at this point and are going to get torn out before too long (white fly, mold, etc ) but there's always gonna be room in my garden for Red Flash caladiums.


    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 1:31PM
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