Newbie needs help....

LisaLisa143420May 29, 2013

So I'm a novice gardener. Just bought my first yard it's a blank canvas so I went with what I wanted... I bought a pink Ecuador trumpet for my deck and she will come inside in the winter. I bought her at Logees in a 4inch pot had 4 leaves and was well started. I repotted her in a decent size pot which I see now is not going to last long. I've been feeding her twice a week with MG Tomato fert it's 18 18 21 after reading up online and i think im doing ok as she got big fast!! in 2 months i hv 2 "Y"s so guess I just need some reassurance from the experts here :)

she wilts a lot but then I just give some water and she seems look better after. It's very windy lately so the leaves hv been blowing around I loose a few here n there but I think that's what the damage is?? Should I be pruning some of the leaves? Do I have two Ys? It branched off with that second little one underneath after it had already made the top y? It doesn't grow straight now was I supposed to prune that? How often do u repot? What size pot? Is it bad to jump to a big pot too quick? Will she bloom this year?

Here are a few pix of her and thank you in advance for any help you can give

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How many Ys?

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 6:35PM
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Not straight

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 6:37PM
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A little yellow spot?

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 6:40PM
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How about asking on another forum since this one seems to have died? Maybe Tropical Plants or one for your region, if there is one.

It looks like it needs more water. They have a big root system once they start growing. It's overall a healthy looking plant, though. I can't answer your question about the y's. But it's better if they don't happen until the plant is pretty tall. And cut back that fertilizer. Maybe once a month, and use something with a high middle number if you want to see it bloom. It's large enough, but you may be feeding it wrong. It seems to have a lot of leaves for such a small plant, but I'd leave them there.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 8:23AM
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Foreverlad(9b - Tampa Bay)

Hey Lisa!

You have either 3 Y's, or 1 Y and a W =)

Okay, W's don't actually exist in the Brugs world, but I think you catch my meaning.

The old growth stops right at the Y, so you're good to go there. Every juvenile branch above it will eventually bloom.

There's nothing technically wrong with your plant slouching to the side a bit. The stems will still grow vertically, but if you'd like to guide it with some stakes, it shouldn't hurt at all.

I'm fairly new to Angel Trumpets, but my own personal guide for pot size would be 4 inches for every foot of plant. After 3 or 4 feet, get the largest pot you can find and just leave it in there. My own Angel Trumpet sits in a 24 inch pot, and it's around 6 feet tall.

Admittedly that's a little on the large size, but A.T.s have extensive roots, and with the growth rate on these plants, it's likely better to overpot now than to repot multiple times over a single season.

Depending on pot size, your watering needs will change. In a small pot like that, you'll want to water almost every day, especially if its breezy out. I wouldn't cut back on how often you fertilize, you should maybe consider cutting the dose slightly though until the plant's root system is larger and can suck up more at a time.

I feed my Brugs the same fertilizer I provide my Banana plants: 24-8-16. Could I potentially get more blooms with a higher P? Sure, but I'm currently more interested in growing the plant up and out. The more vertical and lateral growth I see now, the more blooms I can feed for later.

If I missed anything, or if you have any additional questions, feel free to keep posting here.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 11:46AM
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Thank you Foreverlad! I wish I could keep her outside all year but she's going to come in this Fall as its gets very cold up here. But My end goal is for her to be more Tree like and actually have a "trunk" Maybe not 6 feet tall (i thought this was a shorter variety) but I think it'd be a pretty 4 foot bushy topped focal point for my deck in the summer.

Do you Prune yours at all? What is the best way to get them to become tree like?

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 3:31PM
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Foreverlad(9b - Tampa Bay)

Lisa, I purchased both of mine as multi-trunk trees. Trick is to keep pinching off new nubs on the old growth. With the age of your plant, i'd let it go for a month or two, watering and feeding regularly. Afterward, pinch off the growth on the bottom 2/3s of the plant, and leave the top 1/3 to do what it will.

If you want an additional trunk or two, leave a new stem as it rises from the base, otherwise, pinch anything away.

I apologize in advance for these photos. This part of my yard is a total mess and I didn't intend to ever share these.

April 21st, just after purchase and repotting

May 20th (white garbage bag is coffee grounds I hadn't spread yet)

My other AT is in the ground on the other side of the yard. It's probably doing a bit better than this one, though neither has complained much.


    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 7:06PM
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I'm new to Brugs, too, Lisa. Thanks for posting your questions.

Mike, you answered one that I had by saying "but my own personal guide for pot size would be 4 inches for every foot of plant. After 3 or 4 feet, get the largest pot you can find and just leave it in there." I potted some up last weekend in the appropriate sized pots for their current size while allowing for some root growth. I knew that I would have to repot again this season, but it'll end up being in the middle of summer. Not the best time, but that's what I'll do if need be. Also, Lisa, good question about pruning. Your description about form is exactly what I'm after. I never thought about removing the nubs. Thanks for that one, too, Mike.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 10:54AM
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Foreverlad(9b - Tampa Bay)

Glad I could help Gail.

Yeah, with the way AT grow, repotting can prove to be a nuisance to the plant, yet WAY overpotting initially can cause as many problems when you're trying to maintain an even level of moisture in the soil.

I don't have any photos to show, but when I purchased the two plants, they'd each been occupying 1 gallon nursery pots. These poor things had 6 foot roots running out the bottoms of their pots. That's why I simply went with the biggest pot I had, and planted the other directly in the ground. Fortunately, neither plant missed a beat and never showed any signs of stress after the move.

If you look at Lisa's second photo, the one under "How many Y's?" you can see all the marks from pinched off growth. It's a little less than beautiful right now, but it's a great way to focus the nuclear blast-level growth of these plants on where it counts: the canopy.

I'm actually arguing with myself over when to trim cuttings. Initially I'd say "leave it alone to develop for a bit", but the more I think about it, some cuttings (like Lisa's) have leaves as long as the trunk. The transpiration from so many large leaves might prove to be (minutely) unhealthy for the plant. It may not hurt to pinch off a few, or even just cut the leaves in half.

These take a long time to mature to the point where old growth might not grow new buds. Anything you cut away now should not negatively impact future leafing. Mine are still mass-producing nub growth along the woody stems.

You (general) should still be cautious on what you pinch away though. In my second photo, you can see a new juvenile branch growing from the base. I left it alone to grow because I liked the opposite direction it was moving in, and figured it would help distribute the size and breadth of the eventual canopy.

100% pinchage removes the chance for happy accidents. You may find a new shape or pattern that can add to the overall look of the plant.


    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 12:36PM
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Thanks for the good info, Mike. I went out shortly after posting to pull off the nubs. However, on a couple I thought "Hmmm... maybe not that growth". So, yep, I know what you're talking about.

My plants are small as they were started from cuttings that I acquired over the last nine months. Plus, I'm in Michigan. But, I'll take good care of them and watch for that "nuclear blast-level growth" and have my fingers crossed for some nice blooms in a couple/few months.


    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 12:54PM
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PKponder TX(7b)

I am not an expert but I get tall and tree-like plants by rooting the long, straight branches in fall when it's time to bring them inside, or in my case, rescuing cuttings before they freeze back to roots. I root the large cuttings in a bucket of water next to a bright window. Brugs are super easy to propagate from hardwood cuttings. The next spring, you can start your new tree in a pot and still have the original. Extras to trade or keep.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 2:28PM
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