Kind of new to brugs, any advice!

tropicalzone7(7b)June 2, 2011

Hi! This is my first time posting in the Brugmansia Fourm and this is my first year with Brugmansias. I got my first Brug September 2010. I managed to get a bud on it by october and it was close to blooming, but the bud fell off only about 2 days before it would have bloomed. That brug went dormant indoors during the winter and now I have it planted in the ground where it has been doing extremely well. I know that its way too early for blooms, but I just want to make sure that I'm doing everything right so I can get blooms some day!

Heres how I have been caring for them...

I planted my largest Brugmansia in the ground in Mid April. Other than some damaged leaves because of bugs, it has done very well.

I give it lots of water since I hear that they cant get enough of it on hot sunny days. I just started fertilizing them this past week with a 6-4-4 fertilizer. Is this good enough?

The forecast has daytime temperatures in the 80s and (with the exception of tonight) night temperatures in the 60s. The forecast also includes lots of Sunshine and my plants all get full sun from about 11am to 6pm.

Here are a few pics! I have 4 brugmansias. I dont expect my other brugmansias to bloom this year (it would be really great if they do though), but I do expect to at least get a few blooms from my largest brugmansia. Do you all think they will bloom this summer??


Brugmansia "Ember Glow"

I lost the ID to this brugmansia

Brugmansia "Coral Glow"

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Thanks for any advice or comments! I appreciate it!


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Hi Alex. Your choice of fertilizer and exposure aren't optimal. The feeding can be easily remedied and most brugs will adjust to full afternoon sun. You don't want a high nitrogen fertilizer (N-P-K ratio). Use either a balanced or a higher phosphorous and potassium feed. The high nitrogen will encourage vegetative growth, not flowers. They are very heavy feeders and along with a weekly water soluable fertilizer I often use a slow release granular at the beginning of the season along with things like kelp extract, foliar feeds, CalMag Plus, Protekt, compost tea, Superthrive and whatever other micronutrients I have on hand. The additional feeds aren't given as frequently as a regular fertilizer.

As for exposure am sun is best with some protection from the strongest afternoon rays but I have plenty in a similar afternoon or full day exposure that do fine. They might experience some leaf scorching but usually adapt.

You'll likely get blooms from all. I have 6" cuttings that can reach 8' by late summer. The only ones that don't bloom the first season for me are new seedlings and many people get blooms from their seed grown plants the first year. Some cuttings are slower to bloom then others. It depends on where they were taken from the parent plant, above or below a "Y".

Depending on if you are in zone 7a or 7b you might be able to leave your brugs in ground year round and just mulch well during the winter. I'm in 7a and they won't survive the winter here but folks in 7b often have good results. Good luck.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 7:16AM
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Thanks a lot! Im going to try and get a fertilizer a bit more balanced. It is in full sun now,but when the banana plants get a bit fuller, I think it will be in a bit more shade. Most winters here are a zone 7b, but with the duration of the cold, I think its probably best to treat it as a zone 7a. I cant wait for blooms!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 5:02PM
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My brugmansia has grown a ton since my last update (at least an extra 2 feet of stems). I have been fertilizing with big bud and I think its working because I have 4 buds on the plant and one is opening up! Im so excited! Im going to give it a very heavy fertilizing right after I type this message.

The banana plants did grow a lot so it does get a little more shade now, but really not too much shade because the brugmansia is getting so tall (I think its about 4 feet now so at this rate it will definitely be taller than me by the end of the growing season!)

My only problem is the bugs! Anyone have a somewhat organic method to get rid of these bugs (I ask for organic because I have a flowering banana plant as well as some squash very close to my brug).

Here are a few pics!
Bloom opening up. My guess is that it will be open tonight or tomorrow, but this is my first brugmansia bloom ever so I dont know!

A look at my big, but damaged brug. The bugs cant get enough out of it! Its really doing a good job eating the plant and I dont know what bug it is or how to get rid of it. All I know is that its not a very easy bug to catch in the act of eating the plant. I saw a young praying mantis a few times the past week by my brug so Im hoping he will take care of it for me!

Heres a look at how my brug fits in with the other plants

Thanks for looking!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 1:27PM
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They look great! I don't use chemicals and have a terrible time with slugs and caterpillars. I won't use Bt because I have a big butterfly garden but that is a very effective caterpillar control. I just pick the offenders off by hand and use diatomaceous earth which works well but needs constant reapplication.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 2:15PM
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A friend that has a greenhouse says to dust them with agriculture lime. I haven't tried it as I don't, personally, have a bug problem. I trust him and he is 81 years old so he probable knows some stuff.
I am excited also as I have 40 Brug plants planted in my garden and a fair number have "Y"ed with Emerald Frost having 18 large buds and blossoms. I don't feed or water and several plants are large bushes around 4 feet tall already. Last year I had everything in pots and got a few blossoms but no real flushes.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 5:46PM
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Im going to look into both of those pest controls!

Im going to post some more bloom pics of my brug tomorrow! Thanks for looking and for commenting!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 9:25PM
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chena(z8 Texas)

Congrats!! Looks like you have it under control!! WELCOME by the way!! Very nice to have ya here.. Love the pic's keep'um coming!!

Bill I can't wait to see your pic's as well!!


    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 2:24PM
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maile_2010(4 Central MN)

Bill, I would also like to see your pics. I will post some tommorrow. I have a 'Cherub" and a Ed's Woodruff Pink" that are flushing like mad.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 9:57PM
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dmoore66(6 NorthWest NJ)

I feed my once a week with bloom booster!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 4:14PM
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threas(z7 PA)

Hi Alex! Congrats on your brug blooms! How's the bug problem? Post more photos of you gardens. We love looking! :)


    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 4:47PM
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I'm new to brugs too! I just got mine a month ago, a pink one. It was a lucky day I must say. My brug was 4 feet tall and was already blooming when I got it. It bloomed really fast and faded really fast. I'm down to 1 bud and tons of new leaves. I have the same bugs problem too. I tried to spray them off with water when I first brought the plant home but that didn't help. By the way, I grow mine indoors next to my french doors. I'm trying something new to get rid of these bugs. Someone told me that I can spray mild soapy water on the leaves. So the past 2 days I have been doing that. I'm just too lazy to wipe off the dead bugs.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 9:18PM
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Hi! Sorry that I didnt update this thread! I thought I did, but I guess my message never sent! Anyways, I'll try to catch up....
The first flush of blooms only consisted of 3 blooms, but I was still very happy! Now the plant is much bigger and this second flush will bring at least 20 blooms! Im very excited!
The bug problem kind of took care of itself. The new leaves only have small bug holes, and its not too noticeable! Im really happy and I hope they dont come back!
Heres a pic of one of the blooms from early July..

I'll post some pics in a day or 2 of what my brug looks like now and some more recent blooms! This next pic is of a bud taken today!

And heres a few pics of some OT plants in my yard...
I have a frostproof gardenia in the ground and usually it blooms in the late spring, but it has a bloom on it today! The fragrance is very nice and it happens to be about 5 feet from my Brug so that pathway is going to be very fragrant the next few days!!

Here are my plants by the pool!

My papaya is budding!

Plumerias are another very fragrant flower!

I had to stand on a chair to take a pic of this plumeria bloom!

I never would have guessed that my spiral ginger would have gotten as tall as me, but it did and its still growing!

Thanks everyone for the kind words! I might start a new thread with the new Brug blooms, and if your a bit disappointed with the lack of Brug blooms in these pics, dont worry because I think Im going end up buying a lot more next summer since they are beautiful flowers!!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 2:06AM
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Really nice. I love the mix of plants. I thought my Elephant Ear was nice but yours is even nicer. Congratulations. If you want more Brug plants, I will be sending out cuttings for postage in about a month and a half or so. A lot of kinds of a few.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 9:38AM
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Thanks Bill! My Elephant ear really didnt even start growing until July! It was very late to start, but it shot up so fast in one month! Definitely one of my fastest growing plants! Thanks for the offer on some brug plants! My email is tropical zone 7 [at) gmail [dot] com (I put spaces to avoid spam). If you have any available, you can email me and I'll see how much room I have indoors (I couldnt fit all my plants last year and I have a lot more plants this year so I cant even imagine where I will be putting them all yet!)

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 12:20AM
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