Overwintering a Brug & Brug Cuttings! Helpful Hints! :)

sibhskylvr((Mike) Arkansas)September 26, 2009

Ok! We've got alot of new people on the forum this year! Yay! We all must be doing something right! Right?? And welcome to each of you! :)

But new people - means many questions! And it's the time of the year we start doing cuttings, bringing in the Brugs for the winter, & overall, we're all pretty busy! You know - the year-end, clean-up stuff! lol! The sharing, trading, & love of the Brug stuff that we all do!

Anyway! (Sorry - I do ramble, ask anyone!) An important topic this time of the year is storing the Brugs for the winter, and hoping to NOT lose any Brug cuttings!

Let's hear how everyone stores their Brugs, start cuttings, etc....

Had to throw in the (etc....) - you never know what bit of information may appear that one can use!

And feel free to ask questions - don't be shy! :)

You may never find the answer if you don't ask!

I've been potting up Brugs that didn't do much this summer for the last two months. I've been getting them ready to take in for the winter! And I'm hoping this thread will give me/you & everyone, a little bit more knowledge on overwintering a Brug plant - versus cuttings! Everyone knows I usually have several hundred cuttings through the winter - but this year, not too many! I'll still do some cuttings - don't get me wrong! I can't imagine going through the winter without all the pain & suffering I go through when I lose one! ;) Most of us know THAT feeling, right?

I've gotten a few helpful hints from two forum members already - via email! Thank you both! :)) I appreciate the info ALOT!! Others may be interested as well! Any information that can be helpful - feel free to post, post a link, etc. Everyone has certain things & ways to take care of their Brug plants, cuttings, etc. A bit of information that doesn't mean anything to you - may be very important to someone else! I mean seriously! How many Brugs cuttings have most of us DROWNED in the past few years! lol! Think about it!

I hope this becomes a thread with tons of information for the new person/people on the forum, lurkers, as well as us old-timers! :) And if you happen to be a lurker - join in & say 'Hello!' Love to have you & get to know you!

Ok! Who wants to start?

Brenda, Lucy, Karyn, Kristy, Brandy, you? :) Anyone?


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Hi Gang- I've learned so much from my mistakes last winter when trying to start brug cuttings.. I had both green & hardwood cuttings...the hardwood cuttings were stronger, & didn't wilt or rot as readily.. I have a somewhat warm, dark basement, at least 50*... I cut brug stems into 8 inch sections- stood them up in 5 gal. buckets. I let them harden off- (let their ends heal over somewhat)- then trickled some water on them, but only barely enough so they weren't standing in more than a trace of water... then I loosely placed a plastic bag over the top to retain moisture.... I noticed that lenticles started to form all over the stems.... (these are small white bumps that eventually turn into roots). I had to check often to see if they needed a little drink, or if the stems were beginning to rot or root- & remove any that might have died... I kept many of them this way until I gave them away for postage... I'm sure that if I had placed them in a well lit room that they would have taken off- but my house is just a little cottage, & I didn't have a sunny window.... most of the cuttings that I tried to start in soil died over the winter.... I probably lost half of what I received in trades... I think they rotted because of lack of warmth & light.. maybe I killed them with kindness, too much watering. I did keep some rooted brug cuttings in the basement, no light, barely watering them, only enough to keep them from shriveling, these have turned into amazing plants, orange noids with a heavenly fragrance! Anyway- I am determined to do better this year- I will pot new cuttings up after they have rooted, & will use a very fast draining soil mix- keep them in my basement til spring-and say a prayer! Hope to hear from others about their experiences too!


    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 10:16PM
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I don't have any answers, just lots of questions. Lots and lots. Lol. Like....

1. If your going to bring in your brug and let it continue to grow, instead of letting it go dormant, what is the best range of temp. to keep it at?

2. For watering, would tap water that has clorine in it be harmful?

3. If you are going to use growing lights, how many hours of light should your brug get a day?

4. About pollenating, I see the part that has the pollen on it, what part of the flower do I put it on?

5. If you do get a seed pod, how long will it take to ripen? Will it fall off on its own or do I need to take it off?

6. Would I need to let it dry on its own or would I need to open it and take the seeds out?

7. In the spring, when its time to put the brugs back out, which ones like sun and which ones like shade?

Ok, Ill stop with that for now. Lol. Like I said I have TONS of questions.


    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 10:29PM
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haase(10 CA)

What do you do in my climate? In Southern Calif., do you just let them be, let them do what they want? I mean I don't have to bring mine inside, but should I keep watering and fertilizing non=stop?
Thanks for any advice.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 12:51AM
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dees(5 IN)

I am a newbie and I have a question. When potting up your cuttings, what potting medium do you use? Thanks, for starting this thread.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 7:32AM
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LOL, who is going to tackle these questions? I will answer a couple for the way I do it on cuttings.

I did something different over the summer to root cuttings, just a few, and just the hard to root ones. Think I heard about this method on the Plummie forum. Worked for brugs. and this works on all cuttings, not just the hard ones.

I took a quart pot. Took a toilet paper roll tube and cut it in half( for longer, bigger cuttings, you can use the whole tube).
Punched some holes in it about 1" from the bottom.
Put 1.5" potting soil in the bottom of the pot.
Set the TP roll tube in the middle, vertically.
Filled in potting soil around the cardboard tube to within 1/2 " of the top of the tube.
Put 1/2" to 1" of perlite inside the tube.
Placed my cutting inside the tube, and held it in the center while I finished filling the tube with perlite up to the top.
Water, and put in a spot where it gets filtered outdoor light or inside under lights for 12-14 hours a day, at temperatures in the 70's til roots are well-formed, and then at least 55-60 degrees for the duration of the winter.

This method is for unrooted cuttings or cuttings just starting to root. The roots form in the perlite and then grow out into the soil thru the holes and thru the bottom of the tube. The tube rots eventually, being cardboard.
This method eliminates much of the rot that cuttings are prone to from winter growing conditions.

Ha, Mike, you're learning!!!


    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 10:09AM
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forever_a_newbie(z7/8 VA)

Thanks for posting this.
My question is: when should you pot a water-rooted cutting? like how many days or how long the roots are?
I potted most of the cuttings I received, but put a couple in the water.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 11:03AM
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Brenda, that sounds like a good method.
Thanks for this thread Mike. I want so much for my cuttings (thanks Brenda) to do well.
I'm a nervous wreck thinking of cutting back my brug.
Seems the more information I get the more nervous I get!
I am thinking of repotting my brug.
I have two growing in one pot and it seems too big for them.
Should I wait a bit longer, or go ahead and repott and cut back now. One plant does have a pod on it, but I;m not so sure it is going to open. Rats.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 11:29AM
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dees(5 IN)

Brenda, thanks for telling us your method of potting cuttings..sounds great, and for once, I think I already have everything on hand that I need, to get going...lol

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 8:01AM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

Wow Mike! You've opened up a can of worms!

This is what I do with my in-ground brugs (these are large plants).

1) First I trim off most of the foliage and side branches, leaving only a single trunk. It will look like a hat rack. LOL! I usually leave part of the 'Y' where it has branched and bloomed toward the top. This will allow earlier blooming on mature wood next season. I will usually cut the entire top off tall plants down to about 5 to 8 feet.

2) Then I dig them close to the trunk using a sharpshooter spade, severing the roots. I dig maybe 12" in diameter.

3) Knock off as much soil from the root ball as I can.

4) Hand prune the roots with pruning shears so I can place it in as small a pot as will fit, filling in with potting soil.

5) Water once.

6) Place newly potted trees under an eave or a shade tree if no danger of frost. Otherwise I place it in the garage where temps will remain above 45ºF.

For newly-rooted cuttings, I make sure they keep their leaves and grow them under lights in a cool room or garage.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 8:49AM
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Dave, will you repot those in the spring to larger pots..
(if you're growing them in pots)?
My plants are large also because I let too many shoots grow
and mature. I'm thinking that it's time to trim them down
to one-two canes for a better look. This means that I'll
have more large cuttings than I know what to do with.

Mike...you definitely have opened up a can of worms! This
is such good info.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 7:23PM
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figara(Ca 9)

Mike, thanks for starting this thread. It was a very good idea.

Brenda, thanks for the tip on how to root. Sounds great. One question thou...do you keep the cuttings in the water first or do you put them directly in the TP roll?

When do you start to fertilize the new rooted cuttings?


    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 1:45AM
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The method above is just one I use, especially good for hard to root varieties.
In June or July, the cuttings go directly into the pot; at this time of year, I place the cuttings in water for 2-4 days til nubbies show, then pot them up. I fertilize lightly at half-strength and not often during the winter- and not til the cuttings are 5-6 weeks rooted and actively growing.

Off to Mexico, back on the 5th.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 5:24AM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA


I pot them up to winter them over in the garage. In May they all go back into various places around the yard into the ground. They just do so much better in the ground than in pots.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 7:48AM
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forever_a_newbie(z7/8 VA)

Bringing in a Brug for dormancy by Ruth Ann: link

Here is a link that might be useful: Bringing in a Brug for dormancy by Ruth Ann

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 8:06AM
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okay lol I have been printing all this stuff out, and I donÂt mean just this thread! lol so it just dawned on me, is there a good book out about brug.'s. I will still print good advice out because if I donÂt I will forget. lolol but I would like to let my printer kool off ehehethanks

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 9:07AM
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mantorvillain(z4bMN Dodge)

OK, I'll venture forth for those in more northern climates.
I do a variation on the technique Ruth Ann outlines. I hve a 150+ yo house with a dark, very cool basement which is good for carrying them over dormant. I plug the plants into 3 gal nursery pots I've accumulated and lug them down into the basement (hint - remove the handle from a 5 gal 'pickle' bucket, drill holes size of the handle wire in your pot, and use for carrying the repotted plant...lots easier). If I can cut the plants back to 5' leaving the 'Y' I do so which gives me a nice 'standard form' plant when it starts sprouting in the spring.
I give each rootball a small drink every 3-4 weeks over the winter and then put them in a warmer area under lights about April 1 in my zone (4B), then up into a popup greenhouse once they get the beginnings of leaves.

As for rooting, I saw a comment about rooting in galvanized containers and tried this using caught rainwater. The cuttings really 'popped' the bumps and transplanted easily to small pots. I don't know how much the galvanized container had to do with it as brugs really do root easily anyhow especially when the plants are actively groing...my experience for this year anyhow.
Good luck,

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 9:45AM
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For long cuttings you can do a search on the BOB bucket of brugs method. I stuck some in a bucket with just a couple inches of water in the bottom and they lived there for about 6 months since I forgot about them. Keep in above 45 degrees spot and change the water every few days if you remember. Smaller cuttings I have lost more to fungus gnats than anything else. They are my nemesis. Soak a mosquitoe dunk in a bucket of water and use that to water with. Nothing else I have found works. Raid in the blue can for flying insects in the garage. Don't overwater plants you keep growing or the dormant ones. Shop lights with one grow light and one full sun bulb work great for the garage or spare room. I have a couple windows in the garage and leave the doors open on nice days when I am at home or leave the lights on for about 8 to 10 hours. Don't repot your plants if you want them to go dormant with potting soil that has fertilizer. It promotes growth. Wait til spring then put them in a larger pot or in the ground. Remove all the large leaves when you bring them in. They will still flower if growing and reduces places for bugs to hide. Thats all I can think of at the moment. In zone 10 you can keep feritizing growing and blooming while the rest of us fight with ours in the house, lol. Cuttings in my kitchen window grow like crazy in small clear glass cups. Wish I had a bigger window, lol. Seed pods need to stay on the plant until they begin to crack open. Can take several months depending on variety. Put a few drops of peroxide in your water and for plants you want to cut back but a dusting of yellow powdered sulfur on the cut ends to prevent die back. Don't forget to open the greenhouse doors on hot days in the spring or all your potted brugs get cooked to the ground and you could have spent your winter doing better things instead of starting over from a rootball, lol. Finally getting some buds and bloom here and there. Bad year for me with the brugs.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 5:23PM
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Thanks guys. Lots of info to soak up. I feel better about being able to handle this winter. Its like being a mom all over again. Trying to think of all the possible things that might happen and trying to be prepared for it. I think I will still be learning for the next 40 or 50 years. Lol.


    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 6:06PM
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forever_a_newbie(z7/8 VA)

Bucket-o-Brugs by Georgia_on_my_mind link
Really marvelous idea.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bucket-o-Brugs by Georgia_on_my_mind

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 8:12PM
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givelittle_getlots(Zone 8 TX)

Well last winter I killed all my cuttings and let my plants freeze way to much...so the only tip I can give is, to make sure that your garage and shed are really freeze proof!

Buying new garage doors before winter comes lol

Closing up the windows and vents in the shed.

That should help a LOT.

I will not let my cuttings die again this winter. They are coming IN THE HOUSE. Have a GREEN room...not like mike...lol But son painted a jungle on the wall.


    Bookmark   October 1, 2009 at 7:02AM
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Hi all.
We went ahead and brought all but one Brug in for winter. I guess what you do for winter depends on two things, 1. What you have room for and 2. What you feel comfortable with doing. We have the room for them, (Lonny made a green room too! Lol) but we don't want to cut them back yet. The Brugs are to small and just starting out to go cutting on them. With leaving them, we are hopeing that will give them a good start in spring. We are going to try and keep them growing this winter. If we run out of room then we will cut the bigger ones back.

A time out as I look over what I have typed. LOL. Boy I say "we" alot. No I don't have a mouse in my pocket. LOL. I am talking about me and my hubby Lonny. He started this hobby, but I have become just as addicted. Ok back to the topic. rofl.

Thanks,to all the good information on this thread and in this forum, we have lots of ways to grow roots if and when we have to cut anything. The bubbly bucket by Georgia on my mind sounds fun.

Next winter, when the Brugs should be big and need to go dormant, a garage sounds perfect for them. If we don't leave them inground. The only one we left out still is the Day Dream. It has buds on them and one is opening and looks like a pod person excaping from the side. (Fingers crossed) They should be bloomed out today or tomarrow. The cold has had an effect on them, we will have to wait and see as to how much.

Thanks again to everyone. You have been a big help. Don't worry we will probably be posting again about needing new help. LOL. Learning never ends.


    Bookmark   October 2, 2009 at 10:07AM
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I am in VA - My brug cuttings that I rooted over the summer look normal even though the night temps have been dipping into the 40's this prior week. These I plan to bring in as soon as I hear of temps in the high 30's or I start seeing decline. My large brug that I have is in the ground and is still blooming. The only effects that I have noticed the high 40's have had on my brugs is a little extra curl on the blooms at night. The buds are still growing and new blooms are still emerging. I am still not sure the long term effects of 40's for these plants but will continue watching and learning. I find that I have to water my brug about every 3-4 days(it lets me know when it needs it). That lead me to my questions...

1 - Not sure if it is because of the cultivar(noid:)... But the leaves appear lighter than a lot of these dark green leaf brugs. I feed the heck out of it and attempted to include a little extra N to bring out more of the green. Can anyone throw out a few names of some darker leaved varieties?

2 - I have an extremely hot and dry(in summer) microclimate that I planted my noid in... When it was hot I have to water it daily. Can anyone throw out a few names of some brugs that do not require as much water in the heat and perform better in the heat(no leaf fade...etc)?

3 - When variegation is lost on a cutting of... Lets say P&C... Is the plant still named P&C or another name? In regards to this as well... Will the variegation ever return? And can variegated brugs be propagated from cuttings?

I know I had at least a couple more when I started this posting but I will get back to them when I remember or someone else might ask them.


    Bookmark   October 2, 2009 at 10:48AM
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I use ruth_ann's process, only thing different? i add some sand on the top o the soil to prevent some buggies.

But becauseit was SUCH a LOUSY YEAR here in Illinois,I wo't be "chopping" them back, #1, because i don't have THAT MUCH GROWTH on some of these 'spensive brugs I bought, #2, I DON'T WANTO WAIT next year.

what a TERRIBLE year I had here with brugs. . . . . .wet cold spring, lack luster summer. . . .

the ones that did the best? the over wintered ones i didn' whack down very far, and the breezy/christine which I root pruned in June. . it went INSANE.

the inca suns? they BOTH have MORE BLOOMS than leaves right now. . .not kidding. I should go take a picture. it's really funny looking. COVERED in buds and blooms, dropping leaves.

Now I know what the cubs fans feel like. There's always next year.

Sooooooooooo disappointed. . .so many 'spensive brugs, and I cant cut them because they're too short.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2009 at 1:47PM
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I noticed the large fuzzy leaved ones do better in full sun like shredded white. It shades itself. You can also try starting some castor beans early and plant with the brugs to give some shade. Espom salt will help green them up and milorganite but it stinks to high heaven. If you use that mix it in the soil. I won't use it on top again. Its normal to get lighter leaves late in the year. You might have your soil tested and see if you are lacking anything or do like me and add potting soil when you plant. Good to see you Annette. It was a bad year here too with severe drought and heat. Good to see you.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2009 at 2:03PM
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Hey Kristy:

It's been a hectic year. going into break neck season, but I should have more time now that summer is gone, but, it's always sad to see the leaves drop. Sitting at the summer place at Mom and dad's right now, typing, looking at the miserable 53 degree wet day outside, the birds pecking at the seed on the roof of the porch, and one lonely ruby throat humming bird that needs to pack her bags and get going, she's stayed way too long.

My mom's brugs look only ok. The ones in the wine barrels, none of the did very well. My "wretched mess" I bought only produced single blooms. Stood and yelled at it.

Said "You IDIOT, you're supposed to have QUADS. My candida DOUBLE over there is more interesting than you!"

Mountain magic is 2 1/2 feet tall. .and BLOOMING ON THE GROUND. . .needless to say, the cold weather? the blooms are staying dusty pink, not turning reddish.

I'll bet you had some severe isues with a drought huh?

    Bookmark   October 2, 2009 at 2:22PM
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luvmy3afhounds(7a, OK)

Mike, Great idea to start this thread! There is a lot of great info all in one place. We can all benefit from it.
Thanks to all who contributed!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2009 at 11:55PM
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sibhskylvr((Mike) Arkansas)


I'm hoping it helps everyone in some way or another! :) So far - alot of the information is very helpful! I've learned a few things already! It's nice to see how different people, in different areas, use different techniques for the love of the Brug! :) Isn't that what the forum's about? I mean, besides bringing all of us together in this great forum!

And Annette!! So very, very, happy to see you! I hope you had a GREAT Summer!! Will you be around more as Fall approaches? :)


    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 12:09AM
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For my large plants I use the same method as Ruth Ann mainly because of space issues. If I had more storage space I probably wouldn't cut them back as much. I've also stored multiple large brugs in garbage bags. I just lift them the same way but instead of potting them up I stick them in a trash bag and store them on their side. It worked pretty well last year but it was done because of limited space and isn't the best method.

I do whatever with cuttings. Some are in water (with aeration), others in soil. I also used moistened long fiber sphagnum spread on several feet of wax paper and set cuttings on the moss then wrapped it up like a jelly roll and set it in a bucket. I got about 30 cuttings per roll and pretty much ignored them over the winter. I barely even gave them additional water and almost 100% of the cuttings rooted. The problem was the mess of tangled roots in the spring. I ended up having to cut them apart.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 11:19AM
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sibhskylvr((Mike) Arkansas)

Dave (or anyone who can give me some good ideas!) :))

I like the sounds of a few of the methods - but I do like the sound of Dave's! :) Sounds like it's right up my alley!

Will it work in my previous 'greenroom?' I guess I'll call it the future 'dormancy room!' I somewhat like that name! Almost reminds me of college! lol!

Ok! A few questions:

How often would I water? Any idea of how much to water?

I don't plan on using the grow lights. Anything special I should know considering I'm not going to be using them?

What types of pests & critters should I expect while they're in dormancy? Will I need to keep the 'Neem' oil around?

What's an ideal room temperature?

Should I keep the ceiling fan on for air circulation?

Do you (or anyone) have pics of Brugs while they're in a dormancy stage? I'm curious to see what they might look like all stuffed in a room, basement, garage, etc! I'm sure they look lifeless! No leaves, etc.

If I think of any other questions - I'll be sure to ask! These are the important ones I'm concerned about before I decide what I'm going to do! And if I've missed something & someone notices it - please YELL, really loud! lol!

I feel this thread has shown some excellent thoughts & ideas! Hoping it's useful to everyone! Personally - I'm never to old to learn! :)


    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 9:26PM
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dees(5 IN)

Mike, I just wanted to say thanks, again for starting this thread! There is so much useful info in this one.Since I am dealing with cuttings, I really appreciate Brenda sharing her procedure. I was scared to death of trying green cuttings, but since I have strart using Brenday's procedure, I think I can do it!...Thanks, everyone!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2009 at 8:17AM
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great info- but what environment did you place the bucket of cuttings?- Would my warm, dark basement be ok? I want the success that you had this year- as I lost most of my cuttings to rot that I received last year in trades! :(

    Bookmark   October 13, 2009 at 9:03AM
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Frances Coffill(7b)

This will be my first year trying to keep cuttings (and a seedling) indoors over winter. I do have a couple of flouresent grow light strips that I use for seedlings in winter. OOOOHH I am dreading cutting them down. But they are calling for frost here by the end of the week! I just know I am going to cut them back and then we will get a warm spell that lasts into November and I'll be cursing!

I am worried about the temperature indoors! It is probably never going to be cooler than 68-70F in here (unless we have a power failure) How will these plants go dormant at those temperatures?


    Bookmark   October 13, 2009 at 11:26AM
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Hi all. Got a question. What can cause leaves and blooms to be weak and fall off at the slightest touch? Would this be caused by a lack of something? Or maybe too much of something, even too much light? Other than the weakness, the overwintering in the house is going well. The Brugs have all gotten over the stress of being moved, and have been growing new leaves and new buds. Thanks for listening, hopefully someone has a suggestion.


    Bookmark   October 23, 2009 at 12:01PM
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rascalthomas(z6,cape cod,ma)

Michael, i love your wandering prose, Are you Irish by any chance? If not, you should be.I take the easy way out. When it's time(not quite yet), I'll go out with my hedge clippers and cut them back to about 2 inches above the ground, strip off all leaves on all branches only leaving the top 2-4 leaves on each branch,put them in a kitchen garbage container, bungee cord them loosley together, put them in my spare (???) room that gets ONLY morning sun and keep the water level at approx. 2 inches. I can fit about 12 (5 foot plants) in a container which takes no room because I HAVE NO ROOM. I used to change the water, but now I just add water when they need it.I plant out around June, in the ground and in pots.AND......I still have one in a pot on my deck with 4 of it's original 10 flowers!!! My goal in growing these are just to SEE ONE before frost gets them. THANKS, GOD

    Bookmark   October 23, 2009 at 1:55PM
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kasha....I just wanted to make sure I read your post correctly....I absolutely LOVE your idea about putting new cuttings in the basement. Do you keep lights on for them? What is your average temp range?

Right now I've got a problem that I don't know how to deal with it...let's say I watered my cuttings last month. Well, the potting soil is still moist. How the heck can I use a weak fertilizer or anything to help the cuttings grow? I am SOOO afraid to water because I'm sure I'll get root rot and I'll be dang if I'm losing all my cuttings to that. I have the cuttings sitting under a grow lite but in a window. If I sit them in my "home made" greenhouse...a four shelf with overhead grow lites and heat mats...I get too much moisture from the heat even with the door open and the cuttings start to flop.

Sorry, for rambling on but I guess what my question is, does anyone know how I can dry my potting soil out somewhat. My potting soil mixture is 1/2 potting soil/1/2 perlite. I am NOT going to lose all of my cuttings!!


    Bookmark   October 23, 2009 at 5:08PM
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Ok, I need some clarification on overwintering a plant that gets dug up from a summer outside. This year I direct planted all my bananas and my brug which had been languishing for years in containers that they had outgrown. They've gone gangbusters outside. However, my downstairs ceiling will not accommodate the new size and it was dicey before. I want the brug to go dormant like the bananas which I overwinter in the garage.

I thought that all the Y's were essential to leave on a plant since it only will bloom where there is a Y--yes? So, if my brug trunk splits into three sub trunks about 6 inches from the ground and each of those splits into 2 or 3, most of which are blooming but at 8 feet up in the air at Y's, how do I cut to a manageable size to overwinter and still get the flower show again if all but one very high Y is lopped off??? Yikes.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2010 at 7:01PM
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Don't worry- that sounds like a pretty big brug- it will grow new Y's and they will bloom from those. I've started 6 inch cuttings in the winter in my basement, and by summer they were 4 feet tall with new Y's, and covered in 100 blooms. (Creamsickle) You can cut yours to make it a manageable size to get it in the house. It'll be fine for next year! kasha77

    Bookmark   October 7, 2010 at 10:21PM
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Is this thread still alive? I need help overwintering a Brug this winter....

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 3:43PM
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sibhskylvr((Mike) Arkansas)


It's alive now! Alot of good info here & if more info is needed, someone will 'chime' in to help out! :)


    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 11:13PM
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Ament(5a SD)

I read through this thread and the link as well. Whew! Loads of helpful information! Thank you everyone! :D


    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 1:24PM
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Ok. I have posted this on 2 other forums, but I am still looking for the best suggestion. I am going to keep my question short & simple. "What do I do with the Brug in the below pictures?"

Note: No grow light option. I am Zone 6 in MA and frost is almost upon us. I am thinking just put the thing into dormancy and water once a month until spring. Should I cut it back before dormancy?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 2:04PM
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chena(z8 Texas)

I would not cut it back but you can strip the leaves to keep those pesky Spider mites from feasting!!


    Bookmark   October 7, 2011 at 12:15PM
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I thought I would get more help but I think this string is too long lost for people to be visiting & commenting on a regular basis. You see my Brug "before" pictures above. Below are "after" pictures.

I first cut off a few of the main branches:

Here are my "soft wood" cuttings, because the branches I cut were without bark:

Cuttings went into water. I know it's a little late, but hey, why not? Might as well document how quickly they root and see if they will take off in soil in a window or something:

Today the live Brug is going to my brother's. He gave me the 6" cutting that created this plant back in June from his 6' Brug. He will keep in his parlor for the winter as he has done in the previous years and I will not need to worry about sticking it in a corner in my basement and my cats eating it :-)

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 8:35AM
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I just cut them up like firewood (and whatever size I want to start them next year) and put each type in it's own 5 gallon bucket with a little water in the bottom. I still have 3-4 sitting in a bucket from last year that I never got around to planting that has roots all over it. I store the buckets in the basement.

If the water gets a little smelly I pour an oz or so 3%peroxide in the bucket. Here in in SC they also come back from the roots (kinda like hardy hibiscus). The cuttings are just to make sure they keep doing that.

The cuttings oddly seem to root at the water surface and what is below rots away eventually.

It is harsh but, much easier than hauling big pots around.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 8:51AM
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These are the ones that have been sitting in a bucket behind our building since last fall. Poor things.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 9:16AM
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I am in Mass. That water would freeze in a heartbeat.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 8:37AM
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That is why I grow them in the basement where it is warmer with just a florescent light. That is just cuttings from last year that I never planted. You gotta keep them above freezing.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 3:56AM
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I have a question regarding the method described in the post above and I hope that **gottahosta** or someone familiar with that method is able to answer a question. :)

I had to cut down a brug today and want to try this method but am unsure about the level of soil--does the soil level only go to the top of the toilet paper roll or do I fill it to the top of the pot?

thanks for any help. :)

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 3:58PM
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Wow I just found this and it is full of a lot of wonderful information!!!!

Am I to understand from some of the above information that the 19 cuttings I have in water that has started rooting can be kept in the water ALL WINTER LONG????? Oh you don't know how wonderful that would be if I can do it. They are various sizes in jars of water or glasses. I have been changing the water weekly and when I do I add a tiny couple drops of peroxide to the water. Maybe one a week I will add a bit more water if needed. I was just looking at them and thinking I need to pot these up but WHERE to go with them. I already have 30 out in my sun room ranging from 3 to 8 feet tall. No room out there now, Right now the cuttings are under plant lights which I turn on at 6, 7 in the morning and turn off around 9,10 at night. Any and all thoughts and advice gladly welcome. I am in Wisconsin.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 7:15PM
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Also, how often is ennough to water the brugs in the sun room during winter It can be 80 degrees in there on sunny days and we do heat it at night so it stays between 40 and 45 degrees.

Spider mites during winter storage also is a problem. If I put a vaporizer with just water, be helpful?

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 8:07PM
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chena(z8 Texas)

Lots' of great info.. I have left cuttings in water for the Winter with no problem.. you just to make sure you don't have one that starts to rot..So long as they are Happy you should be fine!!!


    Bookmark   November 11, 2011 at 1:43PM
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Thanks Kylie. Course I had started potting up the rooted ones and sent a bunch out for exchange that were all rooted but there are still more.............. And more cuttings to be taken as the individual brugs try to grow through the sky lights out in the sun room and escape. I cut them back. Never ending war with them. Bound and determined to punch out the sky lights and reach for the stars.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2011 at 8:22AM
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Thought I'd bump this up since there's so much good info here. Thanks to all who contributed. (Any new recommendations are welcome.)

Anyone know of a treatment/fertilizer to be used in the Fall to encourage hardwood at the top of my plants (Y area) or is it just a matter of cooler temps and/or time?

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 6:29PM
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Just found this thread, thanks to all for the information! Got an 9-10 footer to cut back HARD soon!


    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 1:45PM
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I'm confused, I thought only datura produced seed pods not brugs..mine have never produced a seed pod, could it be they're not old enough???

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 12:05AM
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halley_rose(z4 Wi)

Thanks for all the great information.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 7:35PM
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MissMudPuppy(z7 - L.I.)

Great thread! Got some new info I can use. Let's keep this one going...

I have a ques: which pruners have you all found to be most ideal for pruning your Brugs? I have Fiskars but they crush some of the stems. Any tips, friends?

My Brugs struggled this season too. My 2 y/o Frosty Pink has been putting out buds all season but they never develop beyond a quarter inch before they shrivel up & fall off. Now that our weather has become cooler & I can leave them out in full sun w/o worrying about them getting sunburned, they're growing lush green leaves & branching out like crazy. I have noticed 2 offshoots have buds that are starting to swell so MAYBE I'll see something in the next few wks. My C. Grimaldi needs a repot badly because it's already outgrown its 3rd pot (I live in the Northeast where we get frost, ice, & snow so leaving them in the ground is not an option for me. Tried it with one already, thinking I could mulch it, but lost it from rot. It gets very wet here & things don't dry out in time so they freeze or rot). Can I repot it now or should I wait? Still too warm to bring them in so they've got at least another month before I have to put them to bed for the winter.

Thx everyone! Happy growing!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 9:21AM
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You want to use a BYPASS pruner and not an anvil type. If you have a bypass pruner maybe it just needs sharpening.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 9:50AM
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ruth_ann(Z5 Ont.Can.)

plantmasterm, you need more than one variety to get cross pollination and seedpods for most Brugs.You also need pollinators. Sometimes you can pollinate them yourself if you seem to have no known pollinators.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 10:02AM
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Tommy has a good recommendation. I sharpen my pruners (Fiskars) and loppers at least once a season. Too much work and damage otherwise.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 8:41PM
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MissMudPuppy(z7 - L.I.)

Thx Tommy & Gail! Appreciate it! :)

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 7:40AM
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Here is what I do here in Sayville. My brugs are in 16 to 20 inch pots.
In the spring I heel them into the ground (bury the pots about 1/2 way to prevent tipping/falling over).
When frost threatens, usually late October, I cut them back, my 8 to 9 foot tall standards become 4 feet tall.........and into my basement they go. There is a bit of light from the basement windows, not much really. Basement is in the lower 60's temperature wise. I give them a half gallon of water once a month, this seems to be enough to keep them going, but, not to get them growing. There might be shoot or two here and there, and I usually get a bloom or two (boy, does the house smell good!). If the shoots get too wild, I just cut them off.
Come April 1 I water every other day in the basement, this gets them awake and it is out the door and on the patio for the summer on May 1. Bloom for the 4th of July.
Cuttings, I pot them up into 6 inch pots and grow them slowly on my window sill, I stick the cutting into the mix, water the heck out of it, then I keep them dry, minimal water (they will root and become semi-dormant, I really do not have room for them to grow much inside) and will pot them up in the spring. Potting mix is ProMixBX. Feed is Peters 20-20-20 supplemented with Epsom Salts and Milorganite. I feed the Peters weekly.
My wood for cuttings, I am picky here, I use the semi hard wood, it is not completely green, not completely brown. Seems to root well, but not rot. Brugs root very easily. Just take it easy with them. I have rooted parts from just the tips to "instant standards" which is a long straight branch shoved into a pot. Just pinch the leaves off the branch which will allow it to root, takes about 3 weeks and you are off and growing. Think of them like little green people, I do. That 12 inch plant in a 6 inch pot will become a 5 foot tall blooming specimen in a 16 inch pot in about 3 months in my yard.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2013 at 8:44PM
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Good morning everyone this is a wonderful thread, I have learned to keep the odor down from the water while rooting if u would just incorporate willow cuttings that eliminate that problem..happy brugging.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 11:04AM
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trigger_m(7b georgia)

A lot of the Single blooms will root in water,and even overwinter in water. I just keep 2-3 inches of water in a large tote. However,many of the doubles and triples will rot in water before they root. BUT,they will readily root in potting media. I use a bark based mix. The key is to keep them on the dry side. I water very completely when I pot them up,then don't water again ontil the soil has nearly dried out. The easiest way to kill a young rooting brug is to over water it. Just keep them from freezing. I plant one plant per gallon pot,but I have rooted 15 cuttings in a 5 gallon pot!! Saves a lot of space if your space is limited.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 10:30PM
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