Cultural questions for installing a new Brugs bed.

Andrew ScottNovember 27, 2010

Hi everyone,

I hope you all had a fun filled but safe holiday this year. i know i did. I was fortunate to have some family from Florida come to Thanksgiving all the way up in NY! I don't know if I would want to even come back for Thanksgiving considering how much warmer it is in FL!

Anyhow, I was fortunate to be one of the winners of Kathy's Brugs contest. I got all my cuttings in great shape and now, I am getting them growing. I did this last year with no troubles. I just rooted the cuttings in a glass of water. I changed the water daily and with a short amount of time, I had roots and shoots. I then potted them up in a high quality potting soil that I added some perlite to for drainage. The potting soil was holding a little too much water for my liking.

Then, I put them outside in a site that recieved full morning sun and the brugs took off! I could not believe how fast they were growing for me! It was almost like watching my musa 'basjoo' growing but the banana still was growing much faster.

Back then, I wasn't in to the Brugs as much so I wasn't really reading too many older posts here to learn more. The one frustrating point I learned about quickly was why my brgus were not blooming as fast as I had hoped. I don't remember who it was at the time, but I was told that the brugs would have to form a "Y" before it would form buds. I was checking everyday for that darn "Y", and finally the one 'Frosty pink' did it but one out of 4??

Basically I need to know what I am doing wrong. I know that most plants have specific care instructions so they will thrive and bloom. I would like to know about fertilizers and another thing I know I am going to do diffrently is that I am just going to plant the cutting right into the flower bed instead.

In order to do this succesfully, I wanted to know what soil would be the best for them? Would it be a good idea to add some well rotted compost or cow manure to the bottom of the hole, then add soil on top of that and then plant the brug? I have 4 existing flower beds. I know I cannot have anymore since this is an apartment house is good size along with the yard. The 2 front flower beds I want to convert into tropicalesque borders with the brugs, plumeria and my tropical fruit trees as the main attraction. My 2 back yard borders are also up against the house. One is quite small but it has nothing in it so I can really just plant brugs in there. The other flower bed is my hummingbird and butterfly garden but trust me, I will be ripping out a bunch of the perrenials that I don't like anymore, or they just didn't grow well for me.

I appreciate anyone who takes the time to help me out. Sorry for the long post but I have so many questions still that I need answers for.


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Ammend the soil with loads of compost, worm casings, sharp sand (if you have clay) and well rotted manure. I like bat guano or chicken manure better then cow manure but I honestly don't know if it really makes much of a difference. Most important is make sure it's a well draining site. I think it's a good idea to plant them inground as soon as conditions allow. I wish I had enough space to plant all my brugs in the yard.

It sounds like they are in a good location with am sun but you don't want full afternoon shade. Filtered sun in the pm is best. Even with rich soil they are still heavy feeders. I add some granulated fertilizer or something like Osmocote and still use a water soluable fertilizer weekly during the growing season. I start with a balanced fertilizer and switch to a bloom booster on mature plants (higher phosphorus/ middle number) once they've been in the ground for a while and have put on a lot of vegetative growth. Some plants are just going to take a long time to bloom regardless of what you do and weather conditions have a lot to do with it. It's been 3 years since I've had a really good brug season. The high heat we had last summer caused so much bud drop with my plants. I'd go thru several Y's without any blooms due to bud drop. I had a few plants that were absolute monsters by the time they finally held their buds. On the flip side I had a few tiny plants bloom where the flower was bigger then the entire plants. It also depends on where the original cutting was taken from. If it was taken from above a previous Y or included a Y it will likely bloom sooner then a cutting taken below a Y or a plant that had not yet formed a Y. This is what has worked for me over the past 10 or so years. Other people have other methods that work well for them. You'll eventually find what works best for your particular growing conditions. Hope this helps

    Bookmark   November 28, 2010 at 9:26AM
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Andrew Scott

Thanks Karen!
I guess I should be headed in the right directions since my beds in the back do get good morning sun and they still get the afternoon sun, just not as much. They definetly are not shaded. I will ammend the soil but i know it is fast draining soil. I have been really lucky considering the soil was just filler that the workers put in after they finnished working on the apartment. I have been growing all kinds of stuff in that soil without adding a bunch of fertilizers. My roses are growing great and they are heavy feeders yet I have not been fertilizing the way I should be.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2010 at 10:29AM
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chena(z8 Texas)

Andrew those are all great questions.. You just asking will benefit many who have similar questions.. Great answers Karyn!!! Looks like she covered it..LOL


    Bookmark   November 28, 2010 at 1:55PM
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