Time to bring in the Brug?

Rubby(6b)September 19, 2011

In July, my brother gave me my first Brug plant. It was nothing but a stick in a pot at the time, but I now have it to about 3ft tall. I have not seen a flower yet, and am not sure if I will. The question is what do I do with it now?

1) Do I bring the entire plant/pot indoors (Basement), find a cool, dark corner and water it once per month until spring?

2) Do I take a couple of cuttings and sit them in water to produce roots and re-plant in soil? The plant is not huge so the cutting will not be huge. Will this present a problem?

3) Do I do both? Bring the entire plant/pot in the basement AND take some small cutting to try and root in addition to the potted Brug?

I have never overwintered a Brug before. I just don't want to kill it and would like to give me the best chance of having a big beautiful flowering one (or two) next year.

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I Googled this and found the site linked below that gives instructions for folks in North America wishing to overwinter their brugs. The instructions are pretty clear and succinct. Hope this helps.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to over winter brugmansia in cold winter regions

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 4:49PM
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Thank You very much. I have copied, pasted & printed. Let's hope it works.

I do not think the plant is big enough to have to give a hard cut. Although, as I said, I would like to start growing a couple more for next summer. Maybe I will try some small ones anyway.....

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 5:10PM
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Good luck! I haven't ever kept one alive over a winter, despite trying. Maybe the directions at the link would have helped. Brugmansia and datura are 2 of my absolute favorites, and it does seem like it's worth trying to keep them over.

There's a short video about overwintering and propagating brugs at the link below. It assumes you've got a frost-free greenhouse, and that for that reason you don't need to try to get the plants to go dormant, but there still might be some useful info in it for you.

Here is a link that might be useful: propagating and overwintering brugs

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 9:13PM
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Well, I think I am going to try and bring the entire plant in and see how it works out. I do not have thick branches to cut pieces like in the video.

Thank You though.....

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 7:44AM
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Several years ago, I kept one in the unheated basement non-dormant over the winter fine. I cut it back a lot and then kept it under fluorescent lights. It bloomed like crazy. But its quite heavy and a pain to drag it down there. Now I just take cuttings.

I have some pictures of the process in this album. Maybe this will help. Overwintering Brugs

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 9:32AM
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...I cut it back a lot...

I meant initially I did that when I first brought it in. Then I just let it grow. The next spring I cut it back again before bringing it outside.

I also try to bring things in and take things out gradually, bringing them in the garage for the cool nights and outside for the day. This lets them adjust to new light levels at a slower pace.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 9:36AM
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Thanks, wendyb, those photos really make it clear how you've done this. I'm really jealous, by the way.

Why do you root the cuttings in water instead of in rooting medium? Do you think it works just as well? I guess it's easier not to have to remember to water them, but don't they grow more quickly or better in soil? I;m getting ready to try this with a giant pineapple sage, so thought I'd ask.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 1:07PM
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I am going to need to get you a picture of mine. It isn't huge, so I do not have an issue bringing it into my unheated basement. However, I also do not have the option of putting under a grow light. Not only that, my cats are "plant eaters" and a Brug is very poisonous.

I am going to need to keep the entire plant tucked away up high in the dark somewhere, so the plan is to have it go dormant.

Again, I am faced with 2 or 3 possibilities here:

1) Bring the entire plant in, let it go dormant, and hope it wakes up in the spring.

2) The plant is not huge, therefore the branches are not large and do not have bark yet. Can I still cut them and root them in water? If so, does the rooting branch need to be under a grow light?

3) Do both. Cut some branches off the plant and root them and also bring the rest of the plant in for dormancy.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 3:18PM
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dtd, I leave it in water for just 2-3 weeks until roots form, then I put it in potting soil. That's how I learned it. You could certainly try it directly in soil. I think the risk would be keeping it moist enough without waterlogging the soil. Not quite the same as a coleus cutting.

Rubby, Don't know about #1.
#2, I tried rooting a green cutting once as an experiment and keeping it in a houseplant etagere collection under florescent lights. It rooted fine but didn't thrive. I eventually tossed it in the spring when the hardwood cuttings were so outperforming it and I just didn't need it. I probably did the in-water-first-then-soil method, but I honesty don't remember. (that's also why I take pics -- to help ME remember what I did!)

#3 worth a shot. what do you have to lose? Answer: the very base of the trunk might be the oldest partially woodiest portion of the plant and the best candidate for a hardwood cutting.

If you don't have a gro-light spot in the cool basement, where would you keep the rooted cutting? I'm not sure how it would perform in a sunny window. Again, worth a try. A lot of this stuff is trial and error. But, try to take notes better than me - LOL

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 6:49PM
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This are some old links I saved where I got a lot of my info:



there was another one at an external brug site but GW blocked it in this message. Look for B... Growers International. there is a page on starting cuttings.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 6:56PM
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So below are pics of my Brug. I got it mid-summer and it was just a 1-foot twig with 2-3 leaves at the top. Unfortunately, I did not get any flowers. Frost is becoming part of the weatherman's vocabulary, so I need to figure out how I am going to keep this alive for the winter. I suppose I better bring it into the basement soon.....but was hoping for just ONE flower before then :-(

You can see that only the main branch has bark. The others are still green.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 8:38AM
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Wow, that's one very bushy brug. Seems unusual that it grew so bushy rather than growing tall. I've never seen one quite like that.

In the future you may do well to pull off new growth from the main trunk to direct the energy upwards.

Anyhow, it looks like the central trunk has enough bark for a hardwood cutting. You can try a green cutting too or a few. Do you have a window to grow them in for the winter?

May as well let the rest of it go dormant to see what happens. Nothing to lose. Its either that or the compost heap, right?

I've got my 2 move-able brugs in the garage for the potentially frosty night tonight. They have buds on them so I will bring them out when the frost threat has passed.

As far as flowering for next time, they need fertilizer. I give them Miracle Grow bloom boost 10-52-10 every 2 weeks or so.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 8:50PM
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LOL. Thanks Wendy. I was wondering why it was so bushy compared to all the other pics I saw. But figured it would lose it's "bushiness" as it got taller. I also figured I would leave it bushy to help build the root system for the winter and next years planting.

I do not really have a window for growing cuttings. Mainly because my cats love to eat plants, and this is one plant I don't want them to eat. Obviously.

Well, I seem to still be at a loss..... I think I might just cut it back, stick it in my basement, and hope for the best. If it dies, I will get my hands on a new one in the spring.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 9:25AM
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Wendy, it was suggested in the Brug forum that I do not cut it back, bring it in and let go Dormant. Some of the wood will die off and in the spring, just cut that dead wood back to where the branches are alive & plant.

Does anyone else have any suggestions for me? I wish I didn't have to let it go dormant, but I don't have the choice of grow lights.

Although, I used to work at a Nursery and they wouldn't mind if I kept it in their "Hot-House" for the winter. If I did that, I would be afraid it would be too big to return to my house in the spring.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 9:40AM
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If you don't have grow lights and you don't have a window and you don't want it to go dormant, what do you expect?

The hot house is a fine option. There is no such thing as too big. It should be cut back now and again in the spring. Watering and light feeding will be necessary.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 10:43AM
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What I meant was I wish I had the option of grow lights so that Dormancy was not my only option....

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 1:59PM
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Rubby, even in a hothouse, I don't think it will grow much over the winter, if it's kept somewhat dry and cool. Maybe that's wishful thinking at best and a wild guess at worst.
If I had access to a greenhouse, I'd go for it.
Good luck -

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 9:56PM
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