Brugmansia Questions

bigorangevol(Nashville)April 24, 2007

Start thinking about all the multitude of questions that you are going to have to throw at Joe and Judith. You may even want to start making a list. If it's Brug related then boy do we have the perfect guest speakers to answer all your questions!

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tngreenthumb(z6 TN)

And just in case you have no idea what a brugmansia is, here are a few photos to whet your appetite.

(Click on images to see larger versions.)

And one for a sense of scale on the blooms.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2007 at 4:23PM
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tngreenthumb(z6 TN)

No response? Tough crowd.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 10:18AM
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Killer! I can't even get them to Y much less bloom. Joe you really do have a green thumb.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 10:25AM
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maternut(7 west tn)

Joe I had some on my deck in pots last year and some in the ground. I took cuttings in greenhouse for the winter, mulched the ones in ground with about 2 or 3 feet of pine straw. One was left unprotected in a pot. The one in the pot is coming back just about as well as the ones that were covered with the pine straw.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 12:38PM
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sondra_tn(South East TN (6/7))

I won't make it to the sawp yet I have some questions. :))

I have 3 Brugs from last year ( my first year with them) and I mulched over them very heavily. Right now they all 3 look dead! Yet, when I tug on them (as if to pull it out), the roots still have a good hold. Is there still hope? As there is no green to them at all. I know this weather has been crazy. Are they late or just dead?
I have tried the cuttings in my greenhouse this winter and they never got any root's on them. I am not sure what I am doing wrong. I had short cuttings ( 12 inches at least) and kept the water changed out. HELP?? LOL
I did receive one in a swap recently and it's in a small pot. I would like to keep it in A pot for fear of losing it this winter. Should I keep transplanting it as it grows or just pot it up in a huge pot now?
I never heard of these 'til last year...thanks to Jeff and Joe on here...I just need to learn the tricks of keeping them in the ground all winter.


    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 7:39AM
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tngreenthumb(z6 TN)

sondra: Where in TN are you? I'm in th Nashville area and I have had a few come back from the ground, but not many. It depends a lot on your microclimate. If they are firm in the ground, I'd leave them a while longer, just top be sure. But keep in mind that they put down a LOT of roots. Even dead they can hold on for a while.

How much water is in your container, and do the cuttings have at least two nodes? The roots form first nearest a node. I usually cut between nodes and trim the bottom end to leave maybe an inch at most below the node. You should see little bumps forming after a few dys to a couple of weeks. Granted, some cultivars root better in water than others. Usually they will root, or start to rot. If they start to rot, trim off the mush stuff and try rooting in a mixture of peat moss and sand, or potting soil.

Some are just very hard to root. Period. Do you know what kind you had?

They actually perform better if they are a little rootbound. Pot it up only a little at a time too. Depending on how big it it now, I'd try to put it into about a 1 gallon grower's pot then sink that whole thing into the ground. The roots will work their way out into the ground and in the fall you can more easily dig up the root ball by running a shovel down the sides. Next spring, I'd use a much bigger, sturdier bucket (I get 3-gal hard plastic buckets at Home Depot/Lowes) and cut some holes in the sides. But not the bottom. (See pictures below.)

Letting them grow to full height this year, then taking them inside after pruning back the tops before frost, lets you put out a nearly full grown plant next spring. I usually have blooms in June this way where most people that let them grow from the ground up every year won't see blooms til nearly August.

Here is an example. This was from a cutting I got in trade. I grew it to this size in my basement over the winter. (Hard to do indoors as spider mites thrive indoors.) I potted it up into the bucket you see here.

This was planted out in the yard on May 26th.

First Bloom on June 21st.

Really showing off by August 21st.

Hope This Helps!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 11:21AM
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sondra_tn(South East TN (6/7))

Oh wow! Those are beautiful!!
Thank you so much for the info Joe. I have plenty of pot's here and will try this IF they come back up. The cuttings are disposed of though. I did receive a "white" in a trade a few week's ago. I just repotted it in a bigger pot so I can bring it inside this winter. I didn't know about the "nodes" as I cut at the Y and stuck them in about 2 inches of water in a 5 gallon bucket which I kept changing them out. I will try better this winter though. I HAD a Charles Grimaldi (sp?) and a few other's I can't remember..(tag's were on the ones that I disposed of).
Don't worry though, as I hope to obtain some more somewhere and start over...even if they have to stay in pot's all the time. LOL
By the way, I am in Monroe County...close to the NC/GA line...37385 is my zip. :))

Thanks again,

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 4:59PM
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I could have sworn that I posted this last week but I don't see it here so I'll try again.

I take it by the popularity of the Brug's on this list that it's legal to grow in Tennessee? They can be very poisonous, even in small amounts from what I read about them. ::shrug::

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 12:14PM
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Brugmansias are legal to grow in Tennessee. There are many plants commonly grown that are either poisonous or can cause allergic reactions. Grown with caution these plants can provide beauty to the garden without any reason for concern.

If I had a small child that was prone to put things in their mouth, I would probably hesitate to grow brugs within their reach. However, I have had no problems with my brugs and my animals.

I do take care to wash my hands after pruning my brugs, so as to not have an allergic reaction.

Much of the bad press relating to brugs comes from inappropriate ingestion or smoking by those that are seeking a hallucinogenic high.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 4:32PM
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Thanx, I wanted to double check on that becuase I know they are regulated in south florida where my wife is from.

I'm still a little torn as well, I think they would look wonderful in a row along the only area of my house that gets full-sun but at the same time I have a newborn on the way and if he's anything like his father...the flowers will have to go.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 5:03PM
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tngreenthumb(z6 TN)

Most people have little to no reaction to contact with the plants. The only reaction I've ever had was from wiping my sweaty brow with my hand while cutting them back in the Fall. Later on the sweat ran into one eye and dialated that pupil. That made things look a little weird, but nothing at all bad.

As for anyone (or anything) eating enough of these to hurt themselves, it's not likely to be by accident. They taste horrible. As most poisons do. The stories you hear periodically are almost always someone trying to get high with them. Simply Natural Selection at work.

Having said all that, there are some peolpe who are very sensitive to brugs. Everyone should probably exercise care until they know how they will react.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 10:07PM
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cannahavana(z7a Knoxville)

The link below is one of several sites that list common plants we have that are poisonous to eat. One that I didn't see on the list is the tomato plant. I have grown brugs around both my children and cats with no problem. They knew from very early not to touch or pick anything in the gardens or containers. I have always made sure they had their own 'pickin flowers' so that they would leave mine alone :).


Here is a link that might be useful: Common poisonous plants

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 8:20AM
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tngreenthumb(z6 TN)

Knowledge is so much better than fear. Too bad the regular media can't understand that.

But then, fear is a much better control tactic.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 10:07AM
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