Pitiful looking brugs ...

roselee z8b S.W. TexasAugust 23, 2011

How are you brug folks managing your brugmansias? Mine are in the ground with morning sun and are watered every day, but are looking very pitifully stunted plus they wilt so badly that they've lost their bottom leaves. I'm thinking of digging them up and putting them in big pots until next year. In fact I'm wondering if they will be easier to keep in pots even though I tried it once several years ago and they still wilted everyday no matter how much water they got.

What is the best way to take care of them in this heat, and do they ever stay fresh looking all summer? I've got to give them credit for producing a few blooms, but might just give them away at the fall swap.

What think ye?

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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

Roselee, I have never had such a bad brug year...EVER !!!
First, the hail stripped all the leaves and most of the branches late in June, and they have just never recovered since the heat has been with us ever since. The ones inground are in much better shape than the container ones though. Why would you want to containerize them when they are much easier to take care of inground? I don't have a problem with the inground ones at all. I may actually get blooms off them this season (they ALL should be blooming now), but not sure about most of the container ones. I am sorry this year has been such a disappointment to so many, but we know we get one of these every now and then.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 10:09PM
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rock_oak_deer(8b TX)

Mine wilt in large pots in the shade also. I move them around to keep them in the shade and they still wilt even with twice a day watering. The one planted in ground was held back by the winter freeze and is really so small I don't think it will bloom this year at all. Any buds drop right off in the heat so I don't expect blooms until fall and that's standard for the nearly three years I've had them.

Just this evening when out watering I was thinking it's time to give up and take them to the swap!

Even my agave has sun scald so I'm thinking I'll pull out the plants and put all the gravel back. It's time to get a new (indoor) hobby.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 10:14PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Carrie, I was hoping you'd see this since I knew you grow brugs. I remember that unfortunately you had a bad hail storm earlier in the year that stripped them of leaves.

With the ground being so dry I thought maybe mine would be easier to keep watered in a big pot of at least 10 gallon size, but I won't try it if you know it wouldn't help them.

Do you water them by hand, sprinkler, or drip irrigation? I have a drip line running to mine and they are heavily mulched. They perk up as soon as they get a little moisture from the drip line, but often wilt badly again by afternoon so I hand water as well.

By the way I was really surprised that they survived last winter in the ground.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 10:22PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Shirley, we'd never be completely happy with only an indoor hobby! How boring ... LOL

Wow, it seems pretty bad when the agaves can't take it, but in some of the pictures I've seen of certain ones in the wild they are growing on mountain sides with trees around them and often at a higher and probably cooler temperature. My cactus and agaves in pots in the front yard are doing great in the shade of my big cedar elm.

I'm putting tents made of sheets strung on those green plastic covered metal poles over the roses that are in the full blasting sun. They've done pretty good until the last couple of weeks of this prolonged heat.

As for the brugs I just don't know where they'd do best.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 10:33PM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

Roselee, brugs require a LOT of water and I hand water all of mine. I knew this going into growing them, so it is not as if it is a surprise to me. I just have to water more this season than before. Mine do NOT wilt as I see many of yours do. However, my inground ones are in filtered sunlight and are quite happy that way. The only one I have in full sun is Dr. Suess, and he has been inground since 2005 and comes back each year and does his thing. He is the only one that has blooms at the present time, but they are small and last only one day. He is having difficulty keeping leaves, and is one pitiful speciman considering what he usually looks like. They are also heavy feeders, and I have with held feeding them until last week.............not the twice a week that they require to get blooms, but enough to help them put on new leaves. Right now, I am just trying to keep them going, and I will regroup and start over next season. This is a crisis that I know will pass, but as the old saying goes, "I will never be the same pretty girl"...LOL>

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 9:33AM
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Roselee, I have moved almost all my brugmansia to 5 gallon pots. They do not seem to do any better in the ground, than in pots. I decided I would keep them in pots, just so I can move them indoors if it freezes( its hard to even imagine). I do not think I will see any blooms this year from either. Nothing is blooming except my siam tulips, which are just beautiful. Barbra

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 10:14AM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

Barbra, my inground brugs received much colder temps than yours for several days and they all survived without any extra mulch. They are pretty tough plants and can withstand a lot of abuse. I am sorry you lost yours, but really cannot understand why.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 11:18AM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Well, against the better judgment of my esteemed fellow gardener I moved one of the brugs into a ten gal. pot which is in more shade, removed the yellowed leaves, covered it with clear plastic held out by bamboo sticks making a little green house to lessen the shock. I just wanted to see how it would do under more shady conditions where it would be easier to keep the soil moist. I think there are enough months left for it to leaf out well again so we shall see how it does. It's the Dr. Suess variety I think.

Gardening is an always ongoing experiment it seems. If something doesn't work in one place we try another, or try another plant. The place I moved it from looks better anyway. The appearance of lanquishing plants brings the look of the whole garden down. Not that anything looks all that great right now except for the bougainvillias.

The tent city over the roses is rather 'interesting' however ... LOL!

For years I've kept the trees limbed up so the roses would get more sun, but having a shade garden is really sounding like a good idea about now.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 2:02PM
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My brugs are all in pots and none are doing good, but I think I will be losing 3 of them.
One is well rooted that I've had for years and in dappled shade all day.
The other two are newly rooted from Carrie in the fall, and were in morning sun, but now shaded all day.
My other 10 or so are all different.
Some have leaves and look okay, some have lost most of their leaves, none have bloomed this year.
One had buds that fell off.
I'm just keeping them watered and hope they survive and maybe get some blooms when the weather cools.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 2:27PM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

The sad thing about brugs in containers is that unless you repot them every two or three years (and this has gotten to be too much of a chore for me), they will eventually die. Their root system is so large that they have to be repotted and their roots trimmed back, or they cannot survive. This, I have found to be true, and have been told this by people who have been growing them much longer than I.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 3:11PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Thanks Ruth and Carrie. I'll consider the potting of the brug as a stop gap emergency procedure until I figure some better place to put them.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 3:46PM
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I've allowed passi incense to cover my bigger brughs in pots. These have fared better than the smaller one potted this spring. Althought protected from direct west sun it is miserable.

Carrie, I've found massive roots before. You reminded me that they've spent at least 2 years in these pots....errgh!

duranta has he same problem. One has roots so big that it literally drowned itself after a rain. I couldn't figure out why the pot wouldn't drain. It was in the greenhouse and I kept thinking there was a leak in the roof somewhere... live and learn. But now I need to repot it too! I love this plant and it's bloomed since April....yes through this summer!

thank you

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 2:59PM
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Okay, Not to rub it in with anyone, but I just HAVE to share how happy my brugsmansia is!! of course a contribution from Carrie, who has really helped me get my gardens going this year!! I don't really know alot about them other than I fell in love with them...this little guy was pretty small when I got him in May. This shot was taken a few mornings ago. It doesn't hurt that it gets to feed on decomposing tree roots below the surface. I have to ask, do they always get this big? Oh and the only water it's getting is from the sprinklers twice a week!!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 4:10PM
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Ladybugfruit, I don't think that's a brug. :) Looks like the datmansia. A cross between a brug and datura.
Mine has been in the ground 2 years and is much larger, I've cut it back 3 times this summer.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 4:16PM
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Silly me! See, still learning!! So they do get huge?? LOL, I need to remember to keep the tags of swap plants where I can remember to find them! :)

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 5:09PM
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We've all been there... trust me. :)

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 7:04PM
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Carrie, I was suprised I lost them. They were covered with sheets, with bungie cords around them, so they could not blow off. The sprinkler system went off during the night, the sheets were solid pieces of ice. I think that is why they froze, I would have done better just leaving them uncovered. Barbra

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 8:04PM
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princealbert(Aransas Pass TX)

Well guys, I don't feel so bad now about how mine look. they are pittiful too. My water bill last month in Belton was $130. Things are just barely hanging on. Things here in P/A are not much better.I have brought 3 loads of plants down and still have much more to bring. I have sprinklers on at both places.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 10:11PM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

LOL, Erin, it IS a datmansia, but a beautiful one ... you did a good job with it.

Barbara, so sorry about that, and yes, they probably would have survived on their own. I cut all mine to the ground in November and they come back each year and give me blooms (this year has been decidedly different), but they are trying and I will probably get blooms from a few of them. Dr. Seuss and Charles Grimaldi are the only two blooming for me right now, but they are the older varieties and take weather conditions much better than many of the hybrids.

Pa, things will get better and they will bounce back for us........hang in there.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 1:01PM
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I have 2 brugs and they look pretty puny right now, but I'm hopeful the upcoming cooler temps will perk them up and I'll get a fall flush....we'll see. Carrie, you cut your brugs down in November before the first frost?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 1:18PM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

Yes, that way I can give the cuttings to people who want to start them. Sometimes, I save one or two for myself if I have some that are not looking really well. But all my inground brugs have been there for six or seven growing seasons and they still look pretty good on an average year (not this one, of course). I spaced them far enough apart so the roots can expand, and some of them are huge.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 2:21PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Carrie, maybe you could post some pictures of your brugs in a good year to inspire us to hang in there with them :-)

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 2:47PM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

Roselee, I have long since forgotten how to post pics, but there should be an old thread in the gallery called For Brug Lovers Only.................I will see if I can find it and bring it back to life.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 3:54PM
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