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Over-wintering Brugmansia, Lantana & Coleus

Posted by bobk_stl Zone 5/6 (My Page) on
Thu, Sep 6, 07 at 17:33

I live between zones 5 and 6 outside of St. Louis, MO. I have several brugmansias that I want to try to save over the winter. I know you can bring them indoors over winter to go dormant, but I would like to know the correct steps to be successful.

1) Do I dig up the plant (which is currently planted in the ground) and pot it and stick it in the basement?
2) I want it to go dormant; so I expect it to lose its leaves.
3) Does it need any sunlight while it is dormant?
4) How often does it need to be watered?

In terms of the lantana, how do I get this plant to go dormant? For the coleus, I will dig them up and pot them as houseplants and keep in a sunny window over the winter. I will probably also take some cuttings to hedge my chances.

Any other thoughts or feedback from anyone?

Thanks!!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Over-wintering Brugmansia, Lantana & Coleus

In your zone they need to be dug up. I've always stored them in pots but I think you would be alright if you wrap the rootball in burlap. I cut my brugs back before taking them inside (you can root the cuttings). Depending on how big they are I usually cut them back to about 10". Some I'll just cut back all the green growth and leave more of the woody stems. Any green growth will shrivel during dormancy and there's a chance of it rotting so you want to remove it along with any new growth that's put out while dormant (they often put out weak new shoots while being wintered over). It doesn't need any light and water it sparingly, maybe a cup a month. I let my lantanas and coleus die over the winter so I couldn't help you with those.
Karyn


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RE: Over-wintering Brugmansia, Lantana & Coleus

  • Posted by jroot 5A Ont. Canada (My Page) on
    Thu, Sep 6, 07 at 21:54

Your lantana can be treated the same as the brug. Let it go dormant and water sparingly over the winter. It will look dead, but mine have always come back in the spring. At that point I trim off any branches that don't look good once they have started to sprout. I now have a small tree, having started with a small plant a couple of inches.

Your coleus can be brought indoors and kept as house plant, but I find that the aphids like them too much, so mine are always composted....along with the brug leaves and lantana leaves.


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RE: Over-wintering Brugmansia, Lantana & Coleus

Thanks for the messages so far. So, should I just dig up the lantana and brugs and pot them up (since they are planted in the yard right now)? Once potted, just store them down in the basement and water infrequently? Thanks!


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RE: Over-wintering Brugmansia, Lantana & Coleus

Yes, at least for the brugs. Ask Jim about the lantanas. I'd dig them up just before it's time to take them inside. Remember to cut your brugs back.
Karyn


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RE: Over-wintering Brugmansia, Lantana & Coleus

  • Posted by jroot 5A Ont. Canada (My Page) on
    Fri, Sep 7, 07 at 9:41

I keep my lantana in a pot, so I merely move it into the garage when it frost is coming, and cold cellar when the cold is here to stay.

I would indeed dig them up and pot them ( when frost is coming). Sometimes we get a light frost and then "Indian Summer" so it is a shame to have a bare bed for that time. So they can be moved in or out at your whim.

When the cold is here to stay, move them to a cool, dark place for their hibernation, and water once every 3 or 4 weeks ( depending upon the soil in your large pots)


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RE: Over-wintering Brugmansia, Lantana & Coleus

jroot,
what do you mean by cold cellar? Is the un-insulated cold room in the basement considered the same?


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RE: Over-wintering Brugmansia, Lantana & Coleus

I have kept brugs dormant in the garage, and also indoors where they keep growing, but are sometimes plagued by spider mites. I also take cuttings in fall/late fall and keep those newly rooted plants in the sunny house.

Not had luck with lantana yet, but coleus always do really well for me. I take a bunch of cuttings and bring in a bunch of 4" pots of the coleus.

seahorse


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RE: Over-wintering Brugmansia, Lantana & Coleus

  • Posted by jroot 5A Ont. Canada (My Page) on
    Fri, Sep 7, 07 at 17:49

samfawzy10, my cold cellar is a specifically constructed room under my concrete front porch. It would be the equivalent of a root cellar complete with ventilation. It does not freeze there, as I have insulated the walls and the ceiling, and run a fan in the winter. On really cold days, I open the door a bit and let the cool air chill my wine cellar even more. It is usually about 40 degrees.

However, it is my understanding that an unheated basement room works well also. I just don't have the space. The unheated basement would be even better for my cannas and dahlias. I'm envious.


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RE: Over-wintering Brugmansia, Lantana & Coleus

jroot, thanks so much for the info and quick response.


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RE: Over-wintering Brugmansia, Lantana & Coleus

These are great suggestions... I brought in a potted lantana inside this year as an experiment and cut it back a little. I kept it beside the fireplace and watered about every two weeks. It grew and before the crocus came up, it bloomed a little! What a welcome site and smell! Now that it is April, does anyone know when to take it outside and if I should cut it back again? It is setting in a west window for sunlight, but it is getting leggy. - thanks


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