I have bubble wrapped the Brug up to the first "Y", then mulched heavily.
Here's hoping they will be fine this week.....gonna be brrrrrrrrrrr.
Winterizing The Brug
Hi Morgan. :) Have you had sucess with this method before? The reason I ask is that I've heard that plastic touching them, plus cold temps = guaranteed rot. Can't say from personal experience though, perhaps others will chime in.
Another method that works very well in some climates is to make a quick cylinder out of 3' tall wire fencing and fill it with straw or some kind of mulch , and perhaps cover just the top to keep it just a little drier in there.
Here in Florida, plastic wrapping is a no-no when frost threatens. The plant protection of choice is bedsheets.
One of the main problems with plastic happens the following morning when the sun hits the plastic.It is amazing how fast a plant can cook even in freezing temps.
If you have single trunks that 1" or less in diameter, I wonder how fiberglass pipe sleeve insulation would work?.
Down here in Florida you can obtain Styrofoam & fiberglass trunk wraps that I think would work great for brug trunks. Citrus growers use them to protect their young citrus trees and they leave them on for extended periods of time.
I have not done this before. This is only my first winter with a Brug in the ground. I got this advice from a DG Austinite who does this to protect hers. She said she leaves the bubble wrap on all winter, unless it gets hot, and she can even see the new sprouts through the plastic.
I am very optimistic that this will be fine. My husband and I lovingly wrapped these yesterday. Our intentions are so good, how could the plant not appreciate it and grow well.
Last year I tried bubble wrap, but used burlap between the plastic and the Brug. Here in Texas plastic is a no-no as well, but I've read that several DGers have had some success with bubble wrap so I thought I'd try it. I removed the wrap after each freezing episode because we can get some really hot days. Like an idiot, I'd run out as the temperatures were dropping to throw on a burlap sac I'd made and wind the bubble wrap on and tape it. I had all sorts of problems with the tapes I used. All lost adhesion below freezing so the strips of bubble wrap would fall off. End result: Brug died down to 1". I didn't get blooms out of Audrey Hepburn until August.
I think people are banking on that dead air space to block the transference of freezing temperatures that you would get with sheet plastic. I could not find any information on how many layers of bubble wrap it would take to lock out the cold.
Still not comfortable with putting plastic directly on plant tissue without added protection, I'm trying a combination of things this winter, evolving as things fall apart. Right now my poor Brug is encased in a cocoon.
mine are in a camping tent in the garage, no heater but i have a thermometer in there. its 40 right now and it was right at 33 earlier. they look fine still .. i think i may put a heater in there (something safe) just to keep it between 32 and 40
We put an additional blanket over the brug. It was harder to wrap our 12 foot lime tree! Will be trimming that soon. But my DH and I spent most of yesterday wrapping, watering, and making sure all our sensitive plants were covered and taken care of.
We are ready!
I have had success in cutting mine back and storing them under the house near our heating ductwork. The pipes don't freeze and the brugs haven't either.
Soooooooo...inquiring minds want to know...how'd your bubble-wrapped brugs fare?
All is well. And I did add a blanket over the plastic, so they were even more protected. Branches seem firm....aren't black....so I am assuming all is well. :-)
Update-------All is not well...........branches didn't blacken but croaked none the less. And so far I have not seen ANY green coming from the roots.....will wait a few more weeks but not so hopeful now.
Ironically......the Hibiscus I bought at the grocery store and planted right next to the Brug I puppied is coming back. Go figure!
Don't dig up the brug yet. A had a few that I left out and they died to the ground, but are pushing up small green leaves. The ones I covered in pipe insulation died and I see no signs of life.
I used pipe insulation, frost cloth, Christmas lights and a cocoon of plastic. Most of the top including the "Y"s died, but the bottom 1' to 1-1/2' survived and has put out new growth.
An instant temporary greenhouse should be invented for just these situations.
UPDATE #2 - - There are little baby shoots all over the base. YAY!!!
OK.....since this is the first in-ground Brug I've had....what happens? Do I not see any blooms until Fall?? It has to grow another Y doesn't it?
Are Daturas the same way? I heard they were more drought resistant where the Brug lives on water.
Pam, each of the Brug branches will have to go through the vegetative growth stage and produce another "Y" before blooming. So it could be late summer or early fall before they bloom. That's the reason for trying to keep the "Y" from freezing. It just might be easier to air layer some blooming branches in the fall and overwinter them indoors. LOL. The vegetative growth stage for Dats is much shorter giving you blooms earlier in the year. Dats are generally considered annuals, but if protected from frost, some can live for a few years. Did any of them come back?
I don't have any Daturas.......but might consider it if they would be more perennially inclined here. I do like their leaves more.....they look more tropical. I love the Brug flowers, but they are such a high maintenance plant.
I take my hat off to you, Brenda. Especially if you put them in the ground every year. This year, however, it got down to the low teens mixed in with some low 20s for a week. We also had more freezing weather this year than we've had in the last 9 years. One gets used to milder weather. For the past 6 years, the lowest temperature we'd had prior to this winter was 26ºF for a few hours although we'd get at least 1 or 2 - 2 day freezes.
Brenda(?) - You must REALLY love them to go to that much maintenance for them. And if you love them...great...it's all worth it. Mine would have stayed in a pot and gone back into the greenhouse but he got so big he would have taken up too much space. And he really did look great in the spot we gave him....loved lots of water....but looked great! I have two others that we are still considering putting in the ground because the greenhouse is so crowded. We love tropical plants so much, and then we moved to Texas....so the greenhouse is stuffed every year. But bless your heart you have them in NY. They probably keep you young!
bettydee -- Can we return to the milder winters please!!!
I enjoy the challenge, love the plants but can see a day coming in the not to distant future when all of this work will no longer be possibble.
I just heard the forcast for the next 3 days, rain mixed with snow.
This past winter, I took cuttings from several and left the large potted plants outside to see which ones were hardy. We also had an extremely harsh winter for zone 7b/8a with several periods of below freezing weather for 3-4 days. The stalks (most were
1 1/2" to 2" in diameter) seemed to be dead so I broke them off and pulled up the roots. One of them had 3-4 white sprouts originating from 4" below the soil level. I just put it back in the soil and hope it will continue growing.
Wow, you lucked out on that one. What usually happens with potted plants regardless of their hardiness is that the soil freezes and so do the roots. That is why potted plants are overwintered indoors. My potted dwarf peach is planted in a 30" pot. That stays outdoors up against the south side of the house. There seems to be enough solar radiation during the day to keep the soil in the pot from freezing.
No, have you? Almost all of my potted plants are freeze tender. So they would go into the greenhouse anyway. What do they look like?
I wonder if it means the pot itself won't freeze rather than what happens to its contents. Many ceramic and cement pots will crack and fall apart when the moisture in the walls freezes and expands. This winter was particularly brutal.
Perhaps that is what it means........because it doesn't seem to protect. But as you say, this winter was different....looking forward to milder winters.
However - we have ceramic and clay pots, and none of them cracked. Go figure.
I have planted another Brug in the ground, and still have one in a pot.....it's blooming beautifully so don't wish to disturb that.
I over winter my brugs in the garage, potted and every spring cut back the dead wood. They go completely dormant as the temps can go as low as the high teen's outside several nights during the season. (We are in zone 6b ) Each spring when the threat of frost is passed, I put them in the ground until the first frost in October. I'm usually out there at about 11pm when the weather announces the frost warning digging them up with my headlights on to see. My brugs do not ever get more than 7 feet tall, most not over 6 feet, but they bloom profusely all summer. This year I've bought several new varieties, and hope to have them for many years. I would be too afraid to leave them in the ground year round, I lost my first 3 that way. I envy those of you who can.