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Hey folks, I started with two cuttings this spring in April. Both from the same DG member, joeswife. (thanks again, Debra) They both took off and grew wonderfully, but the pink one 'Cherub' grew one stem straight up to 6ft., then put on a Y and started blooming. It is now over 7ft. tall, on it's 4th or 5th bloom cycle and has another tall, straight shoot coming up from the base. The other which Debra calls 'Monster White' made a Y at about 2ft. It has kept branching, and is now this lovely shrub. It's 4th bloom cycle about to begin tonight!
Does anyone know why the two would grow so differently? They grew side by side and had exactly the same conditions and care until about a month ago when 'Cherub' just got too tall, (kept falling over) so I planted it in the ground. I checked, and both had vegetative foliage - symmetrical leaves - down low. Not complaining, just curious!
Also, would it work to 'pinch' out the terminal tips on 'Cherub' to make her branch or would that just stop blooming?
I have been growing brugs for over 20 years as well as seen them growing wild in Africa and Central America and they are woody shrubs up to 15' tall. If left alone they grow multiple shoots from the base. Even your tree shaped one will do this over time. If you prefer the tree shape or would like a taller trunk on the one you have now you will need to prune it. Just select the shoot that would make the best looking trunk and remove everything else at the soil line. Then train it like any other bush you want to turn into a tree. It will continue to put out growth at the base and along the trunk but just knock/cut it off when you see it start. This won't hurt the plant.
My oldest brug is over 20 years old with a trunk caliper of 3". The trunk is 4' tall before the branching starts. Then there is a 4' tall by 5 'wide flowering top. All of this was done through selective pruning.
By the way I live in Cleveland Ohio so can only grow my brugs outside from May through Oct. The rest of the time they are dormant in my basement.
Thanks Phyllis. Actually I am hoping to make the tall, gangly ones into shrub shape like the Monster White. Not only 'Cherub', but my 'Charles Grimaldi' is a tall single trunk, too. It's not too huge yet, as it's just not as robust as the others, but I'd like it to branch rather than continue upwards.
Since my brugs bloom nearly all year 'round (if we have a normal winter) I prefer to have the flowers down lower where I can appreciate the fragrance and see the flowers better. I have lots of huge trees, need flowering shrubs.
When my bushy brugs get too big to handle I just cut them off at the base (just above the soil) before I bring them in for the dormant winter. I don't know how old your plants are but as they age you will notice a brown, woody, lumpy fleshy mass for at the soil. The entire surface of this mass can produce new shoots.
Once I return them to the outdoors in May they grow 4'-6' and bloom within a couple months, even here in Cleveland Ohio. As I am sure you know they are heavy feeders especially in your sandy soils.
If you take cuttings from above the "Y", you'll get bushier Brugs that will form buds earlier because the rooted cuttings will continue to form flowering new growth instead of having to go through the vegetative cycle first. As the Brugs age, it really doesn't matter as much because you will end up with both vegetative and flowering growth on the same plant.
Thanks, Betty. I figured that might be the difference between the two cuttings. Although it does look like Monster has some vegetative growth down low as well as all the flowering growth up top.
Phyllis, my brugs are all new this spring, two from cuttings, and one was a gift plant from my kids for Mother's Day. I have one other, an old noid pink one that has been a huge 8ft. X 8ft. shrub, but was killed back almost to the ground two winters ago, and set back again somewhat last winter. I was ready to roust it out and replace it with one of the new ones this spring when it sprouted a couple of nice new shoots and started blooming it's head off. Ya just never know, huh?
Here's a picture of 'Cherub' taken this evening. The wall behind it is 6ft tall. You can see that it has space to become a shrub next year if it will only branch . . .
That is a nice standard type of your Cherub.. mine came as a rootball last year in trade from X, and it sent up 4 nice sized shoots and that is where your "tree" cutting came from. If you cut it down this winter, root it out, it will pretty much stay a tree form, and the base root ball will send up new shoots next year,
( shrub like)
That same root ball now has three shoots up, and again I will cut them off and then root them, bringing in the root ball to overwinter in the basement again this winter. .
anyway, that is just my two cents worth.
Beautiful Growing there, Elaine.!
Elaine, if you want more branching sooner and lower flowering as well, take cuttings from above the "Y"s and use them to replace the Brug plants that have had to go through the vegetative growth cycle and are just long straight sticks. Since the cuttings act as if they are still part of the mother plant, they will continue to branch and produce flowers farther down on the branches. Over time as the plants mature, however, you will start to see those long single and straight stalks come up from the soil surface. This is a normal progression. You can either leave them and have several layers of flowering growth or you can cut them off
Thanks, Betty. I might try that next spring, since these babies grow so fast. For now, through the winter my tall 'Cherub' is fine, and I can have fun planting stuff under her shade, while her top will still get sun despite the 6ft. wall on the south side of her.
My big old pink (see below) did put up a straight shoot this spring, but it topped out shorter than 'Cherub' did, so I'm thinking maybe I will get different heights of shoots next spring, and that will make for a lovely plant to fill in the space. The second shoot looks to be stopping at just over 4ft. so maybe the shorter days and slightly cooler temps are slowing her down just a bit.
I guess all the cuttings I've started before have been from above the Y so I thought all brugs made the shrub shape. I'm very happy with them all, just curious as to the difference.