Brug Not Blooming?

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Greetings,
I received a gift of a brugmansia, dr. seuss, last fall. When I received it, it had been cut below the Y, which I understood, to be an excellent thing for blooming. I kept it carefully, then when the weather warmed up, I set it out. I transplanted it to a garden box along with a few other plants. The Brug gains and loses leaves but does not want to flower at all. It is in a good bit of sun, at least 6 hours per day.
Can any one tell me what is going on? Have I overcrowed it? Is it in a deep enough pot? Anything else that I may not have thought of?
Please let me know what you think.
Cheers!
Marlene

Thumbnail by Marlene4 Thumbnail by Marlene4
La Grange, TX(Zone 8b)

Marlene,

Plants made from cuttings taken from below the "Y" do not bloom as quickly as cuttings taken from above the "Y". However, they do have an advantage: They grow long and straight shoots which make them excellent standard trees. They do not branch, but grow as a single shoot until they produce that all important first "Y". Nipping the tip may cause it to send out a few new shoots, but that only sets back the flowering cycle.

It's been a while since my Dr. Seuss died and don't remember how tall it has to get before it "Y"s. Each cultivar is different. Some "Y" when just 5' - 6' tall while others have to get upwards of 10' before they "Y". Cuttings taken from above the "Y" tend to grow in a zigzag way. but because they behave as it the cutting was still a part of the mother plant, they will bloom earlier given the right conditions.

Your Brug looks like it is starving for food, but it may be getting too much sun if the sunlight is afternoon sun. The leaves are yellowish looking. How often do you fertilize it? It needs a complete (meaning that it contains all the micro-nutrients) fertilizer with an approximate ration of 3 - 1 - 2. During growing season, they need to be fertilized at least once a week. Depending on the heat and humidity they may need to be watered every day. because they have such big leaves. This is usually not good for companion plants. Since Brugs grow quickly, their root systems can get massive. Therefore, they need a pot of their own.

Ideally, Brugs should get morning sun and protection from the hot afternoon sun. Take the Brug out of that pot and give it its own, but don't over pot. What size pot was it in before? Go 2" bigger on all sides. As it grows, you may need to pot it up to a bigger size, but don't over pot. Although Brugs need plenty of moisture, they don't like to be waterlogged and rot easily. Something that can happen when they are placed in a pot that is too large for the current root system.

Maybe later, when your Brug has a large and strong root system and in a large pot, you can plant a few hanging plants along the outside edge of the pot, but remember a plant grows best if it has no competition. You can always mass other smaller pots around the base of the larger Brug pot for a bushier effect.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Hello Bettydee,
Thanks so much for your help. Oh my, fertilizer? I didn't even THINK of that.
As for transplanting, it was in a small pot, perhaps 5 or 6 inches in diameter, then I placed it in the garden box.
The garden box is great for keeping soil moist but not wet. I will begin fertilizing immediately!
Unfortunately, there is no place in the yard that gets morning sun only. So I will have to get that some more thought.
Is there any hope, you think, for blooms this year?
Thanks!
Marlene

Brooklyn, NY(Zone 7b)

Marlene.. it will flower after it "Y"s....you're likely to flower yourself... before finding the fertilizer Veronica mentioned.. but start right away with an all purpose fertilizer.. the more the better.. and often.. while you look for a more blooming based food for them..

This message was edited Jul 15, 2012 10:26 PM

La Grange, TX(Zone 8b)

Gordon,
Hi, how are you!
Monika Gottschalk uses a fertilizer with that ratio. We can't get the fertilizer she uses, but complete fertilizers with that ratio are available here in the states. Many Hibiscus fertilizers have that ratio, but specialty fertilizers are much more expensive. Given the number of Brugs many of us end up with, that can be a very expensive route. Miracle Gro All Purpose comes close and is much cheaper.

From everything I read, Brugs don't respond well to blooming fertilizer. Their larger and older leaves turn yellow instead and drop off leaving your Brug with lots of bare bottomed branches. When you think about how Brugs grow "Y" followed by buds followed by more "Y"s and more buds it make sense that nitrogen is needed more than phosphates. Besides Brugs tend to be scraggly anyway. No need to help them get scragglier.
http://www.scotts.com/smg/catalog/productTemplate.jsp?proId=prod70342&itemId=cat50106&tabs=usage
Scroll down to fertilizer analysis 24-8-16 is a 3-1-2 ratio fertilizer. :-)

Marlene,
Monika is a Brug hybridizer from Germany who has the most gorgeous drop dead Brugs!!!

Brooklyn, NY(Zone 7b)

Hi.. it is difficuly t find that ratio here... the balaced ferts work ok....
Monica has a new book out... writte with a few other growers... I believe today is the shipping date for it on Amazon..
http://www.amazon.com/Huanduj-Brugmansia-Alistair-Hay/dp/1842464779/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1342502497&sr=1-2&keywords=brugmansia
I've heard it's drop dead georgeous.. and very informative.. listing the crosses for most brugs.. and plenty of lovely photos...

La Grange, TX(Zone 8b)

I bought my copy through Kew Book in England and received it about 3 weeks ago. The photos are definitely drop dead gorgeous. First few chapters not for the faint of heart. Sentences long long and convoluted. So many references within the sentences make for it harder to read. For the determined reader.

Brooklyn, NY(Zone 7b)

OH.. Neat.. I'm awaiting mine on order...yes.. they had a co-op that had it at a big discount maybe 25% off... from BGI awhile back... but I was too distracted to get in on it..

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Gordonhawk and Bettydee,
Good Morning and thank you for your help. I have spent the last few minutes googling Monika (thanks betty for the footnote explaining who she is:)

It is extremely hot here in Maryland today. I've transplanted her into a pot container miraclegrow potting soil, I added perlite and watered her with the addition of superthrive.
She is in the shade now, it is very hot outside. I will ease her into the sun, little by little, and add fertilizer after a few weeks.

I've attached some pictures so that you can better see her habit and canes, in hope that these pictures will give you a clearer idea.

I welcome any additional feedback!
Cheers!
Marlene

Thumbnail by Marlene4 Thumbnail by Marlene4 Thumbnail by Marlene4 Thumbnail by Marlene4 Thumbnail by Marlene4
La Grange, TX(Zone 8b)

Marlene,
Have you looked at the petiole and leaf connection of the leaves to see if the connection is symmetrical or asymmetrical? Look at the leaves in the enclosed link. Or please post some photos of the leaves on your Brug so that the mid-vein is visible. That will at least let you know whether you have vegetative or flowering growth.

La Grange, TX(Zone 8b)

Sorry, forgot to add the link. Couldn't do it under Edit
http://ibrugs.com/Resources/HybridizingBrugmansia/BrugmansiaAnatomy.aspx

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Bettydee!
If you're not careful, you will definitely make me more knowledgeable about Brugs:)
I went to the site you gave, and honestly felt that I could not identify the areas you inquired about. So, I took more pictures. I hope these are helpful.
There are more than the allowed 5, so I will post the remainder just below this response.
Cheers!
Marlene

Thumbnail by Marlene4 Thumbnail by Marlene4 Thumbnail by Marlene4 Thumbnail by Marlene4 Thumbnail by Marlene4
Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Just a few more pictures.

Thumbnail by Marlene4 Thumbnail by Marlene4 Thumbnail by Marlene4
Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Bettydee,

After posting these pictures, I returned to the site you sent, and could more clearly see the difference in the leaves.

They appear to be vegetative to me, what say you?

Cheers!
Marlene

This message was edited Jul 17, 2012 4:05 PM

Thumbnail by Marlene4
La Grange, TX(Zone 8b)

Yes, they are vegetative. Feed her and she will eventually "Y" and produce flowers for you. This is a photo of a Dr. Seuss my mother had in her yard until she pulled it out because my sister, who lives with her, became very sensitive to the fragrance. The fence in the background is 7' tall. Of course, hers was planted in the ground year round and didn't suffer frost damage for several years.

Thumbnail by bettydee
Poughkeepsie, NY(Zone 6a)

WOW Bettydee! AWESOME plant!

Nowra, NSW,, Australia(Zone 9b)

Quote from bettydee :
I bought my copy through Kew Book in England and received it about 3 weeks ago. The photos are definitely drop dead gorgeous. First few chapters not for the faint of heart. Sentences long long and convoluted. So many references within the sentences make for it harder to read. For the determined reader.


Clearly I should take lessons from you, Bettydee, in writing sentences so short that you can forgo the inconvenience of including a verb LOL!



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