I don't typicall cut on any Brugmansia I want to hybridize with or transplant it as replanting, cutting, etc shock a Brugmansia somewhat and stunts growth and sets back hybridizing efforts anywhere from 2 months to almost non-existant depending on the size of the cutting and how big the plant was that the cutting was taken from. Still, I prefer to not take cuttings from anything while I am hybridizing until I have enough surplus seed. I do try to keep anywhere from 6-2 plants of most of my hybridizing plants that I like so I can take a few cuttings and still have some for pollen or seed setting. I also tend to use some plants almost entirely for pollen and almost never set seed to those I am using for pollen gathering. I take the pollen as soon as it ripens and apply it to the stigma of an unopened flower on a seed setting Brugmansia. Tearing the calyx open to make a slit, then tearing the corolla open to make another slit along the bottom so rain or misters don't get the stigma unduly wet. Heat, repotting, cuttings, all of these things can delay hybridizing efforts. Of course, if the plant is in too small of a container it is best to replant early in the year so one can have more blooms to hybridize with later.
I took cuttings from one last year that was 'mid-bloom, and it didn't seem to affect it at all (I did take the cuttings from non blooming branches, though) tiG, I always just start out in the pot size that it seem to 'fit' in. usually 4" for nice sized cuttings. You can always pot up!
Wow, Brug, you really know your stuff! I bought a small yellow Brug about 3 years ago and am just amazed at it every year. Last year it had over 100 blooms at one time. I keep it like a tree. I had never been able to root from it til this year and I think I have finally suceeded just in water. I have been looking every year for seeds but have seen none, are there some that are just males and have no seeds? I thought maybe it was a hybrid that would have no seeds.
If you are waiting for them to self seed you are going to be waiting a very long time as Brugmansia rarely if ever self seed. Some Brugmansia hybrids are known to self seed on rare occasion like the Cypress Gardens, Jean pasco, etc. For the most part, some hybrids are exceptional seed setters, others are great for pollen, and some are great for both. The best bet for those of you who want see is to take versicolor pollen and put it on candida, aurea, insignis, or suaveolens type hybrids or any combination there of. You can of course cross a jamaican suaveolens to a frosty pink suaveolens as well with good result, but it is mostly a waste of time to cross the same hybrid to itself unless you are crossing hundreds of the same flower to itself and you don't expose that plant to any foreign pollen, then you might get lucky and get one or 2 seed pods if your lucky. You could also spray the stigma with a bit of GA-3 to induce inbreeding if that was your desire or to induce a cross that is harder than normal or doesn't have a very high success rate.
Hope that helps a bit,
Thanks Brug - I just thought that they should set seeds like the Datura, guess this is a little more complicated. I'm not into crossing or propagating, just thought it might be fun to raise some "babies".
You can root the cutting in a jar of water to which you have added a few drops of hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide keeps the water fresher for a longer period. I find that it seems to encourage faster nub formation. Change the water every few days. I put about 3" - 4" of water in the jar. When the cuttings develop nubs, you can plant the cutting in a small pot. You can also wait until small roots have actually formed before planting in a pot.
OR you can pot the cutting in a small pot. Some use 16 - 20 oz plastic cups as pots. Place the pot in a large baggie or in a humid location and in indirect sunlight. Remove the baggie when the cutting starts to put out new growth.
I had to trim a brug by removing a 2' branch that was in the way of another plant. I cut the stem into 2" pieces and laid them horizontally in damp ProMix, almost covered, and am waiting to see if anything happens...
Interesting ... I trimmed lots of new little growth like this off the trunks of mine yesterday ... I left it just sitting on the ground. Surprisingly, it's raining yet again today (dripping with sarcasm), so I guess this evening I'll slosh through the mud, grab the cuttings and stick them in cups of dirt. Guess we'll see what happens!
My coworker has never heard of these and is in love and wants a cutting of mine ... :)
I find that it is easier to root more mature stalks, partly woody instead of the new green tips. The green ones tend to rot for me. So, I usually don't try to start new ones until I cut them back in the fall. If you take a low side shoot off the main stalk, it should not affect the bloom period.
I put them in water for a few days til the "nubbies" (lenticles) form, then pot them in a loose sandy or perlite mix til the more stable roots form and get to be a couple of inches long, then pot them up in a larger pot with good soil. If you just wait til the longer roots form in water, and plant them, you will find that the "water roots" are very fragile and may break off in the potting process.
I'd like to share my observation. In our zone, an unknown pink brug. whose blooms started out yellow then turns pink. This blooms rather late in our region. Then the first frost will get them. So I did some cuttings while they were in blooms. Trimmed those flowers off, and shared them with friends/neighbors. By far, those rooted promptly, and when the weather warms up. They resumes their blosoms, while the parent plant still is not making flower buds. (So it seems that the cuttings were able to store up all that energy, and rebounce so much quicker than the parent plant whose has to regrow from the base?).
I use above the 'y' cuttings in hanging baskets now. I tried it with Orange Sunshine this year and it's way cool. Next year this hanging basket plant will be planted in the ground and I'll start new baskets with above the 'y' cuttings.
I used the largest basket I could find and it's been OK till just the past month, it is getting a bit big for basket now.
I think next year I will look for a super-duper huge basket and do 3 different colors, just for fun. I'll use that water-absorbing polymer in next year's baskets, I kinda forgot to add it this year. I think maybe it was all that rain we got that made me forget it does dry up here eventually, but it seemed like it was going to rain forever.
Just looked this stuff up on Google - never heard of it before - sure wish I had known about it before our drought set in this spring - http://www.antistress.com/ASMan6.html#I
It makes sense that it would help the poor drying plants. We finally got about an Inch & half of rain last Friday - everything sure greened up in a hurry and now my brugs are suddenly loaded with buds and blooms. I hope we don't have an early freeze to stunt them all again.
I guess it's either flood or drought for us, huh? We just went through several years of drought (and lower than normal rainfall in the years that weren't official 'droughts') and then this year He turned on the faucet over Texas and let it pour! We had never seen our little road flooded like it was, and it got so wet I lost a favorite rosemary, but the Brugs seemed to love it!
I have what is going to sound like a stupid question. Back in the spring a friend gave me a plant that looked nearly dead. it was a stick about 3" tall and a part of a leaf. she handed it to me and said if it can be saved I know you can do it. Having no idea what it was and no pots available I planted the "dead stick" in my front garden. well it is now august and I know it is a Burgmansia. However it went from 3" to nearly 5 feet! I live in Illinois and I know it wont survive a winter here. How do I dig it up and get it into a very large pot without killing it in the process?
Trinawich - when you dig up your brug, trim off some of the roots and put it into a large pot, water it very little for winter. Unless you have a GH or sunny room to store it in. It can go in your basement and go dormant. You may think it is dead, but new stalks will shoot up in spring. The leaves will probably fall off and the stalk may go brown. If it goes brown, you may as well cut it off to about 6 inches above the soil, it should come back fine.
I'm in the same position as Trina ((hi girlie!!)). Was given 2 brug sticks by my MIL that she bought from QVC. Not even knowing what they were, I planted them in the same pot. One has "Y'd" and has blooms, the other hasn't finished the growth stage (and Y'd) yet. Being in the same zone as Trina, I am unsure what to do for the winter. I fear if it goes in the basement, it will die, as most of my winter basement plants do. Since it is a pot that is not big enough anyways, I was wondering if I could cut it up and start new ones.
My question is - where do I cut on the one that has Y'd, and also on the one that hasn't? There's so much great info on this forum, I'm confused now. It's definitely root-bound at this point, so want to do something with it before winter.
If you want to make rooted cuttings from blooming branches AND maintain opportunities for pollinating, consider air-layering. I use small peat pots affixed to individual branches. While roots are forming, I still have access to blooms for pollination. When the branch is fully rooted - even if it has flowers or pollinated pods, I can prune off the rooted branch and repot without loss of blooms or pods.
Photos of your plants would help visualize what the cuttings would look like. Given that I'm guessing what the plant looks like, on the one that has "Y"ed, if you want next spring's plant to look more like a tree, make the cut a little longer than you want the main trunk to be. Leave the original "Y" as well as 2 or 3 more layers of "Y"s on that cutting. You can root fairly large cuttings. Remove other branches and root them as well. On the one that hasn't "Y"ed yet, make the cutting as long as possible and don't remove the growing tip. If you can keep it alive during winter, it may continue where it left off. Remove all but the small leaves.
Many of our members successfully overwinter their Brugs in their basements. Althought their methods for overwintering differ, they are successful because they keep the soil in their potted plants barely moist. When they do add water, it is by the cupful or less. It helps if the soil is packed with roots. Don't transplant into a larger pot just before you overwinter them.
Brug can have a large root system so next spring, don't put more than one cutting per pot. They will compete for space and fertilizer and won't perform as when in their own pot.
Winterizing my brugs: After the first frost (usually mid-October here in Ontario) I pull off the burnt leaves and blooms and cut off the fleshy green stems. Then I take cuttings of the stems that have developed beige bark, about 18", so the original tree looks like a skeleton.
I put the main trees in the basement (no lights) and water them sparingly over the winter: once a month, just a cup or two of water to keep them alive. The cuttings: plunge them in a bucket of water a foot deep, with a splash (a tablespoon) of peroxide (H2O2) to minimize rot, (add another tbsp each month). They will root like crazy. In April, pot the cuttings and bring the mothers into the light to start growing, and repot if necessary (probably). The 'skeleton' will sprout all over with some feeding. I start off with 20-20-20 and then move to 15-30-15 when they have good leaf volume to produce bloom.
I have not had guaranteed success with cuttings above or below the "Y". I've done both. I think each plant has its own blooming schedule, and the weather is a big part of it. Feeding heavily usually works for me (15-30-15, twice weekly at half-strength).
I will be trading some perennials for brug cuttings next spring since it is too cold to ship them to my zone now. Although I have admired them, I have never grown brugs and don't know that much about them. I'm only familiar with its cousin, Datura.
I have been reading as much as I can find about brugs, inluding this thread. I was told that a cutting taken from above a Y will bloom sooner and on a shorter plant. Is this true? I don't have a place to grow them in the house, nor suitable window light. I would have to make them go dormant and store them in my basement. Then grow and enjoy their blossoms during summer.
My daughter has an enclosed patio where she grows her plants, facing south so can grow some plants there.
My questions are:
1] Can brugs be pruned down and still bloom?.
2] What is the average lenght of time for a brug to bloom when started from a cutting? How about from seeds?
3] Are there any varieties of brugs that grow naturally short in height--3ft to 4ft?
4] When starting from a cutting which is one branch, is it beneficial to pinch the growing point so that it becomes bushier as it grows? Similar to what one does for hardy mums, and the like.
1) If you start of with cuttings from above the "Y", you will get blooms sooner, but Brugs are naturally rangy plants. Once they "Y", they produce new buds and blooms by producing more "Y"s above the original one. Pinching will encourage new growth, but if the growth is from below the "Y" those branches won't bloom until they themselves have "Y"ed. The new growth above the "Y" still have to produce "Y"s before blooming, but will do so sooner. So in answer to your first question. Yes, they will still bloom, but they will bloom quicker if you don't prune down.
2) It's difficult to give you an answer for this one because how soon they bloom is dependent on quite a few factors. Brugs are fertilizer hogs. If fed on a regular basis, they will bloom for you faster. It also depends on what part of the mother plant they come from. If they are planted in the ground, they'll grow faster, get bigger and give you more flowers. From seed, it may take as little as a year or more than 2.
3) There are some compact Brugs that start to bloom when smaller. Inca Sun is one I know of, but eventually it will get larger. Compact is a relative term given that Brugs are capable of growing from 25' to 35' tall. If you want short Brugs you will have to keep taking cuttings from above the "Y" or invest in some of the harder to grow slow growing Brugs that are making their way into the states
4) Maybe it would help if I explained how Brugs grow. They differ from other flowering plants in that they go through two different growth stages. The first stage, exhibited by seedlings and growth arising from the ground or from below the initial "Y". This is the vegetative stage. This appears as a straight single branch. Its height is determined genetically and can vary from a few feet to well over 7'. Some get over 10' before they produce a "Y". Pinching will not stimulate the production of flowers. All it will accomplish is new vegetative branches which must go through the same process and thus delay the production of the first "Y". Once the "Y" forms, then the Brug switches over to the flowering stage on the growth above the "Y". Any growth below the "Y" is vegetative.
I have 3 brugs that I started from cuttings a couple of years ago. I put them all in the ground this year and two of them bloomed for the first time. I think this air layering idea is gonna work for the 2 bloomers but the 3rd one is still kind of a runt. Should I just dig him up and stick him in a large pot or cut him back...no Y on this one yet. I have no idea what kind they are, 1 is kinda pinkish/peach, the other bloomer is white. Neither has a scent. I'd love to find one that has the scent . I've smelled them growing in the mountains of Peru and they are absolutely intoxicating. Anybody know the name (s) of scented ones?
WOW! They do have more scent. Its 10:45pm and there is a nice aroma from them. It's pretty cool tonight I wonder if that affects the smell any? Any time of evening better? The Brugs I saw in Peru were in the 20-25 ft range and covered in white blossums. The local folks warned me not to fall asleep under the tree because dangerous spirits would steal my soul.They said the spirits used the allure of the flowers to catch the unwary visitor.
bettydee Thank you so much for taking the time to answer all my questions. I have garden for 45 or so years but this is a new territory for me. My trading partner is kind enough to teach me also and help me successfully to grow these beautiful plants.
With all the different plants I have easily grown over the years, I can use a challenge. I wish I had known about these plants during the 80's when I had a commercial greenhouse. I really could have easily grown them year around then.
I do not have a greenhouse. Before today when I became a paying member of DG, I had read to put cutting in a refrig (they turned to mush), to put them into buckets with damp soil under the house (they grew in darkness to hit the bottom of the floor boards), and to roll them one by one in newspaper (they became dried out sticks). So, what method have you used that has worked?
So when cutting back a plant, say to overwinter, where is the best place to do it ? This is a pic of Milk N Honey blooming in my barn. I moved it in there as it was just about to bloom when we had freezing weather hit. I want to cut it back after it blooms to make it easier to manage over the winter. How far should I cut it back ? Will it "Y" from where I cut it back from? so that I have good blooms next spring?
I'm a bit confused by the whole "above the Y" and "below the Y". When you want a cutting to stay short and bloom the first year do you include the Y? Or do you leave the Y on the mother and take cuttings from above it?
Brugs bloom by producing the first "Y". There after each new branch will produce another "Y" and more buds, more "Y"s, more buds, etc. I took a screen shot of your Brug showing the first "Y". How many more times has your Brug "Y"ed? You have 2 choices on making cuts:
1) Leave the main trunk(s) and the first 2 to 3 layers of "Y"s attached to it and cut off all the rest. Be sure to use sterile pruning shears and to spray the cut ends with a fungicide. This will help prevent dieback on all the cut ends.
2) If the main trunk is very tall, you can make shorter standards by following the instructions in this link. http://cubits.org/Brugmansia/articles/view/458/
Again spraying all cut surfaces with a fungicide. This, however, will leave the original plant missing its "Y". Before it will bloom again, this Brug will have to go through its vegetative growth again before producing another "Y". This means that the original plant probably won't bloom until the fall of next year.
tikipod, You leave the original "Y" on the mother plant and take cuttings from above that.
You will notice that the branch growth above the "Y" takes a slight zig zag look. This is great for shrubby looking Brugs. If you want the Brug to look more like a small tree, then the cuttings should be from below the original '"Y". This includes any branches that pop up along the trunk or that come up from the soil. These branches will grow nice and straight giving you a straight trunk on a tree looking Brug.
mjsponies, This screen shot of your Brug shows the original "Y". You will need to go up 2 more "Y"s before making any cuts.