Are you ready? It's time for our 14th annual photo contest! Enter your best pictures of the year, for a chance to win a calendar and annual subscription here. Hurry! Deadline for entries is October 21.
About four years ago I bought this tree/plant from a roadside seller. I know nothing about but I wanted it in a shady part of my yard. It grows but not very well. I assume I should maybe have planted it in a more sunny area. It gets maybe 10 to 12 leaves on it and that's all it's ever done except for this year when it finally got a flower on it. It's a trumpet ahaped flower and as yet it only has one. I'm sending a photo with the hope that someone can identify it. Thank you very much.
Hi Donnyboy, you have a wonderfull perfumed Brugmansia, now called Datura/Angels Trumpets, the flowers being the tell tale sign of the name, yes you are correct, they do like a sunny spot, but as you are in Florida, slight shade should do, they are hungry feeders if you want lots of flowers, so give a good feed and plenty water when in the flowering period,I would liquide feed every 2 weeks during one of your watering sesions, you can cut them right back to about 12 inches, after flowering. Deadhead the spent flowers as they fade to keep new ones comming, these plants are poisonous to humans if eaten, so after you deadhead or prune, wash your hands, I think now that it has started to bloom, it will do so each year from now on, it can grow to a small tree if allowed, but they are a wonderful sight and a marvel to all who see them,, watch out for red spider mites as they just love these plants, you wont know you have this bug till you see the very fine webs and leaf falling all pale and limp, good luck, I hope the poison comment dont scare you off, all you have to do with anything that aint good for you, is be carefull. WeeNel.
Yours is a Brugmansia which is known as Angel Trumpet, but it's not the same thing as Datura. They're closely related but not the same thing. Datura blooms point up, Brugs hang down, that's the easiest way to tell which is which.
Oooooh you lucky thing!...I have the peachy salmon colour and the white one ...very lovely...powerful perfume (after dusk and early morn).Mine grew about 6ft tall in one season and that was from a cutting!.They strike very readily from cuttings...I just love them.
So do the insects! hibiscus beatles and the naughty kind of ladybird feast on them.Yes they are poisonous but so are a great many things in our gardens ...just wash hands after handling and don't eat them ...just love them.
Thank you ecrane3 and chrissy100. As I said earlier I've had this plant/tree for at least 4 years and nothing ever happened before. I was very excited when I saw the bloom for the first time yesterday !
P.S. chrissy 100, I also have a tall Eucalyptus tree growing in my yard, a blue I think. I had a good friend for a while in Casino, NSW, AU and I planted the eucalyptus tree kind of for her. It's gotten very tall but very sparse with branches and leaves. A lot of the lower branches have died and just fall off. It's about 4 or 5 years old. I hate to bother you with another question but if you could, is this normal for a eucalyptus tree ?
Thanks very much.
Oh golly yes it is normal they can be dangerous.Look I love them but I have been in the 2001 bushfires- Xmas day- and since we lost 33 homes in this area the council allows everyone to cut down gums in their yards.The reason being that they explode into flames!
If you love it get a tree surgeon in to look at it- but in high wind areas
and fire areas they don't belong near your home .Gum trees are beautiful in the right places ...but look up how many people are killed by those falling branches.Are we still friends?:-) We can grow Australian trees that don't do this.
Oops I did not realize you were not an ozzy...so you are safe from fire lol but those branches are dangerous!...now about the Angel's trumpets...they should be jumping out of the ground...what situation do you have it in...mine are in the garden you won't get the same results in a pot but once it is going strong you can make lots of little plants (strike in sandy soil) I buy washed river sand and mix it with soil (if it is good) or potting mix about 50 50...that will grow anything! Put the cuttings in a sheltered position.The adult plants love warmth but not harsh sun...and I feed them with the odd handful of chook poo and mulch with cow poo...this is the ideal
for most things (not the gum tree)...and if something is a little shy about flowering...throw a little potash at it ...and if it still does not flower wave an axe!:-)...and please ...if you want to know anything...it is no problem to me at all ...if I know the answer I am pleased to help,most gardeners are.
donny, It is definitely a brugmansia. If you are a subscriber, there is a whole forum dedicated to these, with all the info you would ever need. But if not, then here are some things I've learned over the years from DG subscribers:
Sun with afternoon shade in the deep south is good. If they are in full sun and look wilted, it may not be that they need water all the time, just time to recuperate from the sun. They are heavy feeders. I use osmocote slow release and miracle grow water soluble. Compost is good too.
They do not bloom until they make a "y" on the trunk (with the exception being if the plant was grown from a cutting taken above the "y"). If you want to try to root a piece, use the older brown part of the trunk, green shoots usually rot, at least difficult to root. These are easy to root in water, or you can root them in vermiculite or potting soil. You can use the shoot straight in the pot, or cut 3-4 inch pieces and lay them flat in the pot and cover partway, but not totally. New shoots will come straight up. These can also be grown from seed if a pod forms, let it dry, then remove it and plant your seeds in pots til they get big enough to transplant. DO NOT prune drastically until winter (if you have winter) if you want lots more blooms. As the plant grows it will go through blooming cycles several times a year. Where you are, it probably doesn't die back does it? If it doesn't die back naturally, you can prune it during the slower growth time or whenever you choose I guess. But you don't have to prune it unless you want to, maybe to improve it's shape or something.
Sorry I haven't replied sooner but thank you so much chrissy 100 and gingerlily. I really appreciate your advice.
My soil is probably pretty much average florida soil ... mostly sand. The one brugmansia I had planted in a fairly shady location. When I first started planting in my backyard (approx. 6 years ago) I tried growing just about everything in the shade since only about 1/5 of my backyard was sunny and this area I reserved for banana trees. ( actually they aren't doing that great either. I never thought you could overwater a banana tree but my leaves always turn yellow when I give them a thorough watering and in 6 years I've only gotten 4 little bananas and I do fertilize them !)
Since my last entry here I purchased 3 more small brugmansia and planted them in a sunnier location !
I apologize for being such a pain but nothing seems to be growing for me the way it's supposed to. Could it be I have an orange thumb ?
But anyway, I really do appreciate your advice and information.
Oh, P.S. Chrissy 100,
My eucalyptus tree is maybe 3 years old and it's gotten about 35 - 40 feet tall (not sure what that is in meters) but it's 'pretty' tall. A lot of my smaller branches have already fallen off and I only have about one fair sized branch within 10 feet of the trunk. The tree seems healthy, the bark just all fell off, but I'm just concerned about the few number of branches and limbs.
I have read that falling limbs can pose a hazard but my limbs are mostly way to small to hurt anyone. And as I've said, they're few and far between.
G'day donnyboy 204b the gum trees do drop their bark it is in their nature...I think mother nature designed them this way to help them defend themselves against bushfires.They are also pretty straggely
until a bit more mature...do you know what kind it is?.Of course those light limbs won't hurt...only when they are very big and perhaps your tree won't be one of the huge ones.About your banana and soil in general do you use soil improvers (natural) like old chook poo and cow poo...and of course mulch?...those Angels trumpets should be jumping out of the ground...is the ph ok
the soil might be too alkaline...well good luck with it :^)
Gosh Chrissy 100, You are Soooooo nice !
I used to have a girlfriend who lived in Casino, NSW. so your G'day sounds great to hear again. Actually I planted this tree in my yard when she and I were going together but that's another story ! lol Sorry for getting sidetracked.
Well I'm thinking very seriously of digging out my brugmansia and locating it in a sunnier location. Do you think that would be a good idea or a bad idea. Here it is almost summer and it's very hot here (35 C.). My eucalyptus is I think a blue eucalyptus and it is supposed to be one of the better ones to grow here in florida. It's gotten very tall but just not too many branches. If I won't be bothering you too much perhaps I can take a photo and send it to you and you can perhaps tell me if it looks 'normal' to you. My tree is also not 'bushy' (lack of a better word) it's just very columnar, like a poplar tree. Perhaps one photo WOULD equal 1000 words as they say. And yes I do mulch my banana trees and give them lots of water and store fertilizer, like 12-12-12.
And please ... If I'm bothering you too much please let me know and I'll stop immediately.
Never a bother...about the Angels Trumpets...they really grow very easily from cuttings...do you know about cutting?...if not I will tell you how ...my trumpets are all from cuttings...put the cuttings in a warm but sheltered place.What sort of temperatures do you have there? perhaps the bananas are cold...like gardenias they need warmth before they can get a good feed from the soil.Even though the good stuff is in there... the soil can't give it up until the warmth allows it to.About store fertilizer I don't have a problem with it but it is like feeding a sick person a really rich meal...the soil needs to have plenty of "guts" and then it can grow anything!
Good luck and don't hesitate to sing out for any clues...ps no fertilizer near the gum tree...they don't like it.A little mulch is ok but not really essential...they are as tough as old boots! =^)
Sorry did not read the temp part correctly...yes 35 c sounds a lot like our summers average...a perfect temp time for cuttings of Angels trumpets but keep in the shade until growing well then slowly move out a little at a time into the sun...I train them with a single trunk and then you can sit or stand under them looking up into the bells! heaven.. and in the evenings ...oooh the smell is
devine...not there in the heat of the day in this climate.Your sandy soil could do with lots of old cow poo...a perfect combination!
Thanks very much Chrissy. I'll try some of your advice.
P.S. I just noticed a couple hours ago that I have my 2nd bloom on my brugmansia tree ( that's in the shade. ) Two blooms in the same year ! YAAAAAAAAAY !!
Whacko...there you go mate!!!! warning though- Angels trumpets are addictive once hooked on these beauties you will love them forever and want more more more...have fun and don't forget to catch a whiff in the evening...you can't always smell them in the day