I've had one Brug (ok, I know some of you are laughing--ONE!) for two years now, bought bare root, and it's now about 4-5 feet tall. I've had it indoors the last two winters--I live in Washington state, Zone 8. It's in a pot right now outside. It was not a happy camper in my house in the winter. Spider mites, no leaves. Anyway, this baby's getting big, and I dread the thought of hauling it in every year. I also think it would be so much happier in the ground. Any tips for me? Does anyone in my climate manage to overwinter them outdoors?
Hi Doris. I'm in Vancouver BC. Do you know what brug you have? If it's a sanguinea it'll make it with protection. The others amy or may not. We have had a couple of non-winter winters lately. Right now they'd prefer to be in the ground but if the one-day cold snaps in January don't get them, I'd say the wet winter soil would. I don't know about your soil but mine doesn't dry out from the end of November until March.
you could take cuttings from it and keep them going in the house and plant the large out side and mulch the heck out of it for protection and if you lose it you still have the cuttings going in side or just move down south a little ways and keep it out side all year...lol
zone 8...I live in zone 8 and I leave mine in the ground. If anything, suggest starting them in the ground as early as possible so they can come back from the roots. Mulch around the plant come signs of freeze's...definitly save cuttings though to be on the safe side.
Brugman - when the cold hits your brugs is your soil relatively dry? Up here in the PNW, winter is our rainy season. I mean constant rain - totally saturated heavy soil. We get 90% of our rain between October and April. When we get 30F temperatures it's ice water our brugs are in. If they could come up with Brug Goretex we'd be able to grow anything.
Liz, I overwintered a Versicolour last winter, in the ground here in Ontario. The plant was 2 years old and I put it in the ground in the spring and it got so big (12' tall) that there was no way I could bring it in. I had planted it within 4' of the foundation in an eastern exposure.I had missed lifting a couple of Gladiolas and Cannas in this bed other years and they came up the next spring so I figured it was worth a try. I cut the brug back to 6" and layed the cuttings over top of the plant and then mulched it with 2 bushels of leaves. In April I uncovered it to find several of the loose branches had large root nodes on them so I potted them up and they grew. The main stalk was still firm and green but took until June to push up new growth. This, in Zone 5! :)
RA, I think you hit the nail on the head for overwintering in the PNW. If you can plant under an overhang to keep it's feet dry. Do you have a lot of snow? We don't have snow cover here to protect the plants. Luckily we also don't get deep frost - it's pretty well surface.
Here's another question regarding my two year old brug in a pot. I do want to try to keep this baby in the ground. I'm going to apply some of the tips from you guys. Now, should I go ahead and put it in the ground this fall, or keep it in the house over winter, and plant it out in spring? Much as I hate the idea of hauling it in another winter, I'm thinking it would be better off trying to plant it out in spring. What do you all think?
I would plant it out in the Spring. I have 3 or 4 brugs I leave in the ground all winter. I'm on Vancouver Island, zone 8, some parts of the yard 8/9. I overwinter a sanguinea by the front door under an overhang. I overwinter suaveolens and cg in a different part of the yard, not so warm. I cut them back to 2 feet, put a 10gal. bucket filled with styrofoam chips (white only) over them and cover with fish compost or you could use bark mulch. They don't rot and come back every spring. But I find the ones in the pots that I keep growing all winter in the greenhouse flower much earlier. The ones in the ground haven't even set buds yet. Even though we have mild temperatures, we don't have the heat to get them moving fast enough. Just my opinion.
Janet, I have the brug from RA!!!! What a monster root system!!! I just went out to double check,, it has "5" 6-8inch shoots on it... Bloom,,, I don't know,, being here in northern zone 5 we can get an early frost. But this is potted so it will come in for the winter.
Just a tip for these big pots and brugs. I have made plant coasters out of formica so I can roll them around. Makes life a little easier.