DATURAS-how to store dormant in fridge over winter

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

Those of us who love Daturas, but live in colder climates wish these beautiful plants are hardy to re-grow and bloom the following season. Frost always seems to hit when they are the most beautiful. Such happened this year with mine.

This season, I had an unusual pretty yellow Datura. It is a bee pollinated hybrid from Datura inoxia (white) and D. metel (double yellow). I had both growing 4 years ago and collected the seeds. I sowed the seeds this spring. When fall came, I decided to carry it over in the fridge, like I did with inoxia and Purple Ballarina some years ago. Those bloomed quicker and grew larger than when seed sown. However, this time I took photos to illustrate.

They can also be potted in a 16+" pot if you have the room and a cool place to store them.

As the plant stops blooming in the fall when days get shorter, you can dig it up. (This year I waited to dig after first frost.) Remove all soil. Cut the stem back to 6". The roots are thick like a carrot, and finger-like at this point. They can be trimmed without harm. Leave small roots on the plant. Barely moisten some peatmoss (not wet) and put it around the roots. Put the roots in a plastic bag up to where the stem joins the root. Tie it loosely or use a rubber band. Or put the root in the bag first, then spread peat moss around the roots. Whichever is easier.

Place the bag with the roots in your fridge over winter, or someplace where the temp is similar. The plant will go dormant. It is a perennial in warmer zones. I believe they are hardier than people think.

I noticed in April, shoots growing at the base of the plant while still in the fridge. Also had formed new roots inside the bag. Life appeared to be stirring. How the plant knew it was spring while in the fridge, only It knows.

When you see this, remove from fridge, punch drainage holes in the bag and stick unplanted in a pot for support and water with plant food. Place the pot in a protected place with morning sun to harden off. Plant in the garden when it is past frost date in your area.

Treated as such, the plant grew huskier and bloomed earlier, than seed sown.

Below is my hybrid. Photo taken September, just 3 days before first frost in my zone 4.

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Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

Here are the roots after I removed the soil and before it was tucked in a bag.

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Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

Peat tucked around the roots in bag.

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Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

Bag closed up to the base of the stem ready for the fridge.

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Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

I know I should have posted this earlier in the season. However, if your ground is still not frozen, you should be able to dig it up and save it. You have nothing to lose, except some space in the fridge.

If you live on the border line of its hardiness, wait for it to stop blooming and weather cools.

Below is a closeup of the flower.You can see the unopened petal in the center. Strangely, some of the flowers on the same plant were more double.

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Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

Here is a double blossom from the same plant.

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Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

Datura inoxia, parent plant

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Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

Parent plant, Datura metel 'Yellow Ballerina', sowed from pure seeds purchased from Park Seed Co.

This message was edited Oct 28, 2009 11:55 AM

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Alexandria, VA(Zone 7a)

Thank you for posting this. I have some new seeds some lovely DG's sent me for my mom.
I will let her know this. I am glad you took the time out to share this information. Great post and pictures.

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

You're welcome and thank you for the compliment. Glad it's useful to someone. Just copy and paste the information in an email, or in Word to print out to send. Mine is peacefully sleeping in my fridge.

(Zone 6a)

Thank you for this! I love Daturas but they don't start blooming till so late in the season. I will be doing this for sure this fall. Thank you!

East Tawas, MI(Zone 5b)

How wonderful...thanks for your post and I'll try it out next year!! great info

Mulberry, FL

Great to know thanks for sharing! Tried to open these pictures up to get a better look but thats not happening here today something wrong with the site .

Easton, PA(Zone 6b)

Could you plant them in a pot, bring them in and keep them in a window? Store them cool but not refrigerated like dahlias? Just wondering.

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

GardenQuilts: Possibly. I have never tried it since I don't have any good sunny windows to place them near. If you have the room, you can plant them in a 16", or larger, pot. Then place them in the coolest spot to slow down growth.

When planting them in a pot, cut the stem back to at least 6" to 8".

Easton, PA(Zone 6b)

Thanks for the advice. I think I will try them in pots. I have a small place, but have more room for pots than I do in the fridge! I already move a hibiscus and a gardenia inside in pots with supplemental lighting. They stay green, but slow down during the winter.

Mulberry, FL

Hi there is a seller on ebay selling a double white looks like a brug to me its great don't get me wrong there calling it white Lady could you look and see if you think is it a scam? thanks Dana

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

Hi Dana: Just a quick note before going to work. Will check later. Meanwhile, I have seen one seller on Ebay selling a Brug and calling it Datura. I wrote to her/him about the misslabeling.. Seem she/he don't care since the name is still the same. If it is the same seller, can't remember. Never heard of a Datura called White Lady. Seems more fitting to a Brug.

Keep in mind that Datura flowers face upwards. Brug flowers always hang down.

Lilly

Edited to add. Did a quick check. Yes that is a Brug. Notice how the blooms hang down. She is the one I wrote to months ago.


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This message was edited Feb 15, 2010 6:46 AM

Mulberry, FL

Lilly must be a brug then its pretty well i bought the seed pricey i'll see when it gets here its coming from canada

Mulberry, FL

That pic is in backyard garnder for datura check brug forum Betty found the picture

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

Dana: Either a Daves member is selling the seeds, or an Ebay seller stole the photo to illustrate "her" plant. There are many photos used on Ebay that are stolen from Daves, copyrighted or not.

If that is noticed, report it to Administration. They do want to know and can stop it.

Lilly

Chesapeake Beach, MD

I was wondering if you can put the datura plants in a cold basement rather than the refrigerator after you have prepared them. Should they be placed in a darkened area?

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

Hi brseaton,
I don't see why not. The idea is to keep it cool enough to prevent growth, yet above freezing. At a 40 F temp, plants don't need light since they are semi dormant.

I just took mine out and potted in a 8" pot and leaving it in the house until it begins to sprout. We have snow here right now so too early to put anything out that is tender.

Lilly

Columbia Station, OH(Zone 5a)

Hi blomma...I'm so happy to have found this thread. I was in the hosp. and then recouperating at home for quite a while this spring so I got a late start in the garden.
Now we've already had freezing weather and I checked the seed pods on my datura's growing in the ground and they are mushy from all the rain plus the cold nights so I have no seeds to gather out there. Fortunately I have one purple and white datura (it had doubles on it)and one white ...so since seeing your post I will try to keep them in the fridge till spring (roots and a bit of stem, that is)
I f anyone has double whites or yellows' seeds to spare I would gladly send postage
or maybe you could trade me for something I have. Oh..I'd also like a single white that smells nice evenings....mine smells bad all the time.
Your instructions are great...thanks bunches.
Helen

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Mulberry, FL

lol smells bad all the time evening fragrance is nice

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

blomma ~ Can you treat brugs in the same way as daturas, for winter storage?

Thanks,

Evelyn

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

Evelyn, I can't answer that since I have never grown a brug. Also, they are larger plants than Daturas. Also more sensitive to cold, from what I have read.

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