How to Care for your Brugmansia
Growing Brugmansias – a Beautiful Challenge
If you are lucky enough to live in an area where you can plant your brugmansia in the ground, do it! The palnts will thank you by growing quickly and blooming freely once they reach a height of 4 ft.
There are few flowering trees that can stop a person in their tracks like a Brugmansia can. In their native climates, brugmansias can grow to be up to 20 feet (6 m.) tall. Not at all an impressive height for a tree, but what makes them so impressive is that the entire tree can be covered in foot long trumpet-shaped flowers.
Growing Brugmansia in Containers
Brugmansias do quite well grown in containers and can be easily grown by a northern gardener in a container. Plant your brugmansia in a rather large container, at least two feet in diameter. Your container brugmansia can go outside when the nighttime temperatures stay above 50 F. and can remain outside until the fall when the nighttime temperatures start to fall below 50 F. Brugmansias can be damaged at 38F. As long as they do not get below 20F, they can usually grow back from the roots the following spring.
The plants you receive from us are well-rooted and can go into a good size pot. Just remember if the pot is too large, you can accidentally overwater and cause root rot. Brugmansias need a lot of water, so this probably sounds confusing. Brugmansias don’t mind being root bound for a short time, so wait until the plant is rootbound before transplanting to a larger pot. Also, fast draining potting mix is very important.
Be sure to keep your container brugmansia thoroughly watered while you keep it outside. They do need a lot of water and your container brugmansia may need to be watered up to twice a day.
Brugmansias are heavy feeders. During their growing season, it is important to feed at least twice a week for those magnificent displays of blossoms. Some growers feed even more often! Miracle Grow Tomato plant food works well as brugmansias require high notrogen fast release fertilizer to to reach their maximum potential.
Overwintering Brugmanias in Containers
Once the weather turns colder and you need to bring your brugmansia in from the cold, unless you have a greenhouse, you have two options for over wintering your container brugmansia.
The first is to simply treat your container brugmansia as a houseplant. Put it in a sunny location and water as the soil dries out. You probably will not see any flowers while your container brugmansia lives in the house, but it has nice foliage.
Your other option is to force the container brugmansia into dormancy. To do this, put your brugmansia in a cool (but not cold), dark place, such as a garage, a basement or a closet. If you would like, you may trim your container brugmansia back by about a third before you store it. This will not hurt the plant. One the plant is stored, water it sparingly, only about once per month. Be warned, your container brugmansia is going to start to look pretty pathetic. It will lose its leaves and some of the outer branches may die. Do not panic. As long as the trunk of the brugmansia tree is still green, your container brugmansia is alive and well. The tree is only sleeping. A month or so before it is warm enough to take your container brugmansia back outside, start to water your brugmansia more frequently, about once a week. If you have room in your house, bring the container brugmansia out of its storage space or set up a fluorescent light bulb to shine on the brugmansia. In about a week you will start to see some leaves and branches start to grow. You will find that your container brugmansia will come out of dormancy very quickly. Once you put your container brugmansia back outside, its growth will be very rapid and you will have a lush, breathtaking, flower filled brugmansia tree again in just a matter of weeks.