I have two brugmansia of unknown identity that I got in June of 2002. They
were about 8 inches tall in three inch pots. This year they are huge,
approaching 6 feet tall. They were both wilting terribly so I repotted them
from their 12 inch pots to 18 inch pots (I am in zone 6, so I have to bring
them inside and let them go dormant in the winter.) They still wilt a bit,
but are much better, especially after moving them out of the direct
I noticed that one of them started to look a lot more horizontal. They are
growing like weeds, so I thought it might just be from growth. Then it got
more pronounced, and I saw that it had spit near were it comes out of the
soil. The plant in question seems to have formed the typical "Y" very close
to the soil. The plant looks very good and is covered with flowers. The
problem is that where it split, the stems are getting soft and undoubtedly
I know I have to do something, but I'm not sure what the best approach is.
I am also worried that the rot will continue and the entire plant will be
lost. A few pieces broke off in high winds a few weeks ago and I tried
rooting one in some potting mix and one in water. The one in the soil
rotted. The one in water had the nodes on the stem expand into white bumps,
but no actual roots have formed. It is getting some new leaves, but the
bottom is also rotting a bit and I have to keep cutting it shorter.
Any advice would be appreciated.
Okay, first let me direct you to this website:
Now, I don't know how you are watering your plant, but they are huge water
guzzlers and huge feeders in containers. They are much better in the ground,
but containers is how I do them and I have about 10 of them in 30 gallon tubs.
They do NOT like hot night temperatures and will almost go dormant in the
hottest part of the summer when nights are still over 80 degrees.
I find water rooting brugmansia is somewhat timely as the small bumps you
describe can take about six weeks to develop. I root my cuttings in potting mix
and I place the container (4") in a ziplock bag and keep it closed for the first
week. Then, I still leave it in the bag, but open the top. Even moisture is
very important. Too wet, you get rot, as you can see.
I suggest you take about ten cuttings of the plant in question and you will get
at least half of those to take root. Without seeing the problem, I cannot help
diagnose it, but the weight of flowers can take down a young plant. My plants
are now ranging from 10 years old, to new cuttings taken last spring.
Go to the above website and ask your questions in their forum, or browse around.
There are many brugmansia lovers.
Thanks for the reply. I will post some pictures somewhere soon. (I could
email them to you if you want, but you will have to email me with a valid
address.) I will also look again at the above website. That is where I
got the information for trying to root the last cuttings I tried to
register for the forum at that site on 07/24 and got a reply that my request
had been received but I would have wait for another email before I had
access to the forum. So far, no follow-up email. I tried to access the
forum yesterday before posting here, but no luck.
You are right about them being very heavy feeders and needing a LOT of water
in containers. I have been feeding them with 12-12-12 twice a week as they
tend to get chlorotic and drop leaves if left unfed. They also demand
constant watering. Our weather has been unseasonably cool this year and I
suspect that is why the one that split has boomed so prolifically. In the
past, it only started to bloom when the evening temperatures dropped. Then
shortly afterwards I would have to bring it inside where and let it go
dormant. I have a picture from September of last year and that is the first
time it really bloomed heavily. I have a white one that is not blooming. I
had one or two flowers on it a few weeks ago, and it has one bud right now.
That plant has larger, longer, lighter, and slightly more hairy leaves. The
flowers are a bit more waxy and the fragrance is so strong that a single
flower will perfume the entire yard. I would really like to have that one
get a couple dozen blooms on it at once, like the troublesome pink one.
I find the B. suavolens is extremely temperamental regarding temperatures. It
does not bloom for me at all during the months of summer. The one you have
with the hairy leaves may be B. candida or B.spp. I have a few whites, single
and double, along with 'Peaches and Cream' and 'Charles Grimaldi.' Here's
another site to go to:
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