Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Friday, October 26, 2012

One of My Brugs is Blooming!

One of my Brugmansias is blooming! It took long enough. Its growth this year has waxed and waned, growing, then dropping leaves all spring and summer.  I repotted it this spring, and to be honest, I haven't been as conscientious as I should have been about keeping it watered all summer. They like water, especially during the height of summer. I also probably should have brought it out of the house and repotted it earlier than I did. I waited till the weather had warmed up significantly, rather than just bringing it out when the threat of frost had passed. The only fertilizer it received was from the potting soil I used to repot it.

Now, suddenly, I notice it has a flower open, and more buds waiting in the wings.

Brugmansias are also called Angel's Trumpet, and you can see why when you look at the flower. Similar to Datura, which is called Devil's Trumpet, the Brug's flowers point down, whereas Daturas point upward or outward. Both Brugs and Datura are members of the Solanaceae or nightshade family of plants, which also includes tomatoes, peppers and potatoes. The foliage of all those plants, even the food crops, is poisonous. You can read more about Brugs here. There is more information here about growing them and overwintering them in containers.

Brugmansias come from South America, where they grow in the wild into woody trees or shrubs. I don't know enough about Brugs to say what the specific Latin name of mine is. It was one of three passalong rooted starts from Tom, who used to write the blog Seventh Street Cottage. I've had it going on three years now this winter, and this is its first flower ever.

I'm going to need to bring it either into the house, or into the garage soon. Our nights are getting quite cold now. Usually when I overwinter it, I nurse it along all winter, as it slowly drops leaves and looks more and more sickly, until spring comes, and I can bring it outside, whereupon it revives. I've heard you can bring it in and essentially ignore it for most of the winter, watering it once a month. I might try that this year.