Friday, January 3, 2014

Freaky Ghost Leaves

I managed to wrestle my four Brugmansias into my warm but windowless garage this fall, just after they got nipped by our first frost. (Of course, it wasn't BEFORE the first frost, that would require forward-thinking and planning -- at least I got them in before the hard freeze that came just a few days later and lasted for more than a week.)

The first thing I did when I saw that they had been affected by the frost was smack myself in the head. Then I hauled out the dolly and wheeled them in, where they've been sitting since then, only slightly in the way (I really need to re-organize the garage.) The only light they get is when I open the garage door to move the car in and out to go shopping or run errands.

Once they were nipped by the frost, the leaves and buds all shriveled up, and over the course of several weeks, they all dropped off.

Old shriveled dead leaves


I noticed a few days ago, they've started to produce new leaves. But they're freaky weird pale ghost leaves. Because the plants aren't getting any light. But I don't dare move them back out, we'll probably have plenty more frost and maybe even a hard freeze.


Looks like this one has even produced a flower bud


At least I know they're alive. And they'll have a really good head start on producing flowers in the spring.

15 comments:

  1. I keep many brugsmansias over winter in what is mostly an unlit area.The only losses I've ever experienced were from letting them get too dry… so I give them a little water a couple times over the course of our long winter. Any foliage that grows inside will be replaced once moved out anyway so I don't concern myself with it's being a healthy green… as long as there are signs of life, I am content. Larry

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  2. What a nice surprise for you to see some life especially when it didn't look so hopeful at one point.
    I agree that we will probably get more killing frost...I have a feeling we are in for a rough few months. xo

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  3. Good for you! I made a note to dig and bring in just one, leaving the others to hopes of a mild winter again where the roots don't freeze. I never brought in that one that had put on new leaves after the last freeze.

    Last winter I had cuttings, too many cuttings. I gave away some in the spring and kept others that are now left to Fate along with the old plants.

    Every year is different. The worst that can happen is that we'll start over.

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  4. Hooray for signs of life. I usually move mine out in April & keep them close to the house for a while. You've reminded me to go to the basement and splash some water on the one biggie down there. Here's to a summer full of brugmansia-fragranced evenings!

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  5. I think we're in for a lot of surprises, both on the plus and minus side, after the winter we've had. Oh wait, it's only just started!

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  6. I also find a forehead slap is a necessary first step to many garden projects. Will they be OK without any light all that time?

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  7. Nothing at all to do with this post....when are you getting your chickens?

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  8. I'll be interested to see how they do come spring.

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  9. Well I think that they are doing fine. You will have a head start with them once the warmer weather starts. I often find that here the flowers only really get into their stride at the end of the summer. But yours are all raring to go.
    Chloris

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  10. It might go on a second dormancy one it realises that the move was false alarm and it's not spring yet. At least you know its alive and will look great again in a few months time :)

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  11. Well, you got them inside before the deep freeze, so I'd say that smack upside the head was undeserved. :) One year I moved mine in and in short order I saw aphids. Hopefully this won't be the case for you. They'll look wonderful next summer.

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  12. I agree with Grace, forget the self smacking! You got them in before the deep freeze and have been rewarded :)

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  13. Glad to see they will survive!

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  14. They'll be fine. I dug mine out a couple of years ago because it was taking over, and it's been trying to come back ever since. Happy New Year!

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