Thursday, May 7, 2015

Repotting My Brugmansias

Over the weekend I began the Great Migration, emptying the greenhouse of all the tender plants. I set them outside, some on the front porch and some near the gravel garden, where they will live for the summer. Over the winter I kept four Brugmansias in the greenhouse, where they managed to hold onto quite a few leaves, and even flowered, filling the greenhouse with a lovely strong scent. Because Brugs are heavy feeders, this year I decided to knock all of them out of their pots, comb out and prune the roots and scrape some of the potting soil away, and then refresh the potting soil with new Dr. Earth-laced soil. Rather than keep trying to find larger and larger pots, I pruned some of the roots away and put them back in the same pots. I hope this process will perhaps enable them to flower sooner than they did last year.


Two Brugs waiting to be repotted

I enlisted Nigel's help with tipping the pot onto its side

A few good hard tugs on the central leader, and the plant slid right out. You can see how root-bound it has gotten.

I used a little hand fork to scrape soil away and rough up the roots

In a five-gallon bucket I mixed Dr. Earth fertilizer and potting soil

I put a layer of new soil on the bottom of the pot, then lifted the plant back into the pot and filled all around the edges with new soil, making sure to push and pack the soil all around the newly pruned root ball.

Two repotted Brugmansias


I read about this process on the Internet, after Googling "repotting Brugmansias." Do you grow them? Have you ever done anything like this?

16 comments:

  1. I sometimes ponder whether we ought to grow Brugmansias again, with their incredibly exotic looking blooms and fragrance. Root prunning wouldn't harm them at all, they'll just grow away like nothing happened, business as usual :)

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  2. Good to know Alison. I may try this too next year, it's my first year growing a brug and I am a bit baffled by its heavy feeding and what to do with the thing. Thanks for the tips. I'd do the root pruning, I've done it with other things with good success.

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  3. I grow them but haven't done anything like this. I've only done bigger and bigger pots. I'll bet your brugs love their new soil and grow like gangbusters. Maybe I should do this too...

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  4. Hey..you might have started a new trend with your new soil / root pruning idea! Keep us posted on how they respond :)

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  5. I love this idea! I held over two brugs and I really didn't want to pot them up. I'm going to try this. I can't imagine that it wouldn't work and refresh the plants. Thanks!

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  6. I'm going to put this swell tutorial to use pronto.Thanks.

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  7. I never repotted that plant, but it sure helped others I had. Will recover nicely soon and take off again...then repotting at some time...and repeat!

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  8. And.... your Brugmansias will grow wonderful again! In the past when we heated the greenhouse we had many different Brugmansias, a hobby of my husband. I´m not a fan of them, they are so big, take so much space and he had too many of them.

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  9. Mine are growing in the ground, coming back from roots after winter kill. Some are less than a foot tall. The ones in the best sheltered area are tall and one has buds. I may dig one this fall for fragrance in the greenhouse IF I can find room among the Tomato Factory.

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  10. Wait till you see mine. ;)
    I do this same thing with all my potted trees. A root cutting and some new dirt keeps everyone happy.

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  11. P.S. My mom kept hers in the garage for winter and, as of my visit today, that #!$;';/=# is BLOOMING.

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  12. I had a brugmansia a couple years ago...I never managed to make it bloom. Maybe I needed to feed it more. And I couldn't overwinter it very well as I do not live where my garden is. Oh well...maybe I´ll try another.

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  13. Interesting. Every year I refresh the mix in all my containers with a couple of handfuls of compost, and pretty much leave it at that. I do use some synthetic fertilizer, though.

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  14. I shall be interested to see if this will make them bloom earlier. I haven' t grown them for ages because I always found they bloomed so late that they were just looking good as the first frosts came.

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  15. Mine have buds with 1 bud beginning to open. I live on Kent Easthill. I didn't put mine in the green house until Feb. I cut back the large Brugs that I have grown last fall. I saved the branches with Y's and placed them in water. In Feb, I potted them and put them in the greenhouse. I'm experimenting so we'll see how this process goes.

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