Saturday, July 19th, 2008...12:00 am

Brugmansias

                          Photo taken by Dara at the New York Botanical Garden

One day this hot week, TheGardenLady and friends visited the New York Botanical Garden. If you have never visited this Botanical Garden, you garden lovers must make it a point to go to see its 50 gardens and plant collections. Try to pick a cooler day to allow you to walk comfortably on its 250 acres. But any day is worth while visiting the NYBG. This is one of the great gardens of the world.

In the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory on the NYBG grounds, this time I toured the building, the Brugmansias were having a brilliant show. I saw 6 Brugmansias in full bloom in one wing of the conservatory. I have one Brugmansia. If you like small flowers, forget this column. But if you like showy, huge flowers, the Brugmansia is one plant you will love because when it blooms, it is a show stopper. This surprisingly easy to grow plant delights its growers with a fantastic display of flowers.  Its common name is Angels trumpet and when you see its long, large flowers, you will know why it got this common name, TheGardenLady wishes she had a larger property to enable her to have more than one Brugmansia

This IS a tropical plant, so if you live in zones 8 and below, plan on protecting this plant in the winter. TheGardenLady brought her Brugmansia into her house to overwinter. It pleased her by producing a few blooms last winter and then kept dropping its leaves. A friend had two in her living room and they really produced a display of flowers. Many people cut the plant back and overwinter it in a garage or cool
room.

The Brugmansia is easy to propagate. TheGardenLady got hers from a friend.  It likes to be kept well watered and fed. TheGardenLady feeds hers Schultz’s Bloom Plus each time she waters it. She thinks of the plant as if it is the plant in the show Little Shop of Horrors that is constantly calling out “Feed Me” and the plant responds with the feeding by producing gorgeous blooms. Right now I am counting the buds on my plant for its second blooming of the summer. The friend who had the constant blooms indoors in the winter  followed TheGardenLady’s dictum and fed it a bloom boosting fertilizer all winter. TheGardenLady gave her Brugmansia a bit of a rest during the winter but is resuming the heavy eeding this summer.

The plant can be kept in a big pot all year round or replanted in the soil in the warm weather when frost is finished.

Though this plant is spectacular, there is a WARNING that goes with the plant. ALL PARTS of the Brugmansia are POISONOUS. TheGardenLady did not have such a toxic plants growing on her property until her children were grown. And if you have pets that chew things, TheGardenLady would warn against having any Brugmansias.

If the readers of TheGardenLady blog has any photos of their Brugmansias, please share them with this column.

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