Blooming Extraordinary Brugmansia21st November 2017 • In The Garden • Stephanie Donaldson
Despite all the surrounding plants in the courtyard looking deciding autumnal, the brugmansia continues to flower prolifically, seemingly undaunted by the drop in temperature. Well the flowers are undaunted, but most of its lower leaves have fallen, creating long bare stems topped by clusters of fragile-looking, exotic flowers. Normally, I steel myself to cut all the stems hard back by this time of year and then wrap the plant up for winter, but this time I’ve only cut back a single stem and have left the others to see how long they will continue to flower.
I’ve taken cuttings from the stem I removed, so if the worst comes to the worst, I should have replacement plants. Each cutting is a 25cm(ish) length of stem, cut below a leaf joint at the base and above a leaf joint at the top. To make sure I planted them the right way up, I made a sloping cut at the top of the cutting and a flat one at the bottom (on reflection I think it would have been better the other way round, but it probably doesn’t matter). They are now in deep pots, in a gritty compost mix, with two thirds of the cutting covered by compost that has been top-dressed with grit. The cuttings are standing on a heated tray in the greenhouse, but they will do equally well on a windowsill. I haven’t taken brugmansia cuttings for years, but I seem to remember that they root quite readily.