Summer Brugmansia

It is now officially summer, and the brugmansias have been placed in their summer homes. ‘Charles Grimaldi’ and ‘Naughty Nick’ live in the back yard on the north side of a raised deck. They get a small amount of shade, especially in the lower sections. As long as I keep the roots somewhat moist, they seem to be happy. ‘New Orleans Lady’ lives in a nursery pot on the front porch, looking pitiful. It doesn’t mind the heat, it seems. However it did get hit pretty hard by flesh eating bacteria this spring. Not really, but it looked like it. Sitting in the greenhouse with water-holding potting soil caused a lot of edema, which in turn ruined a lot of leaves. For those of you who don’t know what that is, check out the Missouri Botanical Garden page on edema. It looks like a viral disease, or even a fungal problem. Luckily, it’s neither.

Here we go… ‘Charles Grimaldi’ is ready to go down the stairs to it’s shady summer home.
It would be nice if I could keep this giant brugmansia on top of the deck, but I have no doubt in my mind that it would get burned to a crisp the first 90 degree day it spent there. This deck gets hot!

If it weren’t for those darn earwigs, this leaf would be even more impressive. As it is, I think it’s great. It is longer than my forearm!

The underside of the leaves isn’t as smooth as the top, by any means. In fact, those leaf veins are bigger than the stems on most of my fuchsias.

‘Naughty Nick’ on the left, and ‘Charles Grimaldi’ on the right, both safely below the deck. I managed to get them there without a single precious leaf being broken.
I have had damage on all of my fuchsias this year, as a result of some hungry deer. A few fuchsias have even been (nearly) completely destroyed by those deer. Every few weeks they come back, looking for fresh growth and anything they didn’t kill during the last visit. Long enough for me to get lax on where I put the pots, but not long enough for the fuchsias to completely recover. The deer have been going in and out of the brugmansia to get at the fuchsias, but so far haven’t touched the brugmansias. In fact, neither the deer or the squirrels have touched them. There must be something about them that they don’t like. I guess I’m going to have to get some more brugmansias going next year!

‘Naughty Nick’ growing tip, fuzzy and blueish green. Much different than the featured image for this post; the growing tip of ‘Charles Grimaldi’. It looks to me like I need to add another type of fertilizer to this plant’s routine, in order to get those new leaves less curled.

At every leaf node of ‘Charles Grimaldi’ there are little branches waiting to grow. I’m not sure what they are waiting for, other than possibly a little more nitrogen?

The surest way that I can get ‘Charles Grimaldi’ to bloom, or at least form buds, is to force it to branch. I could pinch the growth tip, but then I would lose overall height (and those awesome leaves). I don’t want to do that to a new plant. So… I just have to wait until it gets tall enough to start branching on it’s own.

Next year, I hope to have many more brugmansia. I plan on propagating ‘Charles Grimaldi’ like crazy, and hopefully coming across some ‘Rhapsody’ again soon. Have you figured out that ‘Charles Grimaldi’ is my favorite brugmansia yet? I love those giant leaves! It has only been 2 years since I had an established brugmansia garden, but it feels like forever. Especially this time of year!

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