Sunday, October 3, 2010

Worth it on every level

Saturday morning there were 21 open flowers and 6 fat buds about to burst on this potted brugmansia. I left a second, bigger potted brug to take a temperature hit and it will move directly to its winter location without a sunny stopover. 

It's not easy growing tender beauties such as brugmansia where winter temperatures dip way, way below freezing and spring doesn't really get under way until May. But then you get a flush of bloom like the one this week and all the hassle is worth it.

This potted brugmansia came in one or two weeks ago when the weather forecast made it clear we were flirting with damaging temperatures. It bloomed earlier this summer and had just set another round of buds. The plant typically drives me crazy -- the foliage always tends toward the chloratic side no matter how much fertilizer I give it, and inside it drops most of its leaves into a messy pile on the floor. The leaves that remain are a magnet for spider mites. But it MUST come in for the winter or die so I haul it in (it's heavy!) and let it go dormant by not watering, cutting it back a smidge and putting it in the dark closet under the stairs. And it will get there, and stay there until next April or so, after these flowers are gone.

Meanwhile, it makes a statement in a corner of the dining room. The fragrance reminds me of a load of laundry fresh in from the clothesline. It's especially nice at night when the blossoms fully open and the fragrance wafts throughout the main living area. 

I love this plant. I can't imagine my home without it.

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