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Overwintering Datura/Brugmansia (Angels Trumpet)

David Deutsch dd at gondwana.org
Sun Nov 7 11:32:22 EST 1999

In article <01bf28a9$69aea320$08d66ad1 at pandora>,
  "Pandora" <pandora at windo.missouri.org> wrote:
> I have four potted woody-stemmed Daturas I grew from seed last year that
> I'd very much like to keep alive.  They spent last winter on a sun porch
> where they stayed leafy but hosted spider mites.  They're too big for the
> sun porch now.  I read (but can't remember where) that they go dormant
> during the cold season but are only half-hardy.  Does anyone know how to
> get them to go to sleep and if they could then be stored in the dark in my
> root cellar (where I overwinter my potted fig) until spring?  I live in
> zone 6.
> --
> pandora at windo.missouri.org

Hi Pandora,

My Brugmansias were planted in the ground outdoors in my garden (I'm in Zone
9), and last year, they survived a Zone 8 winter (we had a severe freeze in
the teens that we seem to get every 10 years or so). They burned right to the
ground and I was sure they were dead for sure... then they surprised everyone
and came back from the roots to being huge this summer and in full bloom
right now.

However, being that you're in Zone 6 I don't think you could get away with
what I did (I'm amazed I got away with it at all!). Victoria is right. In
your case, the root cellar is definitely the way to go, though I wonder if it
wouldn't benefit the plant to be exposed briefly the a mild freeze (around
30-32 F) to reduce its level of activity before putting it to bed for the
winter? What do you think, Victoria? Would a 45 F root cellar be enough, or
would a light frost be a good idea?


David Deutsch
Gondwana Gardens
Sellers of Southern Hemisphere and Primitive Plants

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