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Q: I have several Brugmansia in large, 10 gallon, pots. Toward the end of their second season they were so large and root bound that I had to water them twice a day. I don't want to go to larger pots and am wondering if I can prune them severely and prune the roots to add new soil so that watering won't be such a problem?

A: Brugmansia are well known for their need for a lot of water. I'm not sure whether trimming the roots will provide much decrease in their need for watering. I ended up putting my Brugmansia on a watering timer that waters them for a couple of minutes twice a day during
the summer. It works well and seems to keep them happy.

But Brugmansia do tend to tolerate dramatic pruning quite well. I've seen people trim them down to half their original height (from 10 feet to 4 or 5 feet with no apparent harm to the plant. Within a short time, the trimmed stalks had all reproduced leaves.

According to the book Brugmansia and Datura by Ulrike and Hans-Georg Preissel, Brugmansia should be repotted every year or two. They specify that if you're going to use the same size pot, "carefully remove 1.5-2 inches of root bound soil from the outer edge of the old ball of roots. The easiest way is to use a clean, sharp knife. To prevent cutting surfaces from rotting, powder the damaged root parts with charcoal powder." It also specifies not to tear apart the root ball during the transplant process.

I know that Brugmansia like a large root system in order to produce flowers, so trimming the roots could reduce flower production for a while.

Good luck!

Asked By : Anonymous
Answered By : fire
Published Date : 3 / 6 / 2003
Last Edited Date : 3 / 6 / 2003
Question ID : 3040

Categories: [ Cultivation ]

Ask Erowid v1.7 - Jul, 2005

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