Tipps zur Überwinterung von Brugmansien
Written for ABADS by Dr. Hans-Georg Preissel
Herrenhäuser Gärtens, Hannover Germany 

Tips for Over wintering Brugmansia
Translated to English by Dr. Rich Sanders



Most Brugmansia can grow and flower all year round if they are not exposed to damaging temperatures below freezing. But many Brugmansia enthusiasts live in climate zones with pronounced winters. For these growers it is necessary to cultivate their plants in containers so they are transportable and can be brought into an area protected from frost.

The best option for over wintering is in a small greenhouse or other location in which the plants receive full sun. If one maintains the temperature between 54° and 64° F (12° - 18° C), all species and hybrids can be cultivated without difficulty. Most species - in particular B. sanguinea and B. vulcanicola – even flower under these conditions.

Less light is necessary if the plants are stored at lower temperatures. Between 41° and 50° F (5° - 10° C) most Brugmansia growth ceases, so the plants can tolerate storage in darkness for extended periods. B. aurea, B. arborea, B. suaveolens and many hybrids are well-suited to this manner of over wintering. B. sanguinea, B. vulcanicola and B. x flava also survive such a treatment, but will not flower. Although these latter species develop flower buds during the cool winter months, they must have sufficient light to bloom. The heat-loving B. insignis and B. versicolor are unsuitable for cool over wintering under 54° C (12° C).

In the spring and autumn growers must decide when to place Brugmansia out in their summer location, or when to return them again to their winter accommodation. For these moves the following rule of thumb applies: The higher the temperature during winter storage the later the plants should be placed out in spring and the earlier they should be returned to storage in autumn. The most favorable timing for relocation is when the average outdoor temperatures match, as closely as possible, those of the winter location.


Die meisten Brugmansien können ganzjährig wachsen und blühen, sofern sie keinen schädigenden Temperaturen unter der Frostgrenze ausgesetzt sind. Doch viele Brugmansienliebhaber wohnen in klimatischen Zonen mit ausgeprägten Wintern und kultivieren ihre Pflanzen deshalb in Kübeln. 
So werden die Pflanzen transportabel und können zur Überwinterung in einen frostgeschützten Raum gebracht werden.

Die beste Möglichkeit zur Überwinterung bietet ein kleines Gewächshaus oder ein Wintergarten, 
in dem die Pflanzen das volle Tageslicht erhalten. Hält man eine Temperatur zwischen 12° und 18° C, können sämtliche Arten und Sorten problemlos kultiviert werden. Die meisten Arten - insbesondere B. sanguinea und B. vulcanicola - blühen unter diesen Bedingungen sogar.

Je kühler die Überwinterung erfolgt, umso weniger Licht ist für die Pflanzen erforderlich. Bei Temperaturen zwischen 5° und 10° C stellen die meisten Brugmansien ihr Wachstum vollständig ein und können auch für längere Zeit Dunkelheit ertragen. Für diese Überwinterung eignen sich B. aurea, B. arborea, B. suaveolens und viele Hybriden. Auch B. sanguinea, B. vulcanicola und B. x flava überstehen solch eine Behandlung, doch man würde bei dunkler Überwinterung vergebens auf Blüten warten. Die letztgenannten Arten bilden ihre Blüten in den kühlen Wintermonaten und brauchen dazu unbedingt Licht. Ungeeignet für eine kühle Überwinterung unter 12° C sind die wärmeliebenden Arten B. insignis und B. versicolor.

Im Frühjahr und Herbst stellt sich die Frage, wann man die Pflanzen an den Sommerstandort bzw. 
wieder in das Winterquartier räumen soll. Hierfür gilt folgende Faustregel:

Je wärmer die Temperatur im Winterquartier ist, umso früher muss man einräumen und umso später sollte man ausräumen. Der Zeitpunkt für das Umräumen der Pflanzen ist immer dann am günstigsten, wenn sich die Durchschnittstemperaturen im Freiland weitgehend an diejenigen des Überwinterungsquartiers angeglichen haben.


Tennessee Experience
Everyone has their own method to winter their brugs. Not all methods work well for all Brugmansia. Trial and error is your best learning tool! Whatever you do, protect yourself and your plants! Root extra cuttings of your most valuable and cherished Brugmansia before you sacrifice the whole plant to an experiment.

1) If your Brug is too tall to bring inside, cut it back to whatever height you desire. Root what you cut off because the tops are the flowering part of the plant. These tops will be the first to flower next year. 
Before you make that cut please refer to the pages on
rooting Brugmansia cuttings so that you will understand how to make these cuts.

2) Put the plant in a dark room, closet or basement.
It doesn't have to be night time dark. It can be a very poorly lit room. Any place that doesn't freeze.

3) Do not fertilize the plant during winter storage.

4) Water the plant sparingly. I have gone as long as 6 weeks between watering.

Your Brugmansia will go dormant. There will be major leaf loss and it will look awful.
It's just resting! Not dead!

If you do not want your plant to go dormant, you can keep it in your home, by a sunny window, and let it continue growing. It's Fall/Winter and the Brug will lose a lot of leaves but you could still have sparse flushes of flowers. Fertilize and water in smaller doses and less frequently than you would during peak growing seasons. Watch out for those disgusting spider mites and whiteflies. See Insects page

 They made it through the Winter! ... Now what?

Our last frost date here in East TN, is April 31. I usually start reviving my brugs in February. You can use your own judgment as to when you want to revive your own.
Simply .... pour on the water and fertilizer and give good light. It always reminds me of "Jack and the Beanstalk". The Brugs immediately respond and grow rapidly.
As the weather warms you should adjust them to the sun. Keep them out of the wind. They can be a bit weak in the stem at this point and need some time to toughen up in the outside world.
What about my Brugmansia that's planted in the ground!?

 (1) You can leave it alone and take your chances on some part of it surviving the winter. Sometimes our zone 7 winters and early Springs are soggy wet here in east Tennessee. This causes soil borne diseases and root rot that weakens and eventually kills our Brugmansia. Repeated year after year freezes will also eventually weaken and kill these plants. Normally, Brugmansia that has been frozen to the ground is slow to flower the following growing season.

2) You can dig it up, pot it, and store it.
Hey!....this isn't such a dumb idea. They can be hard to get out of the ground but they'll survive the digging, tugging and pulling.... you might not.

3) You can cut it back to the ground and mulch. In colder zones than 7 some growers have experienced success with fabrics such as frost barriers securely placed on top of heavily mulched rootstocks.
Root those cuttings just in case your mother plant doesn't survive.

4) Plant your brug in a large pot, set pot and all in the ground and let it grow. Lift pot and store the plant in the pot during the cold months.




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