Brugmansias and Trees

One of my favorite trees to grow is the brugmansia or also known as Angel’s Trumpet. They are highly fragranted, fast growing, and produce abundant beautiful flowers year round. They are so easy to propagate in a glass of water.

The brugmansia below is propagated from another plant and it is a little over a year and a half. It is about 3 feet tall. You may notice in my posts that I like to say how old and how tall my plants or trees are. I do that because I feel sometimes new gardeners like myself like to know how big plants could get and how long it takes to get such and such sizes. I find that very few gardening sites tell you how big plants are at certain stages. If you look at all the tall things growing in my yard in these pictures, know that they are about at least three years old because that’s how long I have been gardening. My BEFORE garden pictures were posted in this earlier blog here.

Charles Grimaldi Brugmansia

They can get pretty tall like this one, which is about 10 feet tall if you trim the side shoots. Bees love them and so do pests like aphids. I don’t remember what kind of brugmansia this pink one is because I’ve had it for over 15 years.

The mother plant Charles Grimaldi of all my Charles Grimaldi brugmansias. It blooms continuously throughout the year.

The picture below does not do this Duranta Erecta justice. It has beautiful purple flowers all year long. In the late afternoons, I can hear hummingbirds zipping in and out of this bush like Star Wars pod racers. This tree is 20 years old and is now about 16 feet. I have seen most people keep this type of tree much shorter around 6 feet but I just let it grow to enhance the landscape.

“Duranta Erecta” Sweet Memory Bush

The Red Baron peach below is about 2 years old and will be turning red sometimes in September. Right now there are some peaches on the tree but it is still slightly brown and green so my dogs have not discovered it yet. Once it ripens and stands out more in the tree, I will have to figure out how to keep it from being snatched off the trees by my dogs. It drops leaves in the winter and then develop buds which later turns into beautiful reddish blossoms.

This here is my Cranberry hibiscus tree which I grew from seeds. It has been about 3 years and they have these beautiful reddish foliage like a maple tree but better because these stay like this all year. This tree was about 10 feet tall at one point but it was growing awkwardly so I trimmed it down and trained it to lean more upright. It was leaning 45 degrees when it grew! Now it is somewhat upright, more like at an 80 degree angle. The flowers are really pretty cranberry-colored like the picture below. It blooms during the day and closes up each day.

This is a three year old papaya tree grown from seeds. It is about 3 1/2 feet tall. I’m not sure when they are supposed to have fruit but they get yellow leaves when I try to give it water. Besides the Red Baron peach, this papaya is my other favorite fruit tree in the yard. I’m hoping it will flower and give me fruits soon because I love papayas!

I am also growing some cherimoyas, a starfruit, a persimmon from seeds. I don’t know where my persimmon plant is out there right now.

Cherimoya – 2 year old from seed about 12 inches tall
Starfruit: the center woody stick about 8 inches tall after 2 years

While I was outside, I noticed this Columbine flower which I am sure I never grew. It was such a wonderful surprise since I have been wanting a Columbine for a long time. I will leave you with admiring that flower.

Growing Seeds

Last week I started planting a huge batch of poppy seeds, spinach, carrots, lavender, cilantro, and root vegetables. Seed growing is pretty easy once you get the hang of it. You need good seed starting soil to get them to grow. I found that the ones sold at garden centers work too. Since I grow a lot of seeds, I mix my own batch of soil consisting of coco coir, compost, and perlite or vermiculite.

Day 1

For starting out with seeds, you can purchase these:

  1. Seed starting pods or trays that can be purchased from any home improvement or garden stores
  2. Labels or plant markers ( I use address labels to label my seeds)
  3. Toothpick or a chopstick to poke holes in the soil

DIRECTIONS FOR SEEDS GROWING

Water the potting mix from the bottom of the tray. Let the water soak up into the potting mix. Once the mix is wet thoroughly, probably an hour or so, then you may begin putting in seeds. Don’t forget to empty the leftover water in the tray. If the seeds sit in soggy soil for too long, they will grow mold and rot the seeds.

For this batch of seeds I grew, I used a chopstick to put a very light indentation to drop my seeds in the center. I dropped about 10 seeds in because I know that some may not survive down the line so I always grow an extra big batch. Also, since I am a HUGE fan of beets and turnips, I usually put in A LOT!

Once you get the seeds in, cover very lightly with about less than 1/4 of an inch of soil. Label as I do in the pictures or stick your plant markers on the side of each pot. Put the plastic cover over the plant (cover usually comes with the plant tray).

Day 3 : the white specks on the top right pods are turnips and beets that are the early risers.

Place the tray in a dark, preferably warm closet. Check on the plant in two days, there should be new growth coming up. Vegetables are usually quicker to sprout than flowers.

Day 4: The poppies on the left three rows are starting to come out. They are so tiny! On the right turnips and beets are growing wildly. The bottom leafy try are my rutabagas.

Once the new growth appear in any of the pods, take the cover off the tray and place the tray in a warm sunny spot INDOORS. Keep the soil moist for the next couple of weeks. I like to keep my plants indoors for at least a month until the seedlings outgrow the pods.

Day 5

When you are ready to take the plants outside, take them out and place them in a shady but bright area outside for a few hours each day. You should gradually increase their time outside each day and in full sun until after a week, you can start leaving them out overnight. Apply fish or light water soluble fertilizer a week later. After that you can place them in a larger container or in the ground or a raised bed. I highly recommend you let them grow bigger for another few more weeks so that they will be stronger and less likely eaten by smaller bugs and pests on the ground.

Day 9

As you can see from the pictures, the plants are doing remarkably well in the last few days. They have grown more leafy and leggy. To ensure they will keep thriving, make sure the soil is moist (don’t forget them like I did and left it dry in the window)!