Brugmansias are not hardy here in zone4, so I have to overwinter them in the house. There are several ways to overwinter a brugmansia...
The plant needs a lot of light and should be kept in a sunny south facing window.
Supplemental lighting is a good idea too, especially if you live in a region with shortened daylight hours during the winter.
Without sufficient lighting, new growth on the plant will be weak.
After the plant is moved indoors, it will drop some of its leaves, this is normal.
You might get lucky and enjoy blooms during the winter, but it's difficult to mimic the conditions necessary for blooms indoors.
The first year I overwintered my brugmansias, this is the method I started with.
I had a terrible experience because my plants became infested with aphids and spider mites within days of bringing them inside. Which is why I tried the next option...
She suggested to let the brugmansias go dormant for the winter... "no leaves, no bugs".
At that time, I didn't realize you could let brugmansias go dormant.
To encourage the plant to go dormant, put it in a cool, dark location and stop watering it.
After a few days, the plant will start to drop its leaves, eventually dropping all of them.
Leave the plant in a cool, dark location until spring. (Read Wake Up Sleepy Heads for tips on breaking dormancy).
You don't want them to dry out completely, but the soil should remain on the dry side. Do not over water a dormant plant.
If the plant is too large for your space, there are a few things you can do.
The plant can be pruned back to a manageable size, and stored the same way.
Brugmansias can be pruned heavily - don't worry, they will grow back in the spring. Or...
Another way to overwinter brugmansia is to put the cuttings in water, where they will sprout roots.
|Rooted brugmansia cuttings in water|
Place the cuttings in a bucket or vase filled with fresh water.
Once roots have developed, the cuttings could either be potted up, or you could leave them in water all winter.
If you keep the cuttings in water, be sure to check the water every few weeks or so to make sure it's not getting scummy or evaporating.
If the water starts to get cloudy or scummy, dump it out and rinse the container, then fill it with fresh water.
Keep the water level above the roots at all times, you don't want the roots to dry out.
Also keep an eye out for pests. If you spot any pests, you can simply soak the entire cutting in water again to drown them. This is much easier than fighting pests on a large plant.