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Brunfelsia

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Brunfelsia facinates me. The main reason is because I love night blooming plants. Although I have germinated many different varieties of Brunfelsia over the years, due to heat loss and other unexpected situations the only variety I have left is Brunfelsia floribunda which has survived for the past several years.

This past spring I potted it up into a much larger pot and sit it outside. With the storms and other problems we encountered I had all but forgot about it until it was time to bring it inside.

I had never pruned this plant and was beginning to wonder why it had not bloomed. It seems many of my plants grow but do not bloom. I am not big on pruning and this is part of the reason why it takes so long for many of my plants to bloom. It seems Brunfelsia actually benefits from being pruned and pruning can induce flowering.

Brunfelsia prefers to be grown in part shade to full sun, which is not a problem now that I have moved it from mostly shade to full sun. Container grown Brunfelsia usually reach two to three feet tall, which I would say mine is. Depending on variety they can bloom anytime from early spring to late winter.

Brunfelsia prefer a soil pH of 5.5 to 6.2 and need moderate amounts of fertilizer during their active growth cycle. A bit of chelated iron will not hurt either as Brunfelsia is prone to iron chlorosis.

If you live in zone 10 or higher these plants can be grown outdoors year round. For the rest of us, container culture will have to suffice. Luckily these plants do quite well in containers and have been known to live for over one hundred years in a container as long as they are well cared for.

The best part of growing Brunfelsia is the intense fragrance you will be rewarded with once your plant comes into bloom.

Here is a bit of germination information on Brunfelsia americana and a photo of my seedling.

On December 4, 2004 I began soaking fresh seeds. They were in the water for about four days before I planted them directly on top of some vermiculite.

On December 23, 2004 the seed germinated.

Enjoy!

Sheri

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