- Scientific name
- Common names
- Naturalised distribution (global)
- Introduced, naturalised or invasive in East Africa
- Reproduction and dispersal
- Similar species
- Economic and other uses
- Environmental and other impacts
- Brugmansia – the Basics and How To Grow Them
- Angel’s Trumpet, Brugmansia
- It’s easy to see why the common name for the dramatic Brugmansia is angel’s trumpet. These sub-tropical beauties offer months of flowers and fragrance, all in an easy-care package.
- Few plants have flowers as impressive and numerous as the brugmansia. Each trumpet-shaped bloom is up to 20cms long, all borne in massive flushes often every 6-8 weeks, set off by rain. In the peak of summer my own specimen can carry up to 500 blooms at one time.
- Classic Companions: Summer flowering shrubs and trees
- Top Tips
- Plant notes: favourite brugmansias
- Brugmansia ‘Clementine’
- Brugmansia ‘Lipstick’
- Brugmansia ‘Butter Bomb’
- Brugmansia ‘Sea Nymph’
- Brugmansia ‘Urchin Pink’
- Brugmansia ‘Signal’
- It’s easy to see why the common name for the dramatic Brugmansia is angel’s trumpet. These sub-tropical beauties offer months of flowers and fragrance, all in an easy-care package.
- Learn How To Prune Brugmansia Trees
- How to Prune Brugmansia
- When to Trim a Brugmansia
- Trimming Brugmansia Roots
- How to Grow and Care for Angel’s Trumpet
- Angel’s Trumpets Is the Shrub Your Yard Needs
- The Specifics
- It’s Simple To Share
- Touched by an Angel’s Trumpet
- Angel’s Trumpet
- Great Growth Potential
- Fabulous, Fragrant Flowers
- Multicolor Foliage
- Creating Cuttings
- A Word of Caution
- More Varieties of Angel’s Trumpet
- Plant Angel’s Trumpet With:
- Garden Plans For Angel’s trumpet
Brugmansia suaveolens (Angel’s Trumpet)
Brugmansia suaveolens (Humb. & Bonpl. ex Willd.) Bercht. & J.Presl
Angel trumpet, angel’s tears, mududu (Luganda)
Brugmansia suaveolens is native to tropical and southern America.
Naturalised distribution (global)
Locations within which Brugmansia suaveolens is naturalised include southern USA, Puerto Rico and some islands in the Pacific Ocean.
Introduced, naturalised or invasive in East Africa
In its introduced range, Brugmansia suaveolens occupies lowland rainforest, forest edges, disturbed habitats, riverbanks and urban open spaces.
Brugmansia suaveolens is a semi-woody shrub or small tree that gets to 1.8-4.6 m high, usually with a many-branched single trunk. Its pendulous trumpet-shaped flowers are highly distinctive – the flowers can be white, cream, yellow and pale orange or even pale pink in some varieties).
The leaves of Brugmansia suaveolens are generally oval in shape, up to 25 cm long and 15.2 cm)wide, and even larger when grown in the shade.
The flowers are remarkably beautiful, sweetly fragrant, about 30 cm long and shaped like trumpets. The corolla has five points that are slightly recurved. The flowers are usually white but may be yellow or pink and are pendulous, hanging almost straight down.
Reproduction and dispersal
These plants usually reproduce from seed. In highland areas of south-western Uganda where it is planted as a live hedge around homes, it is mainly dispersed by cuttings as it hardly forms seed and when seed is formed, it is rare to see its seedlings originating from seed, which brings into question whether the seeds produced in highland areas are actually viable (D.L.N. Hafashimana pers. comm.).
Brugmansia species may be confused with Datura species. Brugmansias long-lived (perennial) while daturas are annual. Both plants have a trumpet shaped flower; but those of brugmansias point downwards while datura’s flowers most often point upward. Brugmansias emit a sweet fragrance while datura’s fragrance can be described as spicy or lemony.
Economic and other uses
Brugmansia suaveolens is a popular garden plant. It is grown for its showy and attractive bloom. It can be smoked, eaten, drunk as a tea, or taken as an enema. In Tanzania it is added to beer. Traditional healers use the dried leaves of B. suaveolens added to tobacco to induce diagnostic visions for treating various diseases. It is occasionally used as a live hedge in Uganda (D.L.N. Hafashimana pers. comm.).
Environmental and other impacts
All parts of the Brugmansia suaveolens plants are considered poisonous to humans and animals and could be fatal if ingested. The use of B. suaveolens as a landscape plant is banned in some municipalities in the USA.
The precise management measures adopted for any plant invasion will depend upon factors such as the terrain, the cost and availability of labour, the severity of the infestation and the presence of other invasive species.
The best form of invasive species management is prevention. If prevention is no longer possible, it is best to treat the weed infestations when they are small to prevent them from establishing (early detection and rapid response). Controlling the weed before it seeds will reduce future problems. Control is generally best applied to the least infested areas before dense infestations are tackled. Consistent follow-up work is required for sustainable management of all weed infestations.
The editors could not find any specific information on the management of this species.
Not listed as a noxious weed by the state or governments in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
The five species of Brugmansia were formerly included in the genus Datura.
Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). www.ars-grin.gov/npgs/index.html. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, National Genetic Resources Program, Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Beltsville, Maryland, USA. Accessed March 2011.
Global Compendium of Weeds. www.hear.org/gcw. Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk Project. Accessed March 2011.
Agnes Lusweti, National Museums of Kenya; Emily Wabuyele, National Museums of Kenya, Paul Ssegawa, Makerere University; John Mauremootoo, BioNET-INTERNATIONAL Secretariat – UK.
This fact sheet is adapted from The Environmental Weeds of Australia by Sheldon Navie and Steve Adkins, Centre for Biological Information Technology, University of Queensland. We recognise the support from the National Museums of Kenya, Tropical Pesticides Research Institute (TPRI) – Tanzania and Makerere University, Uganda. This activity was undertaken as part of the BioNET-EAFRINET UVIMA Project (Taxonomy for Development in East Africa).
BioNET-EAFRINET Regional Coordinator: [email protected]
- Attributes: Genus: Brugmansia Family: Solanaceae Country Or Region Of Origin: South America Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems): resistant to damage by deer and is slightly salt tolerant; tolerates light frost and drought.
- Whole Plant Traits: Plant Type: Houseplant Poisonous Shrub Tree
- Fruit: Fruit Width: 1-3 inches Fruit Description: This plant has softly hairy young stems, leaves, flowers, and fruit. The fruit is 2.5 to 3.5 inches long with a round to egg-shaped appearance.
- Flowers: Flower Color: Gold/Yellow White Flower Value To Gardener: Showy Flower Shape: Funnel Trumpet Flower Size: > 6 inches Flower Description: Its flowers are single, pendent, trumpet-like or funnel-shaped to 1 ft. long and 5-lobed at the tip. They are white or yellow. This plant has softly hairy young stems, leaves, flowers, and fruit. Large flowers are nodding. Flowers are 5-6.5 in., though they can reach as long as 20 inches! It will flower continually through the growing season and self-pollinates. The plant must reach maturity before blooming which can take some time. The flower has a wide range of sizes, forms, shapes, and colors that can change drastically in appearance from one growing environment to the next.
- Leaves: Leaf Color: Green Leaf Type: Simple Leaf Arrangement: Alternate Leaf Shape: Ovate Leaf Margin: Entire Hairs Present: Yes Leaf Description: Its leaves are simple and alternate. This plant has softly hairy young stems, leaves, flowers, and fruit. The leaf is ovate shaped and entire to coarsely toothed. Brugmansia has a wide range of leaf forms and individual growth habits.
- Stem: Stem Is Aromatic: No Stem Surface: Hairy (pubescent) Stem Description: It has softly hairy young stems, leaves, flowers, and fruit.
- Landscape: Landscape Location: Houseplants Landscape Theme: Drought Tolerant Garden Resistance To Challenges: Deer Drought Salt Problems: Poisonous to Humans Problem for Children
- Poisonous to Humans: Poison Severity: High Poison Symptoms: TOXIC ONLY IF LARGE QUANTITIES EATEN. This plant is poisonous through ingestion and/or inhalation of flowers. The poisonous parts are the flowers, leaves, and seeds. Poisonous symptoms may include the following: hallucinations, dry mouth, muscle weakness, increased blood pressure and pulse, fever, dilated pupils, paralysis. Poison Toxic Principle: Atropine, scopolamine, and hyoscyamine Causes Contact Dermatitis: No Poison Part: Flowers Leaves Seeds
Brugmansia – the Basics and How To Grow Them
But many gardeners shy away from these wonderful plants because they feel they are hard to grow or are too much work to be worth it.
This is a look at these wonderful plants and the simple and easy way to grow them.
From the first time I laid eyes on this intoxicating treasure growing in a little garden high in the mountains near Puebla, Mexico, I knew one day I would grow this same plant in my own garden. The simple village of Los Haltocanes De Puebla was filled at night with the wild and intoxicating smell of the wonderful blooms. It wound its way around the village and into the hearts and memory of every person who smelled this wonderful flower. From that day to the day I discovered it’s real name – Brugmansia – my quest pushed forward to find this flower for my own garden. To my delight, once the name was found I discovered that here on Dave’s Garden we have our own very active forum on growing these wonderful delights.
All Brugmansia can be grown from simple cuttings. You can place these cuttings in water or in moist soil to let them root. Some Brugmansia – from here on called Brugs – can be easier to root by cuttings than others. But with patience I have gotten every Brug I have tried to root get going, given time and trying again and again on a few of them.
Once you get your cutting rooted, move it into a bigger pot. One gallon pots are ideal for Brugs until they have added about a foot of top growth. Move them up slowly to a two gallon, five gallon, and in the end somewhere between a ten and twenty gallon pot. If you are going to be planting them in the ground, you can plant right after the frost has past. In areas from zone 7 and warmer, some Brugs will be root hardy for you. Root hardy means that even if the top growth has frozen, the roots still live and will resprout come spring. Experiment a little and see what you can grow directly in the ground knowing you have cuttings growing safely in a warm place. Other Brugs will need to be brought indoors during the winter cold. A simple way to do this is to “plant” the Brug in the garden pot and then lift the Brug and trim the roots before bringing it back indoors. Depending on how old your plant is and the size of its container, it can grow quite large. In warm climates, they look like small trees and are quite spectacular when in full bloom. Some gardeners even bring them indoors and let them go dormant in a basement, but that is a practice only for the experienced.
You have to feed Brugs. They are very heavy feeders. They need to be fed something strong and often, to grow and bloom their best. For my plants I use Miracle Grow once a week and they bloom and grow in ways I can only dream of. There are several recipes for homemade mixes that can be found in the Brug Forum that I have just started to work with. Thus far, I have had wonderful results both on my Brugs and on any other plant that I give this great mix to. Placing your Brugs on a regular feeding schedule will make it easy for you and your wonderful flowers.
These plants love water – and lots of it in the heat of summer. But they hate waterlogged roots,(very much like their cousins the tomato and pepper) so you need to be very careful to place your Brugs in very good, rich, fast draining, soil that will keep them moist but not let their fragile roots drown. This is because in their native habitat, they are plants that live along the foothills of the Andes in South America where the soil drains well and has plenty of gravel.
The Y factor – when will you see a bloom? Not until the plant gets a “Y”. That is, your plant needs to mature until there is a branch growing off the main branch. The exception to this rule is if your cutting was taken above the Y, then you will not need the plant to form a Y before it blooms. Thus the plant will bloom and grow long before a plant cutting taken below the Y would grow.
So this is the basic plant. You can grow and love it in any climate. For over-wintering tips, plant growing tips, and the best plant for you, run over to the Brug Forum and ask those questions and keep learning! The more you learn, the more you will grow to love these wonderful and easy plants.
Images courtesy of PlantFiles
Angel’s Trumpet, Brugmansia
It’s easy to see why the common name for the dramatic Brugmansia is angel’s trumpet. These sub-tropical beauties offer months of flowers and fragrance, all in an easy-care package.
It’s a spectacular sight, usually accompanied by the noisy hum of a million bees. As a bonus most brugmansias are sweetly scented, especially in the early morning and in the evening. Can you imagine the perfume of those hundreds of flowers at dusk? Then after a brief rest, the plant surges into another growth spurt producing another enormous flush of flowers. This pattern is repeated all through summer and autumn. As the weather cools the flushes are less regular.
A lively combo – golden yellow trumpets against magenta bougainvillea. Photo – Alistair Hey
Until recently few hybrids of this unique flower have been available. But due to the interest from some passionate collectors and hybridisers flamboyant and colourful varieties are now being released to home gardeners. We checked in with one of these growers, Alistair Hay from Meroo Meadow Perennials, to get the best tips on these gorgeous plants.
Position: Morning sunshine is perfect for good growth and flowering. Protection from strong afternoon sunshine and wind prevents heat stress and wilting of the flowers and foliage.
Care: Alistair says not to worry if your plant wilts in the afternoon, it will recover next morning. Not giving extra water when the plant wilts encourages deeper rooted and more self-sufficient plants. Contrary to its tender looks, brugmansia is quite tough. If your plant does need water, drench it deeply and infrequently.
Alistair feeds his brugmansia each winter with a blend of 50 per cent compost, 25 per cent cow manure and 25 per cent turkey manure. If he has time a repeat application is made in autumn. He says the main pest of brugmansia is two-spotted mite. He releases predatory mites into the garden to control the pest mite.
Brugmansias can be pruned as standards to accentuate their long trumpet flowers. If your plant has grown too big you can prune them when they finish flowering. We don’t prune ours much except to train the growth into one stem, removing any side growths at the base.
In pots: If you grow them in pots, you need to repot every year because they grow so vigorously. You can treat them as annuals because they strike readily from cuttings.
Angel’s Trumpet grow in pots, just keep removing any lower growth. Photo – Gettyimages.com
Classic Companions: Summer flowering shrubs and trees
– Frangipani is a perfect summer flowering partner for brugmansia. The pendulous trumpets of the brugmansia beautifully offset its simple flowers.
– The pretty lantern-like flowers of abutilon (Chinese Lantern) also complement brugmansia. Choose from lemon-yellow, orange, pink, cherry red or white varieties, depending on the colour of your brugmansia. Dwarf varieties of abutilon made a fine under-storey because of their compact growth habit and soft maple-like foliage. They enjoy the shade offered by the brugmansia.
– At ground level try various exciting forms of bromeliads. Neoregelia has a classic rosette shape with many hybrids having lovely coloured and patterned foliage. Vriesia bromeliads are all-time favourites with many colour forms, some with banded patterns on the foliage. Species of tillandsia love to cling to rough trunks and branches. Silver-leafed T. ionantha will grow in a clumping fashion on the trunks and branches of your brugmansia.
Remember: all parts of this plant are toxic. Don’t eat any part of it, or burn any part of it.
1. Manure manure manure! Brugmansias are almost impossible to overfeed, and the more you put in the more you get out of the plants. Any kind of manure can be used, but if you choose poultry pellets balance them by adding some garden compost as well.
2. If possible protect from hot dry wind. The leaves, flower buds and the flowers themselves are quite easily fried.
3. Don’t prune the plants unless there is some obvious need or you are training them to shape, and then don’t prune below where upright stems first fork otherwise you will delay flowering.
Plant notes: favourite brugmansias
Apparently the first coloured, double brugmansia to be released in Australia, though there are more than 250 double-flowered varieties in Europe and North America. ‘Clementine’ has a delicious smell of orange and marzipan.
Special comments: Yellow and orange flowered angel’s trumpets are usually more strongly coloured in cooler weather.
‘Clementine’. Photo – Alistair Hay.
One of the best of the pendant, pink-flowered angel’s trumpets currently available in Australia. Earlier varieties had weak-textured flowers which wilted easily, but ‘Lipstick’ holds its form very well in hot weather. Like many pinks, it opens white first.
Special comments: pink brugmansias are generally more strongly coloured in warmer weather. The more you feed the better the colouring.
‘Lipstick’. Photo – Alistair Hay.
Brugmansia ‘Butter Bomb’
Flouncy, nodding flowers almost a foot across are produced in staggering profusion. Butter yellow in warmer weather, they a suffused gold in autumn. Brugmansia aurea (one parent of Butter Bomb) gives it superb, deep-green, quilted foliage, and it is a fine looking plant even when not in flower. The width of the flowers comes from its B. suaveolens heritage.
Special comments: Encourage the roots to grow deep into the soil with infrequent deep watering.
‘Butter Bomb’. Photo – Alistair Hay.
Brugmansia ‘Sea Nymph’
This a new hybrid has double cream flowers which gradually become suffused with pale apricot. It has a robust habit, dark quilted leaves and relatively small nodding flowers with long tendrils.
Special comments: Don’t prune unless you are training to umbrella shape, as hard pruning will delay flowering.
‘Sea Nymph’. Photo – Alistair Hay.
Brugmansia ‘Urchin Pink’
A new, small-flowered (only about 23cm long!) hybrid that grows to 3m with characteristic spreading branches from which the flowers hang very prettily.
Special comments: This variety is good for a container because of its pretty, branching habit. It’s a favourite of Alistair Hay.
‘Urchin Pink’. Photo – Alistair Hay.
This is a cultivar of Brugmansia sanguinea, a scentless, humming-bird pollinated species from high in the Andes. It’s a pure yellow form.
Special comments: B. sanguinea is very heat sensitive but can be successfully grown and flowered in cooler seasons in SA, Vic, Tas and S. NSW.
Brugmansia sanguinea Photo – Roger Hall/.com
Text: Sandra Ross
By Cindy Watter, U.C. Master Gardener of Napa County
The first brugmansia I ever saw was growing in an enormous pot someone had placed against the wall of an otherwise insalubrious alley in Eureka, California. The creamy, dangling flowers looked like art nouveau lampshades, and the blooms had a scent that was a combination of vanilla and rosewater. Brugmansia’s common name is “Angel’s Trumpet,” and it lives up to its name by making everyone around it take notice. In a word, it is spectacular.
This tree originally came from the area of South America near the Andes. It is no longer found in the wild, but is easily cultivated. It is a tropical plant, but can be grown in some areas with very cold winters. In this case, it is best to grow them in a container that can be pulled indoors during a freeze. Here in California, you will need to cover a brugmansia with a cardboard box, or a cloth over a frame on a freezing night. I do it every year, just for a few nights.
Brugmansia is a member of the Solanaceae (nightshade) family, and is closely related to datura (common name “Devil’s Trumpet”) and jimson weed (datura stramonium). Brugmansia is poisonous, like many of the nightshades. (However, the benign potato, eggplant, and tomato are non-toxic members of that family.) All parts of the plant are dangerous to ingest–the leaves, the seeds, the root, the lovely flowers. Extracts from this plant can cause hallucination, coma, and/or death. If you have a thrill-seeker in the family or simply an omnivorous toddler or pet, maybe this plant isn’t for you. But if you find it beautiful, as I do, don’t be afraid. Use common sense–do not eat brugmansia!–and wear gloves when you work with it, or at least wash your hands afterward. Avoid getting plant juices in your eyes. These are excellent rules to follow with any plant, by the way.
Brugmansias like plenty of light–filtered, if the sun is very strong–as well as water, and a lot of fertilizer. Feeding it every two weeks is not too often. To spur initial growth, use a balanced fertilizer, with equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. After it produces buds, use any fertilizer made for flowers. Don’t let the soil dry out. I repotted mine into very attractive, enormous terra-cotta pots. They looked elegant, but soil dries out faster in unglazed terra cotta. Having them in pots made them more portable as I searched for the best light/shade conditions, however. I look forward to putting them in the ground soon, where they will need less water.
The best soil for brugmansia is one that has been amended with plenty of compost. Make sure the hole is twice as big as the root ball. Shake some of the dirt off the roots, put the plant in the hole, and then fill the hole with a combination of soil and compost (which allows the roots to spread and seek/retain moisture). Put some mulch around the stem, but not against it. Give it a good slosh of water, and sit back and enjoy your beautiful plant, which will be very attractive to bees and butterflies.
I have seen several brugmansias around Napa, usually in the golden yellow “Charles Grimaldi” variety, which can grow over ten feet tall and features generous repeat blooms. A friend of mine who lives in Oakland has one that is twelve feet tall and produces lush ruffled flowers at Thanksgiving. I asked her what she does to care for them, and she replied, airily, “Nothing, except for pruning.” (Her back yard must have a seam of very rich soil and an underground creek, then.) That brugmansia also benefits from sun all day long. Failing that, brugmansias planted against a heat-retaining wall can be successful.
In our climate, we don’t have to prune brugmansias until the spring. Leaving the old growth on is good for frost protection. When you do prune them, remove the lateral branches and other old growth. Throughout the growing season, prune for shape and to encourage new growth, which produces the flowers. Wash your shears in soap and hot water before and after each use. (This is another good rule to follow when pruning any plant.) When you are pruning, you can take a 6-inch cutting of old wood and put it in a damp mixture of sand, perlite, and vermiculite. Plant it with the root side down. Keep it moist and out of the direct sun and in a few weeks you will see new growth. You have successfully propagated a brugmansia. You can also take the same cutting, pull off any lower leaves, and place it in a glass of water. Change the water daily and keep it out of direct sun. In a few weeks, roots should form.
Once established, a brugmansia needs relatively little care, and will repay you with a stunning display of flowers and scent, in addition to luring bees and butterflies. It is a visual and olfactory delight. I had been having a hard week, and a Master Gardener who works in a nursery dropped over a few days ago with a watermelon pink “Little Miss Lili” brugmansia. Instant euphoria! Suddenly, I felt just fine.
Workshop: U. C. Master Gardeners of Napa County will hold a workshop on “Toxic and Carnivorous Plants” on Saturday, October 27, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., at the University of California Cooperative Extension, 1710 Soscol Avenue, Napa. Foxglove. Lily-of-the-valley. Wisteria. These common plants and many others are toxiix. Who knew? Sundew. Venus flytrap. Pitcher plant. Carnivorous, or so we’ve heard. Join the UC Master Gardeners and explore the fascinating properties that plants have to protect themselves and survive in inhospitable places.Online registration (credit card only);Mail-in/Walk-in registration (check only or drop off cash payment).
Master Gardeners are volunteers who help the University of California reach the gardening public with home gardening information. U. C. Master Gardeners of Napa County ( http://ucanr.edu/ucmgnapa/) are available to answer gardening questions in person or by phone, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 9 a.m. to Noon, at the U. C. Cooperative Extension office, 1710 Soscol Avenue, Suite 4, Napa, 707-253-4143, or from outside City of Napa toll-free at 877-279-3065. Or e-mail your garden questions by following the guidelines on our web site. Click on Napa, then on Have Garden Questions? Find us on Facebook under UC Master Gardeners of Napa County.
Learn How To Prune Brugmansia Trees
Brugmansia makes attractive specimen plantings whether they’re grown in containers or situated in garden beds. However, in order to keep them looking their best, trimming brugmansia may be necessary.
How to Prune Brugmansia
Pruning brugmansia forces it to grow more limbs, thus produces more flowers. Therefore, knowing how to prune brugmansia is important. The correct method for pruning these shrub-like plants is to cut off all but the newest growth. Prune back tips to about ½ inch from the node. Do not prune the main leader unless you want to grow brugmansia in tree form.
If you want a bushy tree, prune lateral branches at the joint. Begin pruning the plant when the main trunk forms its first “Y” and then prune back any older branches to encourage additional branching. Cut back as much as one-third of the plant. For larger
plants, this could be as much as 1 to 2 feet. Keep in mind that tree form plants will need to be continually cut throughout the growing season to maintain their shape.
When to Trim a Brugmansia
To encourage additional blooms, trim brugmansia often. Since these plants bloom on new wood, you should trim a brugmansia whenever its growth becomes excessive. You can also prune brugmansia anytime you want to shape it. Generally, it takes about a month or more for blooms to appear after pruning, so you should trim a brugmansia after the last frost in spring.
In addition, allowing them to remain unpruned throughout winter offers some protection from cold damage. If the plants are container grown, pruning brugmansia isn’t necessary unless you’re moving the plant indoors, in which case, fall is an acceptable time to prune. For those choosing to prune brugmansia during fall, be sure to keep enough nodes on the branches (above the “Y”) for additional flowering the following season.
Trimming Brugmansia Roots
You can also trim the taproot of potted plants, trimming just enough to fit into the bottom of the container. Root pruning stimulates new growth and allow you to grow brugmansia in the same container rather than having to repot.
Root pruning is usually done in spring before new growth starts. To root prune brugmansia, Slide the plant out of the pot and loosen the roots with a fork, removing as much potting soil as possible. Then cut the thickest roots back by at least two-thirds. Allow the thin feeder roots to remain, perhaps lightly trimming the ends. Repot with fresh soil.
Angel’s trumpet is a tropical evergreen beauty. It’s named for its enormous cone shaped flowers that drape dramatically from its umbrella-like canopy. These beautiful pendulum blossoms continue to bloom from early summer to late fall. In pink, apricot, orange, yellow or white, the angel’s trumpet flowers radiate an exquisite musky fragrance into the night air, making this ornamental charmer an intoxicating addition to your garden area.
Angel’s trumpet (Brugmansia) is native to the Andes region in South America where it grows on sloping mountainsides in humid conditions. It can be grown here in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Hardiness Zones 10 and 11. This exotic shrub or small tree will grow well in containers too, for those who are willing to move it indoors before any hint of frost.
How to Grow and Care for Angel’s Trumpet
Angel’s trumpet is quite easy to grow. It is a fast grower, too. If you choose to plant it in a container, select a container that will accommodate a large plant. Think big!
There are a couple of ways to start an angel’s trumpet plant. Seeds for this plant can be sown directly in the springtime when the ground is beginning to warm. Sow the seeds 1/4 inch deep in good, damp garden soil. Choose a sunny or a partly shaded area for your new plant. Keep in mind that your mature angel’s trumpet might grow to be 15 or 20 feet tall.
Angel’s trumpet can be successfully started from a cutting as well. During the summer when pruning, save a small branch. Place the branch in water to propagate roots. Once roots are established, transplant into good garden soil with a few scoops of compost mixed into the soil. This rapid grower will enjoy the extra nutrients the compost will provide.
Fertilize your developing shrub once a month through the growing season with a general purpose plant food. When your shrub is ready to bloom, apply a phosphorous based fertilizer.
Remember, this is a moisture loving plant. So, whether you have planted this beauty in a container or in the ground, make sure to supply your angel’s trumpet with plenty of water to drink. The soil of your angel’s trumpet should never be left to dry out.
If you really love the blooms on your angel’s trumpet, you should prune this shrub into a tree form. Wait until the main stem of your angel’s trumpet has developed a “Y.” Prune away the branches that are growing beneath the “Y.” Prune a few of the older branches above the “Y” back, too, to encourage newer growth. The tree will naturally take on an umbrella shape. The flowers will develop at the growing ends of the branches.
Angel’s Trumpet Pests and Problems
A note of caution with angle’s trumpet: it’s very poisonous to people and animals when ingested. Take care not to allow children or pets to eat any portion of this plant. The poison can cause irritation to skin and eyes too. Use gloves when handling your angel’s trumpet.
Your angel’s trumpet plant may be susceptible to aphids, mealybugs, caterpillars, white flies, or spider mites. A steady spray of water may work to repel some of these pests. A mild insecticidal soap may be a necessary too, especially for an angel’s trumpet plant that will be moved indoors. Quarantine any plant that may be affected to prevent the insects from infecting other plants.
Angel’s Trumpet Varieties to Consider
‘Audrey Hepburn’ is a classic beauty, just as the name suggests. It boasts a simple, clean, white flower that is a bit more petite than the average sized angel’s trumpet. This angel’s trumpet is truly picture perfect. The fragrance is the traditional, unique scent.
‘LSU Special’ is for all of you LSU fans out there! This variety was developed right on campus. The flower is a beauty with soft creamy pink flowers. It is an easy and fast growing variety that begins to bloom earlier than most angel’s trumpets.
Want to learn more about how to grow angel’s trumpet?
Check out these resources:
Angel’s Trumpet from University of Florida IFAS Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology
Southern Gardening: Angel’s Trumpets enjoy banner year from Mississippi State University Research & Extension Center
Angel’s Trumpets Is the Shrub Your Yard Needs
Everything about an angel’s trumpet is dramatic: Pendulous floral bells sway gracefully from sturdy branches, perfuming the sultry evening air with fabulous scent. Its celestial color chart ranges from pristine white to peachy pink and creamy yellow, and mature specimens put on a truly stellar show in full bloom. But the drama stops with appearance–this is one easy plant to grow. And you can find it in bloom at many garden centers now.
An old-fashioned pass-along plant, angel’s trumpet has long found favor in the South’s coastal and frost-free climates. In these regions, mature plants reach 15 feet tall, with their heaviest flowering time extending from late summer into fall. Gardeners in cooler climates can have the same results by growing one in a container. Before the first frost, move the pot to a heated garage or basement to wait out cold winter months. It will drop leaves, so light is not a concern during this rest period.
Angel’s trumpets ( Brugmansia sp.) are sun-loving, fast-growing plants. In the Lower South, they appreciate light afternoon shade, while in the Middle and Upper South, they welcome all of summer’s warmth. Angel’s trumpets need well-drained soil; when growing one in a pot, make sure the container has a large hole in the bottom to allow easy water passage. The growth rate is rapid, so plenty of water and fertilizer are necessary to keep these plants vigorous and blooming.
If planted in containers, angel’s trumpets require daily watering. But resist the temptation to keep the pot in a saucer of water–although moisture is vital, soggy soil is not what this plant likes. Brugmansias are heavy feeders, and a liquid, blossom-boosting fertilizer such as 15-30-15 or 10-50-10 keeps them producing flowers. Water with plant food at least every other week, or more often if you’d like. Remember, you can’t feed these plants too much, especially those in containers.
Coarsely textured, large leaves complement the enormous blooms. Wind can cause problems for the broad foliage and elongated flowers, so choose a protected location when possible. The show is spectacular, so be sure to place your plant in a prominent spot on or near a deck, terrace, or entryway.
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Angel’s trumpets are available in nurseries and through mail-order catalogs. They are also easy to root, making them perfect pass-along gifts for fellow gardeners. Follow these easy steps to grow your own.
1. Cut new stems sprouting from the plant’s base, or save older branches when pruning the angel’s trumpet.
2. Trim each long stem into pieces that are 6 to 8 inches in length. Make your cuts directly above raised nodes on the stem. The first piece will have leaves, while the others may not.
3. Fill containers with moist potting soil, and gently push the bottom of each stem into the mix, submerging half of its length.
4. Place the pots in a shady place, keeping the soil moist. Within several weeks, roots will form and new leaves will emerge. Keep the plants in these containers until adequate root systems have developed. To test readiness, pull gently on the stems. They should be firmly anchored.
For all the excitement and drama this plant gives to the landscape, angel’s trumpet is a must-have for the summer garden. Easy to grow, simple to share, and boasting fabulous flowers and fragrance too–what could be more heavenly?
Touched by an Angel’s Trumpet
Can we talk? Early fall in the South ain’t a great time for flowers. Months of heat and periodic drought turned many plants into botanical versions of a grilled cheese. However, one perennial looks its best in the weeks ahead. Angel’s trumpet.
Native to Central and South America, angel’s trumpet (Brugmansia sp.) represents a group of semi-hardy, woody shrubs or small trees that bear enormous, fragrant blossoms shaped like trumpets or the gowns of angels. Flowers may be single or double and come in colors of white, pink, yellow, gold, peach, and orange. I believe the one in the photo is ‘Ecuador Pink,’ a selection of Brugmansia versicolor. This is the most tree-like species and can grow 15 feet tall. Other species grow 6 to 10 feet tall, depending on how far south you live. The farther south you are, the bigger they get. Blossoms may reach 8 to 15 inches long and one plant may open dozens at a time. They make good, long-lasting cut flowers.
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Angel’s trumpet likes sun and fertile, moist, well-drained soil. It’s a pretty heavy feeder, so fertilize it with a water-soluble fertilizer every two weeks in spring and summer. It’s fully hardy in USDA Zones 9 and 10. In USDA Zone 8, where Grumpy lives, it often dies to the ground in winter and comes back the next year. North of here, grow it as an annual or in a pot you can bring inside to a cool room for winter. It will likely defoliate, but don’t worry, it isn’t dead. Keep the soil barely moist and don’t feed during this dormant time. Wear gloves whenever handling the plant, as some people are allergic to it.
People often confuse true angel’s trumpet with another Southern passalong, Datura, aka devil’s trumpet. The two are easily distinguished. Angel’s trumpet possesses pendulous flowers and long, beanlike seedpods. Devil’s trumpet bears upright flowers and rounded, spiky seedpods.
Because it doesn’t bloom until fall, most nurseries don’t carry angel’s trumpet. (Plant Delights is a good online source for plants. Other online nurseries offer seed.) However, lots of folks get it, as I did, as a rooted cutting from a friend. Six-inch cuttings taken in August root quickly in water or potting soil.
A showstopping shrub that transforms any space into a tropical getaway, angel’s trumpet boasts huge, pendulous blooms that perfume the air after sunset. And with its unique trumpet-shape flowers and quick-growing nature, this exotic beauty offers a multitude of reasons to give it a try in your own garden.
Great Growth Potential
In a warm climate, angel’s trumpet can quickly grow several feet in just one season. And if the plant has a fair amount of sun, it will produce blooms all summer long.
When planting your angel’s trumpet, look for areas with moist, well-drained soil. The plant will thrive during summer’s warm days and cooler nights.
The overall plant habit of angel’s trumpet differs quite a bit by personal preference, variety, and general training style. Most variations form small trees with a central stem that eventually branches out into a nice canopy. If left to their own devices, plants will send up suckers at the base, which can take away from the single-stem tree effect. And when unkept, angel’s trumpet can create a thicket with major blooming potential. However, if you prefer to maintain a more treelike look, simply remove the suckers as you notice them popping up on the plant’s base.
Several angel’s trumpet varieties are amenable to container culture. These plants tend to be much shorter and offer more of a low-maintenance, shrub-type habit — making them a great choice for cold-winter regions. Enjoy angel’s trumpet year-round by keeping the potted plant outdoors throughout the summer and bringing the pot inside when the mercury plummets.
See more information on growing tropical plants.
Fabulous, Fragrant Flowers
Angel’s trumpet blooms hang in wonderful masses and sometimes explode all at once for quite a spectacular show. Flowers in sheaths of green quickly grow into long tubes that later burst open at the end, like a swirling skirt.
The range of angel’s trumpet hues are as varied as the plants themselves — saturated oranges, soft yellows, bright pinks, and crisp whites round out the spectrum of colors.
If the stunning visual appeal of angel’s trumpet isn’t enough to make you fall head over heels, try planting it indoors near your favorite nighttime hangout spot. You’ll fall in love with the intoxicating fragrance that wafts from these beauties after sunset. Try it as a fragrant houseplant, too!
Angel’s trumpet leaves are medium green in color, fairly large, and differ slightly with each variety. Some plants have smooth-edge leaves, while others showcase more serrated leaves. A few angel’s trumpet varieties have variegated foliage. For example, Snowbank angel’s trumpet has leaves featuring deep-green centers with mid-green edges and a bright-cream outer border.
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If you’d like to share angel’s trumpet with family and friends, simply cut a tip from the plant and remove all but a few small leaves at the top. Stick your cutting into moist soil, and keep it in a humid environment; the plant should root in just a few weeks.
A Word of Caution
All parts of the angel’s trumpet plant are poisonous. So be sure to take care when planting, and avoid areas were children or pets frequent. Also, it’s a good idea to check local restrictions before planting angel’s trumpet, as several communities have banned it.
More Varieties of Angel’s Trumpet
Common Angel’s Trumpet
Brugmansia arborea is an open treelike plant with 6-inch-long trumpet-shape white flowers with a delicate scent. It grows 6-12 feet tall.
‘Charles Grimaldi’ Angel’s Trumpet
Brugmansia ‘Charles Grimaldi’, a very large and vigorous cultivar, has 12-inch-long orange-yellow flowers that are fragrant at night. It flowers in summer and fall. ‘Charles Grimaldi’ grows 12 feet tall and 12 feet wide.
‘Double White’ Angel’s Trumpet
Brugmansia ‘Double White’ is a hybrid with pure-white double blooms. The plant is intermediate in height between common angel’s trumpet and yellow angel’s trumpet.
‘Grand Marnier’ Angel’s Trumpet
Brugmansia ‘Grand Marnier’ produces peachy pink flowers with strongest fragrance at night. Blooms may be nearly a foot long.
‘Mango Crush’ Angel’s Trumpet
Brugmansia ‘Mango Crush’ produces large, mango-peach pink flowers. Outdoors in the tropics it can grow 15 feet or more; in containers, it usually grows about 6 feet tall.
Yellow Angel’s Trumpet
Brugmansia aurea bears either yellow or white blooms up to 10 inches long. They are fragrant only at night. The plant blooms from summer into fall and can reach 20 feet tall.
Plant Angel’s Trumpet With:
Few flowers are as showy as celosia. Whether you plant the plumed type, which produces striking upright spires, or the crested type, which has a fascinating twisted form, you’ll love using celosia in bouquets. The flowers are beautiful fresh, but you can also dry them easily. And they bloom in all the colors of a glowing sunset. Plant established seedlings in spring after all danger of frost has passed. Celosia likes rich, well-drained soil with moderate water. Spider mites can sometimes be a problem in hot, dry weather. Shown here: New Look celosia
Daylilies are so easy to grow that you’ll often find them growing in ditches and fields, escapees from gardens. And yet they look so delicate, producing glorious trumpet-shape blooms in myriad colors. In fact, there are some 50,000 named hybrid cultivars in a range of flower sizes (the minis are very popular), forms, and plant heights. Some are fragrant. The flowers are borne on leafless stems. Although each bloom lasts but a single day, superior cultivars carry numerous buds on each scape so bloom time is long, especially if you deadhead daily. The strappy foliage may be evergreen or deciduous. Shown here: ‘Little Grapette’ daylily
Want fast color for just pennies? Plant zinnias! A packet of seeds will fill an area with gorgeous flowers in an amazing array of shapes and colors — even green! And it will happen in just weeks. There are dwarf types of zinnias, tall types, quill-leaf cactus types, spider types, multicolor, special seed blends for cutting, special blends for attracting butterflies, and more. Zinnias are so highly attractive to butterflies that you can count on having these fluttering guests dining in your garden every afternoon. But to attract the most, plant lots of tall red or hot pink zinnias in a large patch. ‘Big Red’ is especially nice for this, and the flowers are outstanding, excellent for cutting. Zinnias grow quickly from seed sown right in the ground and do best in full sun with dry to well-drained soil.
Garden Plans For Angel’s trumpet
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