The angel trumpet flower, Brugmansia suaveolens, is a tropical plant that is native to South America. The plant has a long life span and considered invasive in tropical climates. Angel trumpet is often grown in a container to control the size or as an accent shrub around decks or fences.
The angel trumpet is a broadleaf evergreen shrub that grows 8 to 15 feet in height with a spread of 2 to 4 feet. The plant has a single stem trunk with many offshoot branches that produce large 8 to 10 inch oval-shaped leaves. Angel trumpet gets its name from the 12 inch trumpet shaped flowers that hang down from the plant. The flowers have a sweet fragrance with varieties available in white, yellow or pink.
Angel trumpet is hardy to plant in USDA growing zones 8 through 12, depending on the variety. The plant grows best in garden soil that is nutrient rich and well-draining or in a large container filled with high quality potting soil. For vigorous flower production, angel trumpet requires full sunlight.
Provide the angel trumpet plant with supplemental water weekly during the growing season. Additional water may be needed during the hot summer months and periods of drought when the soil is dry to several inches and the plant leaves begin to wilt. Angel trumpet is a heavy feeder while growing and should be fertilized every two weeks during the summer growing season with a balanced fertilizer. The plant may become invasive if not pruned annually.
Angel trumpet is propagated to produce new plants by collecting and planting seeds or taking stem cuttings in midsummer. Collected seeds can be dried and planted in late winter in a container filled with moist seed-starting soil. Stem cuttings are taken from semi-ripe new plant growth and stuck in a container filled with a mixture of perlite, peat moss and coarse sand that is dampened with water. The seeds and stems require a warm location with indirect light for seedling and root growth.
The angel trumpet flower has few problems with disease. Do not overwater the plant or cause standing water around the stem, because this can cause the stem and roots to rot. Plants that are wintered over can attract aphids, whiteflies or spider mites. The plant should be isolated from other plants and washed with water to remove the insects. The underside of the leaves can be sprayed with several applications of insecticidal soap to control the infestation. Insect infestations are common on plants in the months of March and April.