How to Winterize Angel Trumpets

Overview

‭Angel trumpet is the common name for brugmansia, a flowering plant in the Solanaceae family. Although it is related to the tomato, brugmansia is highly toxic if ingested or if it comes into contact with the eyes. Angel trumpet blooms in huge, white, trumpet-shaped flowers that open at twilight and close at the first hint of sunrise. Angel trumpet is a tropical plant, native to South America and is not cold hardy. For this reason, gardeners in USDA Hardiness Zone 8 and below grow the plant in pots so that they can be brought indoors, prior to the first frost, and be winterized out of the season's chill.

Step 1

‭Place the angel trumpet in a dark, dry area where the temperature remains between 40 and 50 degrees F. The best time to do this is after the blooming period and before the first frost. The plant will go dormant and lose its leaves. ‭

Step 2

Check the soil's moisture content every other week. Stick your finger 3 inches into the soil and if it is dry add enough water to moisten it to that depth. Allow it to dry again before watering. The idea is to keep the stem alive without encouraging new growth, so just a small amount of water is sufficient.

Step 3

‭Prune away dead angel trumpet foliage in the spring.

Step 4

Repot the angel trumpet into fresh potting soil. There is no need for a larger pot, unless the plant has outgrown the present pot.

Step 5

Water the angel trumpet until the water drains from the bottom of the pot. Apply an all-purpose fertilizer at half the rate suggested on the label.

Step 6

Place the pot in bright light, but not direct sun, in an indoor area that remains between 60 to 70 degrees F. Allow it to remain in this location for one month and then move it into the garden. Allow it to remain indoors if nighttime temperatures are still below 36 degrees F.

Step 7

Place the angel trumpet in an outdoor area that provides filtered sunlight and protection from the wind. In two weeks move it to its usual spot in the garden. It is important to slowly acclimate the angel trumpet to the outdoors when it is coming out of dormancy.

Tips and Warnings

  • ‭All parts of brugmansia plants are poisonous if ingested by humans and animals. Do not allow any part of the plant to come into contact with your eyes. Wear gloves when handling the plant and keep it out of the reach of children, pets and livestock.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • ‭Pruning shears
  • ‭Potting soil
  • ‭Fertilizer

References

  • Tropical Plant Society of Denver: Taking Care Of Your Brugmansia (Angels Trumpet)
  • University of Illinois Extension: Overwintering Tropical Plants
  • Gardener's Supply Company: Overwintering Tender Plants
Keywords: winterize angel trumpet, winterize brugmanzia, overwinter angel trumpet

About this Author

Victoria Hunter has been a freelance writer since 2005, specializing in gardening-related topics and the real estate industry. She is a former broadcaster and real estate agent who has provided audio and written services to small businesses and large corporations worldwide. She writes for Ancestry.com, GardenGuides and ProFlowers, among others. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.