How to Plant Datura


A member of the poisonous nightshade family, datura (Datura inoxia) produces large, usually white, trumpet-shaped, fragrant flowers that bloom at night. It grows into a shrubby, vine-like plant that can spread several feet under ideal conditions. Although it is perennial in tropical areas, it is grown as an annual in temperate zones. Datura produces a thorny seedpod, which is the basis for one of its common names, “thorn apple.” It was used as a hallucinogenic by ancient cultures in religious rituals.

Step 1

Prepare a spot in full sun with any type of soil, as long as it is well-drained. It is not necessary to add soil amendments; datura grows well in even the poorest quality soil.

Step 2

Turn over the top 6 to 8 inches of soil with a garden shovel. This will make it easier for the roots to penetrate, and the seedlings will get off to a good start.

Step 3

Rake the seedbed smooth with a metal garden rake.

Step 4

Scatter datura seeds on the surface of the soil with your hand, broadcasting them evenly in the bed.

Step 5

Sprinkle additional soil on top of the newly sown datura seeds to a depth of approximately 1/8 inch. Gently firm the surface with your hands to ensure the seed is in good contact.

Step 6

Mist the seedbed with a hose-end sprayer set to the finest mist. Check the seedbed daily and mist as needed to keep it moist until the seeds germinate in about 14 to 28 days.

Step 7

Thin seedlings to stand 12 to 18 inches apart when they are about 3 inches high.

Tips and Warnings

  • All parts of datura plants are poisonous to humans and animals.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden shovel
  • Garden rake
  • Hose and hose-end sprayer


  • Colorado State University Extension: Datura: Angel's Trumpet
  • New Mexico State University Extension: Propagating Datura and Trumpet Vine
  • Alabama Cooperative Extension Service: Home Grounds Blog
Keywords: plant datura seeds, plant thorn apple, grow datura

About this Author

Sharon Sweeny has a college degree in general studies and worked as an administrative and legal assistant for 20 years before becoming a freelance writer in 2008. She specializes in writing about home improvement, self-sufficient lifestyles and gardening.