The angel trumpet is a tall-growing shrub from the nightshade family of plants, and is native to parts of South America. Trumpet plant flowers are fragrant and open into the shape of a trumpet bell (hence their name) during the evening hours. Angel trumpet foliage and flowers are toxic to both humans and animals.
The angel trumpet is a large shrub that reaches a height up to 20 feet in the wild, or 7 to 8 feet in home gardens. Trumpet plants have lush foliage leaves that grow to a length of 8 inches. The plant is known for the 12 inch trumpet-shaped flowers that bloom from spring to fall in the color of cream or yellow. The flowers are fragrant and hang down singly from the plant.
Angel trumpet plants are hardy in USDA growing zones 9 and above where there is a low risk of the ground freezing. The plants can be grown in a container in lower growing zones and over wintered indoors. Outdoor plants grow best in an area that has full sunlight and a well-draining, moist soil such as a sandy loam or clay loam. Container-grown plants should be planted in a high quality potting soil placed in a container with drainage holes.
The angel trumpet plant requires supplemental water during the spring and summer blooming months to assist with bloom production. Provide a deep soaking when the weekly rainfall amount is less than 1 inch. Mulch placed over the root ball area of the plant will increase moisture retention. Monitor the soil moisture in container-grown plants, as it will dry out quickly during the hot summer months.
Fertilize trumpet plants every two weeks during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer for container plants and a 15-5-10 fertilizer for those planted in the ground. An application of 34-0-0 ammonium nitrate fertilizer in early spring and again in late summer will increase foliage production. Move container grown plants in USDA growing zones 8 and lower indoors, prior to the first frost of the season. Prune the plant to several inches above the soil level, and store in a cool, dark location until spring.
Propagate angel trumpet plants by taking semi-hardwood stem cuttings in late summer. Semi-hardwood cuttings are taken from current year growth that is woody and beginning to harden. Promote root growth by dipping the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone and sticking it into a rooting tray filled with moist medium. Cover the tray with a clear plastic bag and place it in a warm location with indirect sunlight until the roots have formed.
Monitor angel trumpet plants for the presence of spider mite insects. Plants placed indoors during the winter are more susceptible to an infestation. Isolate plants with an infestation of mites and spray the top and bottom of the leaves with water to remove the insects. Insecticidal soap sprayed on the top and bottom of the leaves will prevent the insects from returning.