How to Grow a Brugmansia Plant

Overview

Brugmansias are trees that, when blooming, are covered with large, trumpet-shaped flowers dangling from their branches. These trees are native to warm, tropical climates and can reach a height of 20 feet. Growing a brugmansia in a container is usually the best way to go if you do not live in a consistently tropical climate, as frost and cool temperatures can damage the tree. When grown in a pot, brugmansias will be much shorter (12 feet tall or smaller) and easier to manage. They will not bloom inside, so it's important to move them outdoors during the warm summer months.

Step 1

Select a large plastic pot for your brugmansia tree. Plastic pots are easier than clay pots to move around when the tree reaches its full height. The pot should be a 5- to 7-gallon container with several drainage holes punched in the bottom.

Step 2

Fill the pot about halfway with a well-drained potting soil mix. Choose a mix that is rather light and contains perlite, vermiculite and peat. These additions help excess moisture drain from the soil, which is very important as brugmansias can develop root rot very quickly when sitting in sodden soil.

Step 3

Place the brugmansia, root ball down, in the pot and fill it the rest of the way with potting soil mix. Place the pot on top of a drainage dish and water the brugmansia tree until liquid runs out of the drainage holes into the dish.

Step 4

Set the brugmansia plant outside during the summer. Brugmansia trees are fine outside as long as the nighttime temperature remains above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Brugmansia trees should be placed in an area that gets full sun in the morning and partial sun in the afternoon.

Step 5

Water the outdoor brugmansia plant at least once a day. Soak the soil until water runs out of the drainage holes. On the hottest days, brugmansia trees may need watering twice a day. Water once in the morning, then check the tree's soil late in the afternoon. If it feels dry and crumbly, give the tree another soaking.

Step 6

Fertilize the outdoor brugmansia tree two to three times a week using a water-soluble, quick-release formula. Slow-release fertilizers generally do not release the nutrients quickly enough into the soil. Do not fertilize indoor brugmansia trees, as they are dormant during winter months.

Step 7

Feed the tree a mixture of one gallon of water and a tablespoon of Epsom salts once a month during the summertime.

Step 8

Move the brugmansia tree indoors once the nighttime temperature nears 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Situate the tree in a sunny, warm spot near a window. Water the tree when the soil dries out, which will not be every day.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always keep brugmansia trees away from small children and animals, as the plants are toxic if ingested.

Things You'll Need

  • Large plastic pot with drainage holes
  • Well-drained potting soil mix
  • Water drainage plate
  • Water-soluble fertilizer
  • Epsom salts

References

  • Brugmansia Growers International
  • Gardening Know How
Keywords: brugmansia trees, brugmansia plants, growing brugmansia trees, growing brugmansia in pots

About this Author

Katie Leigh is a freelance writer and editor based in Chicago. A Loyola University New Orleans graduate with a Bachelor's degree in communications, Leigh has worked as a copy editor, page designer and reporter for several daily newspapers and specialty publications since 2005.