For the night garden, there is no better choice than angel trumpet plants. The botanical names of these beautiful, highly fragrant plants are datura and brugmansia. The large trumpet shaped blooms open once the sun has set in the evening. The flowers remain open throughout the night until the sun hits them the next morning.
The sight of an angel trumpet heavy with blossoms is breathtaking. The flowers release a perfume that is extremely sweet and intoxicating. These plants will bloom year round, indoors or outdoors.
These plants prefer growing in damp soil. Warm days with night temperatures that are cooler are their preference. Full sun is their preference; however, they will tolerate some shade during the hottest part of the day.
Gardeners in USDA zone 9 and up should have no problem growing their angel trumpet plants directly in the ground. Gardeners in USDA zone 8 and colder should grow their angel trumpet plants in a container if they wish to over-winter them indoors. The branches of these plants are extremely fragile, so choose a large, sturdy, well-balanced pot to prevent the wind from easily knocking it over.
Angel trumpet plants are indeed the star of the garden when in full bloom. When not in bloom, they look like a tree with large green leaves.
Provide daytime interest and color by planting other plants around them. Coleus, non-trailing vinca, impatiens, white zinnias and verbena are excellent choices. Gardeners who prefer to combine night fragrant flowers should choose nicotiana as a companion plant.
To encourage angel trumpet plants to grow into a tree form, do not prune until the main trunk branches into a "Y" shape. Once the "Y" has formed, selectively prune lateral branches. Make the cuts at the joint where the branches meet up. Each cut will produce two new branches.
Container grown plants need root pruning. Remove the plant from the pot, shake the dirt off the bottom quarter of the roots, trim and re-pot.
Grow angel trumpet plants from seed or from cuttings.
Take cuttings when pruning. Dip the cut end in rooting hormone. The dipped cuttings can be stored in newspaper in a dark closet during the winter months or rooted immediately.
Plant the cut end of the angel trumpet plants in a good potting mix or perlite. Water thoroughly. Do not allow the rooting medium to dry out. Once the cutting begins to grow roots, leaves will form.
A Very Poisonous Plant
Angel trumpet plants are highly toxic. It is best not to compost any part of this plant. Do not compost or use the soil to grow edible plants. If the container is re-used, clean it out with soap, bleach and hot water.
All parts of this plant are poisonous. The seed pods of angel trumpet plants are filled with a liquid that is hallucinogenic. When working with this plant, wear gloves and wash pruners or other tools well afterwards.