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How to Care for Angel Trumpets

By Jay Golberg ; Updated September 21, 2017

Angel trumpet or brugmansia (Brugmansia suaveolens) is often called by its common name, datura. However, datura is the annual form of the angel trumpet plant and brugmansia is the perennial form. Evergreen in zone 9 and above, it dies to the ground in cooler climates but returns in the spring. The angel trumpet is known for its beautiful, sweet-smelling blooms that hang downward and can reach 20 inches in length. The plant can grow to 15 feet high and is native to South America.

Locate a space in the garden to plant your angel trumpet plant that is shaded from intense afternoon sun. Angel trumpets planted in full sun in warmer climates wilt during the heat of the day and blooms will be sparse or non-existent. However, too much shade will limit bloom production. Angel trumpets live for 20 years or more, so plan accordingly. Plant at the same level as it was planted in the nursery pot.

Back-fill the planting hole with a mixture of one part compost to three parts soil. If your soil is alkaline, mix one part peat moss, one part compost and two parts soil. Water slowly while adding back-fill to prevent air pockets around the roots.

Add granulated, organic fertilizer or time-released fertilizer for flowering plants around the base of the plant in the quantity recommended on the fertilizer label.

Spread a mixture of mulch and compost around base of plant and over the fertilizer to a depth of 3 inches.

Apply a water-soluble fertilizer to the root zone of the plant every week or two during the growing season to encourage bloom production.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Shovel
  • Organic or other slow-release fertilizer
  • Compost
  • Mulch

Tips

  • Angel trumpets can be grown as a container plant and brought inside during the winter.
  • Snails and slugs are the biggest pests to angel trumpets; pick them off by hand in the evening.
  • If white flies, aphids or mealy bugs attack the plant, use neem oil for control.
  • Angel trumpet plants are members of the nightshade family and are related to tomatoes, peppers and eggplants.
  • Some varieties don't bloom until they are several years old.
  • Plant near a source of water as angel trumpets are not drought tolerant. However, they don't like to sit in water for a long time or the roots will rot.
  • Bees swarm over the blooms in the evening so plant away from doorways.

Warning

  • All parts of the angel trumpet plant are extremely poisonous to humans and pets.

About the Author

 

Jay Golberg is a certified Texas nursery professional and professional project manager. He has 30 years of business and farming experience and holds bachelor's degrees in English writing from St. Edward's University and finance from Lamar University.