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How to Grow a Trumpet Plant

The trumpet plant, also known as Datura or Angel Trumpet, is an exotic plant with a very sweet and fragrant aroma. The trumpet plant grows naturally in Mexico, Central America and South Florida. It is a fairly fragile shrub that can grow up to 20 feet tall. The trumpet plant has a gorgeous flower that comes in different colors and opens at dusk until the next morning. The plant’s flowers also attract hummingbirds. Although beautiful and sweet-smelling, the trumpet plant is toxic; handle it very carefully.

Plant your trumpet plants outdoors in full sun during damp weather conditions, if you live in a semi-tropical climate. Amend your soil with organic compost and mix in an all-purpose fertilizer, such as a 15-5-10, prior to planting. Spread a two-inch layer of organic mulch around the plant to control weeds and retain soil moisture.

Plant your trumpet plants in pots and keep them indoors if you live in a cooler climate. Plant them in over-sized planter pots with drainage holes, as the trumpet plant grows rapidly. Pot the trumpet plants in all-purpose potting mix. Place the pot in a window with southern exposure and full sunlight.

Water your trumpet plants once every week or as needed to keep the soil moist. Give your trumpet plants a dose of one and one-half tablespoons of ammonium nitrate per one gallon of water in early spring to boost the foliage.

Feed the plants a 17-17-17 fertilizer every three weeks during the growing season, following the dosage instructions on the packaging. Feed the trumpet plants a fertilizer that is slightly higher in phosphorous (the middle number) right before they bloom.

Prune your trumpet plant often, beginning as soon as the first fork forms on the trunk. Trim off all the old branches of the bush at the crotches to promote flowering on the new-growth stems. You can propagate your trumpet plants by taking tip cuttings in the spring.


Plant some companions for your outdoor trumpet plant, such as verbena, hostas, Artemisia or Dianthus. Also, keep the plant away from windy areas, and you can stake it to prevent the fragile branches from breaking.


The trumpet plant is extremely toxic and all parts of the plant are poisonous. Some people have died as a result of trying to ingest or smoke the plant. Keep the trumpet plants away from children or the general public. Always wear gloves when handling the plant or the seeds.

Starting the trumpet plant from seed requires moist conditions in order for the seeds to germinate. Germination of trumpet plant seeds is generally slow, however.

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