Despite being poisonous, this tropical plant is greatly appreciated by plant lovers because of its large and fragrant flowers. Brugmansia grow comfortably in large containers and are easy to maintain. Since this plant isn't completely hardy, it must be protected from frost and wind.
Datura plant genus also belongs to the family of Solanaceae and is therefore closely related to Brugmansia. Until 1973, the two were considered under the same genus. Eventually, the variation in the growth aspects, led to the two plants being categorized under separate genus.
The first major difference between the genera Brugmansia and Datura is that, while the angel's trumpet flowers of Brugmansia are pendulous, the Moonflowers or Datura point upwards. Secondly, Datura do not have a woody stem, are short-lived, herbaceous, perennial, and annual plants, while Brugmansia are woody to semi-woody and can live up to 20 years.
Thirdly, unlike Datura, the fruits produced by Brugmansia are spineless. Additionally, Brugmansia are also much taller than Datura plants and are considered as small trees or large shrubs.
Instructions for Angel's Trumpet Care
Brugmansia have varied species that belong either to the warm or cold group. The warm-growing group consists of Brugmansia aurea, insignis, suaveolens, and versicolor. While the Sphaerocarpium or the cold-growing group consists of Brugmansia arborea, sanguinea, and vulcanicola.
USDA hardiness zones between 9-11 are conducive for growing Angel's trumpet plants. Brugmansia find it hard to develop buds in temperatures below 55° Fahrenheit and need between 60-75° Fahrenheit in order to produce its splendid flowers. This plant can also tolerate mild frost for a short period.
However, prolonged exposure to frost will either cause irreparable damage by shocking the system of the plant or cause it to wither. Nonetheless, the plant often tends to sprout again during spring because the roots of this plant are hardier than the plant itself.
This plant requires full sun and can be grown in partial shade as well. Brugmansia grow to a height of approximately 3-11 meters and can attain a spread of 2.5 meters. This plant is propagated by means of seeds and stem cuttings.
To avoid overcrowding, each container must hold only one seed or cutting. Since this plant is a fast-grower, the seed will take 4-8 weeks to germinate.
Brugmansia require plenty of moisture and well-drained soil. It can be grown in various types of soil such as, alkaline, acidic, clay, loam, sand, and chalk. Soil amendments such as alfalfa or granite meal, aid in providing micronutrients such as potassium and nitrogen to the angel's trumpet plant.
Brugmansia are not drought tolerant. Accordingly, these plants must be watered as often as possible during summers and spring. Lookout for telltale signs of dehydration such as wilting and discoloration of the leaves. Water sparingly during winters to avoid rotting.
Since Brugmansia are heavy feeders, these should be given fertilizers bimonthly. Opt for equalized fertilizers containing ammonia, potassium, and phosphorus. Regularly supplementing the soil with a good water-soluble fertilizer will boost flowering for the coming seasons. The plant must also be protected against fungal infections by using organic fungicides.
This plant is pollinated by moths and hummingbirds. The Angel's trumpet flower blooms in spring and last until late fall. These vase-shaped flowers are produced from oblong peduncles and can attain a length of 15-20 inches.
The large flowers come in a wide range of colors such as pink, white, yellow, cream, lavender, and orange. Older plants usually bloom more frequently, provided their needs are met.
Brugmansia must be ideally repotted during spring or fall, or the moment extending feeders or sucker roots appear. Being a fast-grower, the feeders of this plant sprout rapidly. The appearance of these feeders is a sign that the plant has overgrown its pot and must be shifted to a bigger one.
Before the plant is shifted into its new home, it must be pruned so as to remove the excess roots on the outer and underside of the root base. Repot the plant after having added a layer of fresh soil and fertilizer in the pot. Remember to place the plant in a shady area for a few weeks and not water excessively, so that the plant can recuperate.
Pests and Diseases
Pests such as fungus gnat, spider mites, whiteflies, aphids, and Japanese beetle can wreak havoc to Brugmansia. Another way to protect this plant from pests and rot is to pinch the shriveled flowers from the plant and remove the dead leaves from the ground.
Brugmansia as well as Datura are poisonous plants and must be kept away from the reach of children and pets. All parts of this plant are toxic and can cause severe side effects if ingested. Some states have made it illegal to cultivate this plant, therefore, it would be prudent to check before purchasing or planting the angel's trumpet plant.