Angel’s trumpet (Brugmansia, Trumpet of death) is a highly attractive, widely beloved, but highly poisonous flower, especially for children and pets. This old-fashioned flowering shrub, which can reach an impressive 15 to 20 feet (4.6 – 6 m) high on average, was named after a Natural History professor Sebald Justin Brugmans from Holland.
Native to South America, it flourishes from late summer to autumn and attracts hummingbirds wherever planted. You will adore its trumpet-shaped flowers regardless of whether they are white, peach, yellow, emerald, green, orange, pink, red, or purple.
This flower blooms sporadically from spring to late autumn
|It requires full sun with partial afternoon shade during hot summer days|
|These plants will thrive when the temperatures are moderate or warm. Re-pot your flowers in the garden every spring when the temperature increases above 32 F (0 C)|
|Angel’s trumpet will thrive best when growing in the acid ground|
|The soil pH||
5.5 to 7
|It is not frost-resistant plant|
Frangipani, abutilon, and neoregelia
|Your Angel’s trumpet needs to be watered abundantly and regularly, but the soil shouldn’t become soggy to prevent root rot|
|Provide adequate feeding for this plant once a week to encourage spectacular flourishing|
The Most Popular Angel’s Trumpet Varieties
There are seven primary varieties of Angel’s trumpet. However, you can find a lot of hybrids with double, deep green flowers, or those with creamy-white edging on foliage as well. Plant this exotic plant in your yard and enjoy pure, fragrant beauty, no matter which variant you choose.
Also called Golden Angel’s trumpet, this variety is native to the Andes. This plant was on the list of endangered species until 2014. From that period, we can’t find original, wild plants in Ecuador and Venezuela anymore.
However, many gardeners appreciate white or yellowish flowers of this variety and grow it in their gardens. If you become one of them, you can expect your plant grow up to 20 feet (6 m) high.
With just 13 feet (4 m) height, this is one of the smallest varieties of this plant. It comes from Brazil, Bolivia, and Colombia, but nowadays, everybody can enjoy these narrow, white or pink flowers.
These small bushes native to Ecuador and Colombia may attain a height of 13 feet (4 m). If you plant this flower in your garden, you will enjoy its tiny, 6 to 9 inches (15 – 23 cm) long, brightly yellow, pink or red blooms for years.
This Angel’s trumpet is a small evergreen shrub which originated in the Andes. You will love its velvety, white, or creamy, fragrant flowers and oval, coarse-margined leaves on the 23 feet (7 m) height stems.
Since the flowers are long just 5 to 7 inches (13 – 18 cm), they are considered the smallest of all blossoms of this plant on the market.
This sweet, wild, 10 to 16 feet (3 – 4.9 m) tall bush originated in Brazil. I like its large, white, highly fragrant blooms, better known as Angel’s tears. Believe it or not, these flowers can reach 1 foot (30.5 cm) length! Plus, you can find yellow or pink varieties as well.
Well-known as Red Angel, this odorless variety of Angel’s trumpet originated in Chile and Columbia. It is a really small bush tall from 4 to 12 feet (1.2 – 3.6 m).
With blossoms opening during the day, it attracts pollinators such as hummingbirds. Nowadays, you can find varieties with yellow, orange, and green flowers.
It comes from Ecuador and usually is tall between 10 and 16 feet (3 – 4.9 m). You have to admire its giant, 2 feet (61 cm) long flowers and oblong foliage with smooth edges. When first blooms appear, they are white, but its transition into light shades of pink, peach, or apricot is not rare at all.
How to Plant Angel’s trumpet
You can propagate your Angel’s trumpet on two different ways, by seeds and cuttings. Let’s see how to do that.
Propagation with seeds
Seeds, which you harvest at home, have a cover of a thin, pulpy coat. You need to remove it before planting. It is not a problem to do it when the seeds are fresh. However, you need to soak older seeds before separating the cover.
Put seeds on the surface of the ground and barely press them. They will need approximately two weeks to a few months to germinate if the place is in full sun and the temperatures of the growing medium are from 60 to 70 F (15.5 – 21 C).
Propagation with cuttings (Log cuttings method)
Take a limb and cut a few 5 to 8 inches (13 – 20 cm) of ‘log cuttings’ from it. Take care that each part has at least three to four nodes. Make a shallow hole in the ground and water it modesty. Add a rooting hormone, plant cuttings, and press them gently into the soil. All nodes need to face upwards.
Make a frame of wire and plastic cover, and use them as a mini-greenhouse. That way, you will keep the necessary level of humidity and the temperatures of 72 F (22 C).
When the first shoots reach a few inches, you should start separating them with a sterile knife and planting them into the separate pots. Move seedlings into the garden when they form a strong root structure.
The other way is to put cuttings in a glass jar full of water. It is not important if they have the leaves or not, but they need to have nodes for producing new growth.
Put the jar in a warm, bright spot and change the water twice a week to prevent rotting. As soon as you see new roots, you should plant seedlings into a container.
Which way is best for you
Angel’s trumpet is a wildflower, which can spread quickly, and its propagating is not complicated. The only question is which way is the best option for you.
On the one hand, growing this plant from cuttings is much comfortable and quicker. Basically, you can get new limbs after every pruning, which makes Log cuttings method practical and effortless.
Believe it or not, sometimes is enough throwing these branches into the compost pile, and some new plants will spring up right away when the temperatures are adequate.
On the other hand, sowing seeds is a long-term process which requires your attention and adequate conditions for growing new plants. However, it is the only way to grow original varieties these days, which makes your effort meaningful and worthwhile.
How to Grow and Care Angel trumpet
Angel’s trumpet doesn’t require too much care. Provide enough warmth and modest moisture for your plant, and it will grow healthy and vigorous.
Even though Angel’s trumpet can tolerate alkaline soil, it will thrive best when grown in the acid ground. This flower doesn’t need special care, but you should keep in mind that it is not resistant to drought and can’t stand salt.
If you live in a warmer region, you should provide a sunny place for your Angel’s trumpet with enough shade in the afternoons. In colder regions, the location with the full sun will be perfect for this plant.
The best solution is to imitate its native environment and grow this beautiful flower under the taller plants.
These plants will thrive if the temperatures in the region you live in are moderate or warm. Once autumn comes, move your flower into a cold, dark, place before the first frost. That way, you will make its dormant period more comfortable.
Keep the root ball lightly moist during winter to prepare your Angel’s trumpet for the spring. When temperatures increase above 32 F (0 C), you can re-pot your plant in the garden again.
You always need to water this plant abundantly and regularly. The soil should be moist but not too soggy to prevent root rot.
On the other hand, if days are hot and you forget to water your flower, it will wilt quickly. Water it at least once a day during summer, and the result will be the healthy and vigorous plant full of fragrant blooms.
If you grow Angel’s trumpet in a pot, the good drainage is as important as watering since you shouldn’t allow waterlogging the ground.
If you expect your Angel’s trumpet flourishes spectacularly, you need to provide adequate feeding for it once a week. Moreover, add some water-soluble fertilizer at least twice in ten days if you grow a larger variety.
It is recommended using bloom-boosting, 10-50-10 or 15-30-15 fertilizers. Once your plant begins flourishing, liquid fertilizer will be an excellent choice. However, many gardeners claim that compost is the best solution for their Angel’s trumpet.
You should stop with feeding when the temperatures decrease in autumn, right before you decide to store it. The best place for the dormant period is dark, frost-free place, with the temperatures from 30 to 45 F (-1 – + 7 C).
Don’t forget to add a 2 inches (5 cm) thick layer of organic mulch around your Angel’s trumpet. Take care not to place it too close to the base of the plant. To avoid possible damage, you should use high-quality garden rakes for spreading the material. Mulch is necessary if you want to retain moisture in the ground.
Basically, you can prune your Angel’s trumpet whenever you want to shape it. However, be prepared that new flowers won’t appear at least a month after you cut the bush. Therefore, the best decision is to prune this plant in early spring.
To encourage elegant branching, you should cut older branches to 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) above a node. Use pruning shears to lightly prune your plant throughout the season of growth, which will encourage abundant flourishing.
If you want to shape your flower as a small tree, the best way is to start pruning when the main stem forms the first ‘Y.’ Then keep cutting old branches systematically. Try to keep at least 5 to 10 nodes on each branch above the ‘Y’ to encourage blooming in the following season.
Pests and Diseases
When you spot characteristic yellow, mosaic-like areas on the foliage, you can be sure that your plant suffers from Tobacco mosaic virus.
This virus probably won’t kill the flower, but it will dramatically affect the appearance of the whole plant. Once infected, your Angel’s trumpet will carry the causative agent forever. Therefore, the best solution is destroying the entire plant.
Both verticillium and fusarium wilt are fungal diseases, which may affect your Angel’s trumpet. Fungi enter the flower through the roots. They block transmission of water throughout the plant once reaching the stem. The result is wilted leaves and irregular growth.
Unfortunately, there is no way to treat this disease. Since fungi live in the ground for years, the only solution to grow healthy plants is to start over. Purchase hardy, disease-resistant flowers and plant them in a pot filled with uncontaminated potting medium.
This problem may occur when fungi attack your Angel’s trumpet. The primary cause is excessive watering. To prevent this common disease, you should keep the soil around your plant moist, but never soggy. Don’t forget to reduce watering when the temperatures decrease in autumn.
Angel’s trumpet has extraordinary blooms, which produce a mesmerizing scent, exceptionally strong and seductive during the night. Therefore, you should find a unique position in your garden where you can enjoy the fragrance of its flowers best.
However, keep in mind that your lovely plant is actually incredibly dangerous. There is no part of this plant which is not highly toxic. Be very careful and protect your kids and pets from ingestion blooms or seeds to avoid a fatal outcome.
Sometimes even touching the bush can cause some medical issue. Be sure to wear gardening gloves while pruning or taking care of it.
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My name is Peter Weeks, Writer of The Daily Gardener. Gardening has always been my passion, nothing gives me quite the satisfaction that feeling the soil sift through my fingers does. Give me a spade, a shovel, and a rake, and I can happily while away the day transforming a patch of land into a beautiful oasis. To me, gardening is life. It’s not a career. It’s not a job. It’s something that I truly love doing. It’s a way of life, a passion that I’ve no intention of ever giving up.