One of my Garden Club friends introduced me to her favorite plant, Angel Trumpets (aka Brugmansia); she sells them each year at the annual garden club May Mart. Wisely, she posts pictures of these enormous blooms next to the hopeful plant cuttings that she sells.
I decided to purchase one a few years back, and it has become my experimental success!
I really did not expect much from the stick she sold me, but she assured me that by September, this plant would be blooming. She was right. These plants grow to towering heights in the span of one summer, producing large bowing blooms that resemble trumpets.
Brugmansia is a shrub-like tropical perennial in warm zones but is grown as an annual in cold climates. Living in a cold winter climate, I have always potted my Brugmansia so that I could bring them in out of the cold before the frost hits. They do go dormant in the winter, losing their leaves and looking pretty dead. Pat instructed to give them one glass of water once a month while in hibernation. Come late March, the new greens start to develop. At that point, you can start watering regularly again. Brugmansia do require weekly fertilizing, Pat was not kidding when she stressed this. And lots of water.
If you do live in a colder climate, you may want to try “plunging” the pots of Angel Trumpets into the ground. The roots will grow into the ground below the pot, giving you a much larger plant than if those roots were confined to the pot. After the growing season, you can simply dig out the pot, cut the roots below the pot, trim the plant down, and take it inside.
AT A GLANCE – Brugmansia
Conditions – thrives in hardiness zones 7-11. Can be treated as an annual in colder climates, or potted and brought in to a cool, dark location during the winter for hibernation.
Growing Methods – propagate by seed or by rooting cuttings; feed with fertilizer weekly during growing season and water deeply
Flowering – late August through October. Flowers appear once the branches have formed a Y.
After Flowering – cut spent blooms at the base of the flower (deadhead) to encourage more flowers