trumpets, known botanically as Brugmansia, are
from South America and come in a variety of
trumpets are sounding, well not really but it sure looks
like it all across the south. Iím talking angelís
trumpets known botanically as Brugmansia. No matter what
the color, white, pink, yellow, apricot, or a shade of
red the sight of these flowers hanging downward just
seems to capture the imagination.
years ago I wrote in Paradise Found Growing Tropicals in
Your Own Backyard that the Brugmansia versicolor was
only cold hardy to zone 8. Since that time I have seen
them regularly thriving in zone 7 and an internet search
will amaze you as to colder locations where gardeners
give testimony that theirs are returning year after
year. Despite what I have seen we best stick with cold
hardiness zones 8-11 and marginally root-hardy in 7. But
we will teach you to root cuttings below.
veriscolor is just one of a handful of species you are
likely to see for sale. Yet with the countless hybrids,
it is not always easy to know what you are looking at.
The others you most likely will find for sale are B.
sauveolens and Brugmansia x candida. Just to keep you on
your toes only the Brugmansia x candida have the
official common name angelís trumpet while the others
are considered angelís tears. No one I know however
uses the angelís tears common name.
will see specialty catalogs selling Brugmansia sanguinea
or scarlet angel trumpet but its look is decidedly
different, smaller and orange-red plus it will most
likely be happier in a cooler California coastal climate
than the torrid heat of the Deep South. All Brugmansia,
however, come from South America, some from the tropics
and others from the Andes. Regardless they will become
quite the treasure in your landscape whether it is
grandmaís cottage garden or your little corner of
incredibly beautiful blooms on angelís trumpets reach
12 to 18 inches in length making it hard for you to
believe they are related to tomatoes and peppers. In
mild years I have seen a few blooms in late spring or
early summer but it is this time of the year that they
really start to dazzle. Revel in their beauty, but
remember the plant is poisonous when eaten.
these are such impulse plants this is the time of the
year when garden centers make sure and load up with
blooming selections. Though the warm soil of late spring
is ideal for planting, this time of the year offers the
best opportunity to buy a nursery grown product in bloom
so you are sure it is the color you want.
you find your plant select a site in full to partial sun
and plant in well-drained, fertile organic-rich beds.
The well drained criteria will be extra important during
the winter helping to encourage a spring return.
in Savannah they normally freeze to the ground and if
not we still cut them back. Once warm temperatures
arrive they start growing vigorously. We have some in
our Cottage Garden in close proximity to tibouchina or
princess flower and the old fashioned summer phlox while
in the Mediterranean Garden it is the picturesque
backdrop for a pergola and bench.
a hot dry summer like we just experienced in Savannah,
supplemental water was essential for that lush tropical
look. Angelís trumpets only require feeding with light
applications of a slow-released, balanced fertilizer
about three times during the growing season.
you live in a colder region you may want to grow yours
in a container and move to a frost free location or take
cuttings to have plants ready for next spring. Rooting
hardwood cuttings in water is an easy method. To do
this, take an 8- to 12-inch cutting, removing all but
one or two pairs of leaves. Place the cuttings in a jar
or bucket containing about two inches of water. The
Brugmansia Growers International suggests changing the
water every day.
the cuttings out of direct sun, in a warm, filtered
light area. When you see white lenticels forming, pot
the new plants in a good light soil mix. Do not over
water. Rooting in potting soil and air layering are also
was almost 10 years ago that I last wrote about angelís
trumpets and back then I urged you to visit the website
for Brugmansia Growers International, The International
Cultivar Registration Authority for Brugmansia and
Datura. Their site has blossomed and matured, and a
visit to their gallery of images is sure to make you
want to become a collector.