Whew…it’s been a long time since I’ve posted! Sorry about that! I am going to “re-begin” by posting in my “Chick ‘N Garden” page regarding new growth in my tropical garden. Today, I begin with the heavenly, angelic Angel Trumpet!
Angel trumpet is the common name of two types of plants — the “Brugmansia” species, and the “Datura” species. The photo above is a member of the “Brugmansia” family, and us angel trumpet lovers often affectionately just call them “Brugs.” Brugs grow into tree size plants (often up to 36 feet!) and Daturas are smaller, bushier plants. Daturas also create fruit that have small thorns on them. Below is a photo of a purple Datura, that I found at a nursery south of Houston.
They did not have any plants to sell, so the owner broke off some seed pods and gave them to me and my friend, Vicky. The seedlings are doing quite well, and I hope to have some photos of them in the future when they start to bloom! (How are yours doing, Vick?)
Growing Angel Trumpets
Angel trumpets are native to South America and love to grow in frost-free climates and do well in either part shade or full sun, but I’ve found that in this Texas heat they do a bit better if they are slightly shaded. Even though Houston does get frost, the branches will die back, but they do come back from the roots, if the frost has not been too harsh. In order to guarantee that I have angel trumpets each spring, I will propagate a few in a pot that I can bring in for any frosty winter nights (see “Propagating Angel Trumpets” below).
Angel trumpets are amongst the easiest plant in the world to grow (my own humble opinion). My angel trumpets bloom INCESSANTLY from Spring through late fall. I mean it. They are always blooming. They love to be fed, although I am not that great about getting out there to fertilize. You’ll notice they will need more water if their leaves begin to turn yellow or fall off. They get thirsty. However, they won’t start blooming until after they develop a “V” in their branches. So, be patient. They will grow a V eventually. If you have taken a cutting from a host plant above a V then you should get blooms at a shorter height — and right away. More on this under “Propagating Angel Trumpets” below.
Angel trumpets can be grown in the ground or in a pot. Of course, those grown in the ground are going to become more majestic, but mine in the pot does some pretty good flowering. You can keep the tree trimmed to whatever height you would like, if you do not want it to become huge. Even after trimming you will have blooms within a short period of time. When I trim off my branches, I offer them to friends who can place them right into their garden or a pot.
It is said that every part of the angel trumpet is poisonous, but I have never seen indication of this. Some people have reported skin issues after handling them. I personally don’t always gloves when handling them, and have never had an issue, but I’m sure if ingested it would not be a good thing. The JoDog has also not been affected by them in any way, even though the plants drop their flowers and she’s out sniffing around in the garden all the time. It might be a good idea for you to use gloves when handling them, however, as your skin might be more sensitive than mine — my skin is sort of rubbery. Just sayin’.
Propagating Angel Trumpets
I love sharing this plant with my friends and often call it one of my “friendship” plants. It is extremely easy to
share and grow. Angel trumpets are also very easily propagated to create a brand new plant. All that is necessary is to cut off a branch and cram it into a pot or the ground somewhere. I’m serious! Easy as pie! It’s best to cut a branch off the top of the plant, however, because you will get blooms very quickly (look for a “V” in the plant and cut a branch off from above the V). It will take longer to get any blooms from a branch cut from the lower regions of a plant. I usually cut off about a foot or so, and remove most of the leaves except maybe the top few. Be sure to keep it well watered.You can also grow then from seed, as I mentioned earlier. Even though we received these seeds last summer, I put them in the refrigerator and took them out in the early spring, starting them in some of those little seed starters from Home Depot. I then transferred them to larger containers as they grew. Here are a few “seedlings” I started which are beginning to take good shape:
As they get a bit larger, I’lll separate them and put them into larger pots or into the ground.
Angel trumpets come in shades of white, yellow, pink, orange, green, or red, and Daturas are also purple (or blue). They have a fragrance that is most obvious in the later parts of the day. My garden consists of peach and white brugs, but the peach ones are so very interesting in that they emerge as white and then turn peach. Here is a photo of flowers on the same plant:
I once owned a yellow one, but it was in a spot in the garden that had direct sun for much of the day and I think it just couldn’t handle it. Here are some photos of the yellow ones:
My white trumpets are gorgeous — so clean looking. I love them behind my red bamboo arbor.
Having angel trumpets in my yard has been one of the best additions I’ve made to my garden. I can always depend on these faithful beauties. They’ve been a “God send” to me and my garden!