Bold and exotic Brugmansia
Brugmansia, or angel's trumpets, are the stars of any late-summer garden with their bold textures and exotic blooms. These tropical plants can easily be overwintered if you have room.
(Page 2 of 2)
Though I have yet to grow it, one Brug on my wish-list is ‘Angel’s Summer Dream’. Most brugmansias can grow as much as six or eight feet tall over the course of a summer and take several months before producing any of the distinctive flowers, so a Brug that is supposed to grow only 1 to 3 feet tall in a container, but start blooming profusely by the time it is 12 inches tall, definitely ignites my plant lust.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Brugmansia does best in full sun. In partly shaded areas it may grow vigorously but flower sparingly or not at all. And, like many other tropicals, Brugmansias are heavy feeders requiring a rich diet of heavy doses of fertilizer and plenty of water.
Although adaptable to being planted out in mixed borders in USDA Zone 8 and higher, they are best grown in containers here in the Midwest. They are extremely frost sensitive, so as soon as temps tend downwards of 50 degrees F. (10 C), think about bringing them indoors.
They can be treated as houseplants and kept in a sunny window; but I cut them back by about one-third to one-half, let them go dormant and store them in the basement in an area where the temps do not drop below 40 degrees F. (4 C), watering them sparingly about once a month.
Should I want additional plants for the next season – or to share some with friends – I take the cuttings and place them cut side down in containers of water for rooting, or dip the cut ends into rooting hormone, wrap in newspaper, and store in a cool, dry place, such as a basement, for rooting come spring.
A word to the wise
It should be noted that Brugmansia belongs to the nightshade family, and like many of its relatives, it is poisonous if ingested. So, if you have curious children or pets, please watch them carefully around this plant.
Betty Earl, the Intrepid Gardener, blogs regularly at Diggin' It. She's the author of “In Search of Great Plants: The Insider’s Guide to the Best Plants in the Midwest.” She also writes a regular column for Chicagoland Gardening Magazine and The Kankakee Journal and numerous articles for Small Gardens Magazine, American Nurseryman, Nature’s Garden, and Midwest Living Magazine, as well as other national magazines. She is a garden scout for Better Homes and Gardens and a regional representative for The Garden Conservancy. To read more by Betty, click here.