Angel’s trumpet is a tropical evergreen beauty. It’s named for its enormous cone shaped flowers that drape dramatically from its umbrella-like canopy. These beautiful pendulum blossoms continue to bloom from early summer to late fall. In pink, apricot, orange, yellow or white, the angel’s trumpet flowers radiate an exquisite musky fragrance into the night air, making this ornamental charmer an intoxicating addition to your garden area.
Angel’s trumpet (Brugmansia) is native to the Andes region in South America where it grows on sloping mountainsides in humid conditions. It can be grown here in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Hardiness Zones 10 and 11. This exotic shrub or small tree will grow well in containers too, for those who are willing to move it indoors before any hint of frost.
How to Grow and Care for Angel’s Trumpet
Angel’s trumpet is quite easy to grow. It is a fast grower, too. If you choose to plant it in a container, select a container that will accommodate a large plant. Think big!
There are a couple of ways to start an angel’s trumpet plant. Seeds for this plant can be sown directly in the springtime when the ground is beginning to warm. Sow the seeds 1/4 inch deep in good, damp garden soil. Choose a sunny or a partly shaded area for your new plant. Keep in mind that your mature angel’s trumpet might grow to be 15 or 20 feet tall.
Angel’s trumpet can be successfully started from a cutting as well. During the summer when pruning, save a small branch. Place the branch in water to propagate roots. Once roots are established, transplant into good garden soil with a few scoops of compost mixed into the soil. This rapid grower will enjoy the extra nutrients the compost will provide.
Fertilize your developing shrub once a month through the growing season with a general purpose plant food. When your shrub is ready to bloom, apply a phosphorous based fertilizer.
Remember, this is a moisture loving plant. So, whether you have planted this beauty in a container or in the ground, make sure to supply your angel’s trumpet with plenty of water to drink. The soil of your angel’s trumpet should never be left to dry out.
If you really love the blooms on your angel’s trumpet, you should prune this shrub into a tree form. Wait until the main stem of your angel’s trumpet has developed a “Y.” Prune away the branches that are growing beneath the “Y.” Prune a few of the older branches above the “Y” back, too, to encourage newer growth. The tree will naturally take on an umbrella shape. The flowers will develop at the growing ends of the branches.
Angel’s Trumpet Pests and Problems
A note of caution with angle’s trumpet: it’s very poisonous to people and animals when ingested. Take care not to allow children or pets to eat any portion of this plant. The poison can cause irritation to skin and eyes too. Use gloves when handling your angel’s trumpet.
Your angel’s trumpet plant may be susceptible to aphids, mealybugs, caterpillars, white flies, or spider mites. A steady spray of water may work to repel some of these pests. A mild insecticidal soap may be a necessary too, especially for an angel’s trumpet plant that will be moved indoors. Quarantine any plant that may be affected to prevent the insects from infecting other plants.
Angel’s Trumpet Varieties to Consider
‘Audrey Hepburn’ is a classic beauty, just as the name suggests. It boasts a simple, clean, white flower that is a bit more petite than the average sized angel’s trumpet. This angel’s trumpet is truly picture perfect. The fragrance is the traditional, unique scent.
‘LSU Special’ is for all of you LSU fans out there! This variety was developed right on campus. The flower is a beauty with soft creamy pink flowers. It is an easy and fast growing variety that begins to bloom earlier than most angel’s trumpets.
Want to learn more about how to grow angel’s trumpet?
Check out these resources:
Angel’s Trumpet from University of Florida IFAS Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology
Southern Gardening: Angel’s Trumpets enjoy banner year from Mississippi State University Research & Extension Center