Name: angel’s trumpet, Brugmansia.
Height: typically 1.5–4.5m.
Foliage: large, green and downy.
Soil: well-drained, reasonably fertile.
Position: full sun or full sun/part shade, or dappled shade in hot areas.
Flowering: flowering in flushes year-round in warm climates, and for up to 6 months in cool climates.
Feeding: feed yearly with a complete fertiliser in late spring.
Watering: drought-tolerant once established. Weekly to twice weekly watering in summer, and weekly watering in winter.
Angel’s trumpet is native to South America, particularly the Andean countries from Chile to Colombia. There are five species, but most of the varieties grown for gardens are hybrids.
The plant has woody stems. Most varieties have single flowers, but there are many hybrids available with double flowers, and some with “whiskers”. Angel’s trumpet grows well in all areas of
The brugmansia is a woody tree, and while it can have multiple stems, most are trained to a single trunk by removing competing leaders. While some will grow up to 4m tall, bigger in the tropics, most are 3m or less.
It is important to note that all parts of the plant are poisonous, and some people are allergic to the fragrance. However, the leaves have an unappealing taste, so consumption is unlikely.
Brugmansia is cold-tolerant, but does not like prolonged frost, so must be grown in large tubs so it can be moved out of the cold in frost-prone climates.
Angel’s trumpet prefers semi shade or morning sun only, as flowers fade in all-day sun and plants can wilt. It does not like hot, dry winds, and protection is beneficial in these conditions.
Brugmansia will droop if in need of moisture, but will recover once water is provided.
Feed with a complete fertiliser in late spring. Mulch to conserve water.
Prune plants after flowering has stopped, if required, to maintain shape and size.
Cuttings can be used to establish new plants.
In dry weather, brugmansia may be attacked by spider mite. Reduce numbers by spraying jets of water beneath the leaves, or spray the pests with horticultural oil or horticultural soap. Caterpillars also enjoy the leaves – pick them off or spray with Dipel or Yates’ Success.
Chinese lantern (Abutilon): shrub related to hibiscus, with maple-like leaves and bell-shaped flowers in autumn shades for most of the year. Hybrids range from ground covers to varieties growing to 3m tall.
Mallow (Lavatera): shrub related to the hollyhock, flowering in spring and summer with saucer-like blooms in pink, white and purple.
Hibiscus: shrub for frost-free climates with big, open flowers, which last for just one day, in every colour. Both evergreen and deciduous varieties available.
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