How to Grow Angel’s Trumpet – Tips for Growing Brugmansia

What a gorgeous tropical plant this plant is!  The common name for the plant is angel’s trumpet and the botanical name is Brugmansia. One can almost hear the sound from the trumpet!

Pink and white angels' trumpet flower

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Facts about Brugmansiabrugmansia plant

Brush up on your knowledge of brugmansia with these facts:

  • The plant is a tender perennial, hardy in zones 9-12.
  • Native to South Eastern Brazil and thought to be extinct in the wild.
  • Common name:  angel’s trumpet
  • Botanical Name: brugmansia suaveolens 
  • Family: one of seven species in the family Solanaceae
  • The leaves and flowers of brugmansia can be used to make medicines.
  • In spite of serious safety concerns, the plant has been used to induce hallucinations.
  • All parts of the plant are toxic when ingested.
Angel's Trumpet blossom

“Creative Commons Angel’s Trumpet ‘Orange Cat’ (Brugmansia)” by Dave Whitinger is licensed under CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0

The trumpet-like flowers seem ready to send out music at any moment!

datura flower

Datura flower is similar to angel’s trumpet and from the same family

Differences between datura and brugmansia

The plant is not to be confused with datura, which also known as Devil’s Trumpet.  The flowers look similar to Brugmansia and both are from the botanical family Solanaceae.Differences between brugmansia and datura

While the two flowers look similar, the flowers of datura are erect, while those of brugmansia are pendulous. 

Brugmansia is also more woody rather than shrub like. Brugmansia can grow up to 10 feet in height, while datura generally tops out at 4 feet tall.

Brugmansia is also known as angel's trumpet.  It is easy to see why when you look at the trumpet shaped flowers. Find out how to grow this tender perennial on The Gardening Cook. πŸ₯€πŸŒΎπŸƒ Click To Tweet

Tips for Growing Angel’s Trumpet:

If you have the right hardiness zone, angel’s trumpet makes a wonderful outdoor plant.  Here are some growing tips.

Sunlight needs for brugmansia

Angel’s trumpets prefer full sun, but they will tolerate some partial shade in the hottest part of the day.

For best blooms be sure to give the plant lots of sunlight.

How to Prune Brugmansia

Pruning is essential to get the most number of flowers.  Most brugmansia plants are trimmed into a tree shape in the way that this brugmansia Brugmansia arborea has been pruned. Brugmansia arborea tree

Begin pruning where the plant forms its first “Y.”  It is best to prune the plant in the fall.

In temperate climates, the previous years growth will die back.  Leave them in place until spring when you see new growth starting to take place.

At this time, you can cut back the old growth.

When to plant brugmansia

For plants growing outside in the ground, wait until the temperatures warm up to the 70s before planting.  Be sure that you have it in the ground by the middle of the summer.

The roots will need to be well established before the first cold season.

Colors of Brugmansia

The plant comes in a variety of colors.  Some are solid colored like the Orange Cat Variety shown above and others have more than one color in the blossom.

Find brugmansia in many shades from white, peach, pink, orange and yellow.  Flowers can grow up to 20 inches long, and are very impressive.

Many of the blooms seem to have a spectrum of color like this peach variety which blends from almost white to peach.

Peach angel trumpet flower

The plants bloom in late summer into the fall. The large flowers on both plants open at dusk, releasing an intoxicating scent that attracts night-flying pollinators in search of their nectar.

Propagation of angel’s trumpet

Angel’s trumpets are grown from seeds sown directly in the soil or get new plants for free by propagating the plant from cuttings. 

*Tip:  for colder climates, where you can’t bring the plant indoors in winter, take cuttings and root them and replant in the spring to have the plant growing each year. 

Plants grown from seed will not flower until the second season.

Water and Fertilizing Requirements for brugmansia

The plant likes to be kept evenly moist. Plants grown in containers may need to be watered twice a day during the growing season. It is easy to see if you are not watering the plant enough because the large leaves of the plant will droop.

The plant also likes feeding every 2-3 weeks during the growing season. 

Switch to a high phosphorus plant food right before blooming.

The plant likes well draining soil. Adding compost or organic matter at planting time is beneficial.

Toxicity for Brugmansia

Like many tropical plants, brugmansia is toxic. The seeds and leaves are the most poisonous part of the plant. The older plants have a higher level of toxins.pendulous brugmansia flowers

All parts of the plant are poisonous. Be especially careful not to grow it where small children or pets are active.

It is a good idea to wear gardening gloves when tending to or pruning angel’s trumpets. After working near the plants, don’t touch your eyes or mouth until after washing your hands.

The toxicity of brugmansia comes from several tropane alkaloids which can lead to delirium and other effects.

Affects of ingesting brugmansia:  bloating, rapid heart rate, hallucinations, blurred vision and even respiratory failure in severe cases.

Diseases and pests

The plant is susceptible to aphids and white flies.  It can also develop root rot if watered too often.

Fungal issues that might affect brugmansia are fusarium and verticillium wilt.  Both of these diseases enter the plant through the roots and travel up the stem. They block the ability of the plant to use water and can cause stunted growth and wilted foliage;

Powdery mildew can also be a problem. Treat it with Neem oil at 2 week intervals.

Bacterial leaf spot happens in high humidity.  It appears as brown spots surrounded with a yellow halo on the leaves. Good air circulation will help to keep it away. To treat, remove all affected leaves to stop the infection.

Hardiness Zones for brugmansia

It is said to grow in zones 9-12 and is happiest in zones 10-11

In colder zones it is best grown in a pot so that you can bring it inside to weather over the winter. 

Brugmansia versicolorEven though the plant is a tropical and may need to be grown in posts in colder climates, it is worth it to try to get a show of flowers like the one above!

Have you had luck growing Angel’s trumpets?  Do you have tips to share for your zone?

For more tips on growing Brugmansia – Angel’s Trumpets, check out Brugmansia and Datura by Hans-Georg Preissel from Amazon.com. 

Where to buy brugmansia 



When you head out to purchase angel’s trumpet plants, do it early in the year. This will allow the plants to become well-established by the time the first frosts hits.

Pin these brugmansia growing tips for later

Would you like a reminder of this post for growing angel’s trumpet? Just pin this post to one of your gardening boards on Pinterest so that you can easily find it later.tips for growing brugmansia

Admin note: this post first appeared on the blog in August of 2014. I have updated the post with all new photos, a printable project card and a video for you to enjoy.

Yield: 1 happy plant

How to Grow Angel's Trumpet - Brugmansia

How to Grow Angel's Trumpet -  Brugmansia

Brugmansia is a tender perennial that does best in zones 9 and above. It has tubular blooms that looks like angel trumpets.

Active Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Difficulty moderate
Estimated Cost $20

Materials

  • 1 Brugmansia plant
  • Organic Matter or compost
  • High Phosphorus fertilizer

Tools

  • Watering can or hose.

Instructions

  1. Plant brugmansia before mid summer to make sure that the roots are well established.
  2. Give it plenty of room to grow. The plant can get 10 feet tall.
  3. Be sure to give it full sunlight.
  4. Organic matter at planting time helps.
  5. Blooms at dusk in late summer.
  6. High Phosphorus fertilzer at blooming time results in better flowers.
  7. All parts of the plant are toxic.
  8. Hardiness zones 9 and above (some varieties will grow overwinter to zone 7b and above if protected and mulched.
  9. Propagate by cuttings
  10. Prune into a tree shape in the fall.

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  4 comments for “How to Grow Angel’s Trumpet – Tips for Growing Brugmansia

  1. Kim
    03/29/2018 at 4:30 pm

    I have read different suggestions on what type of light brugs prefer….I have 4 plants that are doing well right now indoors and will be moving them out…but do I plant them where they get some afternoon shade? Or where they would get warm sun all day? Hot sun on my deck? I know they are tropical, but I am in 6b, and want to know what’s best before planting, or building a spot for them…..thanks!

    • Carol
      04/03/2018 at 10:10 am

      Hi Kim. If there are growing indoors, direct sunlight will be too strong for them outside. Place them in a shadier spot and gradually move them closer to more sunlight.Carol

  2. Joan
    02/21/2020 at 3:22 pm

    How far apart to plant angel trumpets?

    • Carol Speake
      02/23/2020 at 4:57 pm

      Hi Joan. This plant makes a pretty big tree and can grow 2-3 feet in one season. For that reason, they should be planted as wide apart as the tree will grow a canopy which can be up to 10-15 feet wide.

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