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Brugmansia FAQs

Q. What is Brugmansia?

A. Brugmansia are native to tropical regions of South America, along the Andes from Venezuela, through Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia to northern Chile, and also in south-eastern Brazil. A member of the deadly nightshade family, Solanaceae, they are grown as ornamental container plants worldwide for their huge beautiful fragrant showy flowers.

Q. Are Brugmansia frost hardy?

A. Bottom line is no they are not frost hardy. Brugmansia need to be protected from frosts and ideally kept above temperatures of 3C. This can be easily achieved with a heat tube in a greenhouse. A conservatory can work, but watch temperatures don’t get too high. I find taking temperatures down to 2-3C can reduce and kill any pests.

Q. How large do Brugmansia plants grow?

A. This is dependent on which cultivar you purchase. Generally, the warm variety Brugmansia grows between 5 to 10ft high in the UK. Cold variety sphaerocarpiums can grow bushier and flower at lower heights. B.Sanguinea grows to medium tree height in the right frost free conditions.

Q. How fast do Brugmansia Grow?

A. Very fast in the growing season, possibly 2-4ft in one UK season.

Q. Will my Brugmansia flower in the first season?

A. If your plant is bought early in the season, it could grow to flowering height by the end of the season. Generally, Brugmansia flowers bloom between June and October. They require to branch off in a 'V' before flowering branches are formed. Cuttings should be taken above the 'V'.

Q. How big are the flowers?

A. Angels Trumpet flowers can grow between 15cm to 30cm in length and the corolla can grow up to a width of 25cm.

Q. Are the flowers fragrant?

A. All of the warm variety Brugmansia are fragrant, so any cultivars with a parentage of B.Aurea, B.Versicolor, B.suaveolens and B.Insignis. The cool varieties, B.sanguinea and B.vulcanicola do not have a fragrance but B.Arborea does. The fragrance is at its strongest from dusk until dawn, to attract pollinators, namely moths. Other pollinators include hummingbirds and, in the UK, some bees.

Q. Will Brugmansia grow in pots?

A. Yes. Ensure the pot is enlarged regularly as they grow. After several seasons you may end up with a large Brugmansia in a large pot, but you can top dress the pot in spring.

Q. Can Brugmansia be planted in the ground?

A. Absolutely, they do extremely well in the garden. I would recommend a dappled or part shade position, as the extreme heat from the sun in summer can lead to yellowing of lower leaves and red spider mite. Ensure they are feed well if in the ground. Plant out in late May and lift at the end of October in the UK.

Q. How do I prepare my Brugmansia for overwintering?

A. Please refer to blog below:

Q. What do I feed Brugmansia?

A. Please refer to blog below:

Q. What is the best soil for Brugmansia?

A. A free draining, fertile humus rich soil. Add perlite or horticultural grit to increase drainage and root air flow. Brugmansia don’t like to sit in water especially in winter and also don’t like their roots to completely dry out.

Q. What colour flowers are there?

A. Most flowers come out yellow and then change colour when they fully bloom. Bloomed colours can include, cream, white, pink, orange, yellow, red.

Q. What pests are common on Brugmansia?

A. Red Spider Mite is common from spring to autumn. Green fly and white fly early in the season. Use biological control if possible under glass otherwise use a pest sprays. A fumigator can be very effective in spring.

Q. Brugmansia are part of the deadly nightshade family, are they poisonous?

A. A member of the deadly nightshade family, the Solanaceae, Angel's Trumpets are rich in alkaloids. Every part of the angel trumpet is highly poisonous, including the leaves, flowers, seeds and roots. All contain the toxic alkaloids scopolamine, atropine and hyoscyamine, which are widely synthesized into modern medicinal compounds but are deadly poisonous if used outside a doctor's supervision.

My advise is to use gloves when you are repotting, pruning, or handling flowers. Take care around dogs and children as you would with foxglove or similar. Wash your hands once you have finished.

With this simple caution, the Brugmansia flowers can be enjoyed in your garden all summer long.

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