Brugmansia, more commonly known as angel's trumpet, is a large perennial flowering plant that produces huge trumpet-shaped flowers ranging in colour from yellow to pink to white. Brugmansia is sometimes called dartura, which is another botanical name used for the same plant. Brugmansia is typically grown as an ornamental plant in the home garden, and is easy to maintain in most climates with only minimal care. It can be left outdoors year round in zones 10-11, but may need winter protection in cooler zones.
Plant brugmansia in spring after all danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed. Purchase plants in 1- or 5-gallon containers from a local nursery or garden centre for the best results. Choose a planting location with full sun and loamy, well-drained soil. Dig a planting hole equal in size to the container. Remove the brugmansia plant from the pot, gently spread the roots, place the plant into the hole and back fill with soil. Space plants 6 to 10 feet apart to allow plenty of room for growth, as angel's trumpet can become quite large with proper care.
Water brugmansia thoroughly just after planting to compact the soil and encourage growth. Continue watering deeply and infrequently, usually about once per week. Angel's trumpet will not die if the soil is allowed to dry out for a period of time, but it will produce fewer flowers when adequate moisture is not provided. If brugmansia plants begin to drop leaves or turn yellow, this is an indication that they aren't receiving enough water.
Apply a 2-inch layer of organic mulch around the base of brugmansia plants to conserve moisture and provide insulation for the roots. Use humus mulch or organic compost for the greatest degree of moisture conservation. Mulch can be applied any time, but is especially effective during harsh summer and winter temperatures. Replenish the mulch layer as necessary to keep it about 2 inches thick at all times.
Feed brugmansia plants once per year in late winter, just before the beginning of spring growth. This will encourage prolific blooming and more attractive foliage. Use a granular fertiliser with an NPK ratio of 6-10-4 or similar. Apply according to the manufacturer's instructions for proper dosage, and then water thoroughly to prevent root burn.
Brugmansia cannot tolerate freezing temperatures, and will need to be brought indoors during winter in zones 9 and under. Dig up the plant in late fall before the first frost of winter. Use pruning shears to trim it back to solid wood, and then plant in a large container filled with high-quality potting soil. Place the container in a basement or garage with a consistent temperature of around 10 degrees C. Allow the brugmansia plant to remain until spring, watering only when the soil is completely dry. The plant will enter dormancy and require little care until it is time to replant.
Brugmansia is highly toxic if ingested and should not be planted in reach of curious children or pets. While it is generally safe to handle the plant without protection, always wash your hands thoroughly after touching the plant to avoid contamination. Do not use the flowers in cut-flower arrangements.