Brugmansia suaveolens flowers

Brugmansia suaveolens flowers

Brugmansia suaveolens or Angel’s Trumpet is a small tree or shrub native to south-west Brazil.

It is a profusely flowering plant with magnificent, huge flowers that produce an intense perfume.

Growth is very fast.

Very easy to grow, as long as you provide plenty of water and fertilizer.

All parts of the plant are poisonous.

Description:

Brugmansia suaveolens is a small tree or shrub with a central trunk that does not develop many branches.

The leaves are green, oval and measure up to 25 cm long by 15 cm wide, sometimes more if the plant is placed in partial shade.

Flowers are pendulous and up to 30 cm long. They are pleasantly scented and usually white, sometimes pale yellow. The corolla has 5 curved up points. Flowering is profuse and lasts almost all year. If they are brought indoors for the winter flowering may resume indoors.

The fruits are 10-15 cm long and rough, containing many seeds.

Nomenclature:

Common name:

Angel’s trumpet

Synonyms:

Datura albidoflava, Datura arborea, Datura gardneri, Datura suaveolens, Datura suaveolens f. albidoflava, Datura suaveolens

Etymology:

Brugmansia: after Sebald Justinus Brugmans (1763-1819), a Dutch professor of natural history.
Suaveolens: from the Latin suāve (sweet, pleasant) and olēns (smelling)

Origin:

South-west Brazil (based on cultivation as no wild specimens exist)

Habitat:

In culture and local escape from gardens at lower than 1.000 m altitude, often in wet, swampy areas.



Hardiness:

USDA zone 10-11

Brugmansia suaveolens

Brugmansia suaveolens

Care:

Soil:

Rich and well drained

Exposure:

Full sun preferred, semi-shade (especially in warmer climates)

Watering:

They require extensive watering during the growing season: at least once a day or 2 times per day in case of heat wave.

Be careful though not to have the substrate very wet all the time: plan a gravel layer at the bottom for good drainage and avoid saucers under the pots so as not to have the pot in standing water.

In winter, watering can be spaced, let the soil dry between watering but not to much otherwise your plant will die. You will see the leaves become more flaccid when they need water.

Fertilizer:

Brugmansia suaveolens is a plant with extremely fast growth. It therefore needs a lot of fertilizer in order to obtain this development in your garden or on your terrace or patio.

A fertilizer for roses or geraniums is the ideal fertilizer but any other fertilizer (universal, agricultural …) will do.

Choose a liquid fertilizer to be diluted in water because solid fertilizers release nutrients too slowly for Brugmansia’s rapid development.

Never provide fertilizer if the substrate is dry, the roots might be burned.

During growing season, fertilize weekly.

Heat:

Brugmansia suaveolens loves the summer heat. Bring them outside around March-April but only during the day to harden them. As soon as the danger of frost is over, around May-June, you can leave them outside.

In winter, put them in a room where the temperature is ideally around 13 °C and does not fall below 5 °C.

Limit watering without letting the root ball dry out completely, the plant would die.

Pruning:

You can prune the plant but the pruning will limit the next bloom.

Propagation:

Seed, cutting or layering.

Sowing:

  • soak seeds 1-2 days in warm water: in a Thermos flask, in a pot over a heater or other quite hot place quite, in a mini-heated greenhouse or heated aquarium type case
  • sow seed in a very light soil
  • the general rule is to cover the seed with a layer of soil about the thickness of the seed
  • sow seeds in a single pot that you put in an aquarium, mini-greenhouse or enclose the pot in a zip-lock plastic bag or cover type of plastic wrap that you hold with a rubber band, which keeps a good moisture without need to water regularly
  • maintain a temperature of 20-36 °C
  • germination: 2-3 weeks to several months
  • seedlings can be transplanted when they have 2-3 leaves in a humus rich soil.

Cutting:

  • cut off a piece of stem (10-15 cm) by cutting above the first point of fork of a branch: these cuttings will flower more quickly than those taken below the first point of the fork.
  • get rid of lower leaves
  • soak the cut end in rooting hormone (optional)
  • plant in light soil
  • moisten
  • cover with a plastic bag
  • another method is to cut a plastic soda bottle to one third of the height. After having planted the cuttings, put the top part over the lower part, it will make you a very cheap mini-greenhouse
  • keep out of the sun
  • if the cuttings are kept warm, rooting takes place in two weeks. Otherwise it may take up to six weeks.

Layering:

  • cut a branch at 2/3
  • dip in rooting hormone (optional)
  • surround the nick with compost or peat
  • surround with cloth
  • moisten the whole thing
  • pack in a plastic bag
  • roots will appear in 2 to 6 weeks
  • when the rooting is done, cut the stem to separate the new plant from the parent plant

Image sources

  • Brugmansia suaveolens flowers: Own work
  • Brugmansia suaveolens: Own work | CC BY 4.0

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