A showstopping shrub that transforms any space into a tropical getaway, angel's trumpet boasts huge, pendulous blooms that perfume the air after sunset. And with its unique trumpet-shape flowers and quick-growing nature, this exotic beauty offers a multitude of reasons to give it a try in your own garden.
In a warm climate, angel's trumpet can quickly grow several feet in just one season. And if the plant has a fair amount of sun, it will produce blooms all summer long.
When planting your angel's trumpet, look for areas with moist, well-drained soil. The plant will thrive during summer's warm days and cooler nights.
The overall plant habit of angel's trumpet differs quite a bit by personal preference, variety, and general training style. Most variations form small trees with a central stem that eventually branches out into a nice canopy. If left to their own devices, plants will send up suckers at the base, which can take away from the single-stem tree effect. And when unkept, angel's trumpet can create a thicket with major blooming potential. However, if you prefer to maintain a more treelike look, simply remove the suckers as you notice them popping up on the plant's base.
Related: Guide to Growing Tropical Plants
Several angel's trumpet varieties are amenable to container culture. These plants tend to be much shorter and offer more of a low-maintenance, shrub-type habit—making them a great choice for cold-winter regions. Enjoy angel's trumpet year-round by keeping the potted plant outdoors throughout the summer and bringing the pot inside when the mercury plummets.
Fabulous, Fragrant Flowers
Angel's trumpet blooms hang in wonderful masses and sometimes explode all at once for quite a spectacular show. Flowers in sheaths of green quickly grow into long tubes that later burst open at the end, like a swirling skirt.
The range of angel's trumpet hues are as varied as the plants themselves—saturated oranges, soft yellows, bright pinks, and crisp whites round out the spectrum of colors.
If the stunning visual appeal of angel's trumpet isn't enough to make you fall head over heels, try planting it indoors near your favorite nighttime hangout spot. You'll fall in love with the intoxicating fragrance that wafts from these beauties after sunset. Try it as a fragrant houseplant, too!
Angel's trumpet leaves are medium green in color, fairly large, and differ slightly with each variety. Some plants have smooth-edge leaves, while others showcase more serrated leaves. A few angel's trumpet varieties have variegated foliage. For example, Snowbank angel's trumpet has leaves featuring deep-green centers with mid-green edges and a bright-cream outer border.
Related: Garden Plants with a Tropical Flair
If you'd like to share angel's trumpet with family and friends, simply cut a tip from the plant and remove all but a few small leaves at the top. Stick your cutting into moist soil, and keep it in a humid environment; the plant should root in just a few weeks.
Plant Angel's Trumpet with Caution
All parts of the angel's trumpet plant are poisonous. So be sure to take care when planting, and avoid areas were children or pets frequent. Also, it's a good idea to check local restrictions before planting angel's trumpet, as several communities have banned it.
More Varieties of Angel's Trumpet
Brugmansia arborea is an open treelike plant with 6-inch-long trumpet-shape white flowers with a delicate scent. It grows 6-12 feet tall.
Brugmansia 'Charles Grimaldi', a very large and vigorous cultivar, has 12-inch-long orange-yellow flowers that are fragrant at night. It flowers in summer and fall. 'Charles Grimaldi' grows 12 feet tall and 12 feet wide.
Brugmansia 'Double White' is a hybrid with pure-white double blooms. The plant is intermediate in height between common angel's trumpet and yellow angel's trumpet.
Brugmansia 'Grand Marnier' produces peachy pink flowers with strongest fragrance at night. Blooms may be nearly a foot long.
Brugmansia 'Mango Crush' produces large, mango-peach pink flowers. Outdoors in the tropics it can grow 15 feet or more; in containers, it usually grows about 6 feet tall.
Angel's Trumpet Companion Plants
Few flowers are as showy as celosia. Whether you plant the plumed type, which produces striking upright spires, or the crested type, which has a fascinating twisted form, you'll love using celosia in bouquets. The flowers are beautiful fresh, but you can also dry them easily. And they bloom in all the colors of a glowing sunset. Plant established seedlings in spring after all danger of frost has passed. Celosia likes rich, well-drained soil with moderate water. Spider mites can sometimes be a problem in hot, dry weather. Shown here: New Look celosia
Daylilies are so easy to grow that you'll often find them growing in ditches and fields, escapees from gardens. And yet they look so delicate, producing glorious trumpet-shape blooms in myriad colors. In fact, there are some 50,000 named hybrid cultivars in a range of flower sizes (the minis are very popular), forms, and plant heights. Some are fragrant. The flowers are borne on leafless stems. Although each bloom lasts but a single day, superior cultivars carry numerous buds on each scape so bloom time is long, especially if you deadhead daily. The strappy foliage may be evergreen or deciduous. Shown here: 'Little Grapette' daylily
Want fast color for just pennies? Plant zinnias! A packet of seeds will fill an area with gorgeous flowers in an amazing array of shapes and colors — even green! And it will happen in just weeks. There are dwarf types of zinnias, tall types, quill-leaf cactus types, spider types, multicolor, special seed blends for cutting, special blends for attracting butterflies, and more. Zinnias are so highly attractive to butterflies that you can count on having these fluttering guests dining in your garden every afternoon. But to attract the most, plant lots of tall red or hot pink zinnias in a large patch. 'Big Red' is especially nice for this, and the flowers are outstanding, excellent for cutting. Zinnias grow quickly from seed sown right in the ground and do best in full sun with dry to well-drained soil.