Georgia Gardener Newsletter Cool Plant: October 16, 2008

Angel's Trumpet
Brugmansia spp.

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Species Native Range: South America
Hardiness: USDA Zones 7-11
Mature Size: 5-8 feet tall and wide
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Soil: Rich, moist but well-drained
Drought Tolerance: Good

Angel's trumpet is an old pass along plant that has been used in southern gardens for generations. Although technically considered a shrub (in zones 9 and warmer), it behaves as a tender perennial in northern Georgia and will die back to the ground each winter. Despite having to get a fresh start each spring, plants easily grow to six or more feet by late summer when they begin to produce 12-inch or longer fragrant, downward-pointing, trumpet-shaped flowers until frost. The flowers come in a wide range of colors and there are several double-petaled varieties available. This plant is related to the tomato and all parts are poisonous. Do not confuse angel's trumpet with devil's trumpet (aka jimson weed - Datura spp.) which has upward-pointing trumpet flowers.

Plant angel's trumpet in full sun to partial shade in well-amended soil. Allow plenty of space for full growth. As frost approaches, these plants are easily propagated from 12-inch cuttings that will root in water when placed in a warm location. Plant rooted cuttings outdoors in the spring. Cut the plants to the ground after the first hard frost and cover with additional mulch.

Grow angel's trumpet in a perennial bed or shrub border. Try to place the plants in a location where their fragrance can be enjoyed. Good companion plants include asters, mums, knockout roses, late-flowering salvias, etc.


Angel's trumpet has regained popularity and can be found at some retail nurseries, by mail order and also from individual gardeners through the Georgia Farmers and Consumers Market Bulletin.

Plant Delights Nursery: mail order
Park Seed: mail order
van Bourgondien: mail order

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