How To Grow And Care For Angel's Trumpet

This easy-to-grow flower will make your heart sing until the first frost.

Angel's Trumpets
Photo: William Dickey

An old-fashioned pass-along plant, the angel's trumpet has long found favor in the South's coastal and frost-free climates. In these regions, mature plants reach 15 feet tall, with their heaviest flowering time extending from late summer into fall. Gardeners in cooler temperatures can have the same results by growing one in a container. Before the first frost, move the pot to a heated garage or basement to wait out the cold winter months. It will drop leaves, so light is not a concern during this rest period.

Everything about an angel's trumpet is dramatic: Pendulous floral bells sway gracefully from sturdy branches, perfuming the sultry evening air with fabulous scent. Its celestial color chart ranges from pristine white to peachy pink and creamy yellow, and mature specimens put on a truly stellar show in full bloom. But the drama stops with appearance—this is one easy plant to grow. However, it is considered an invasive weed in some areas, so be mindful of where you grow this plant. Plus, it is toxic to dogs, cats, and people, so be careful when handling it and do not eat it.

Plant Attributes

  • Common Name: Angel's trumpet, Devil's Trumpet, Brugmansia, Trumpet of Death, Moonflower
  • Botanical Name: Brugmansia
  • Family: Solanaceae
  • Plant Type: Perennial, Shrub, Tree
  • Mature Size: 15-20 ft. tall (outdoor), 4-15 ft. tall (indoors)
  • Sun Exposure: Full
  • Soil Type: Well-drained, Moist, Loamy
  • Soil pH: Slightly Acidic to Neutral (5.5 to 7.0)
  • Bloom Time: Spring, Summer, Fall
  • Flower Color: Red, Pink, Orange, Yellow, White
  • Hardiness Zones: Choose from Zones 9-12 (USDA)
  • Native Area: South America
  • Toxicity: toxic to pets, toxic to people

Angel's Trumpets Care

Angel's trumpets ( Brugmansia sp.) are sun-loving, fast-growing plants. They appreciate light afternoon shade in the Lower South, while in the Middle and Upper South, they welcome all of summer's warmth. Angel's trumpet plants need well-drained soil. When growing one in a pot, make sure the container has a large hole in the bottom to allow easy water passage. Plenty of water and fertilizer are necessary to keep these plants blooming because of the rapid growth rate.


Since angel's trumpet is native to tropical environments, it requires at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight daily. This plant will tolerate partial sunlight in humid or dry climates, especially in the afternoon.


Angel's trumpet thrives in most soil conditions as long as it is well-draining. The soil should be well-aerated. It is best to use a potting mix rich and dense in nutrients, such as a slow-release soil, and add compost or peat moss before planting.


If planted in containers, angel's trumpets require daily watering. But resist the temptation to keep the pot in a saucer of water—although moisture is vital, soggy soil is not what this plant likes. When planted outdoors, water angel's trumpet more frequently during droughts or high-temperature conditions.

Temperature and Humidity

Angel's trumpet thrives in warm weather since it is native to tropical regions. It will withstand moderate temperatures as long as it does not fall below 50°F. Plant angel's trumpet in containers and move it indoors before the first frost if you live in an area that experiences cold winters.


Angel's trumpets are heavy feeders, and a liquid, blossom-boosting fertilizer such as 15-30-15 or 10-50-10 keeps them producing flowers. Water with plant food at least every other week, or more often if you'd like. Remember, you can't feed these plants too much, especially if planted in containers.

Types of Angel's Trumpet

  • Brugmansia suaveolens: Native to Brazil, this flower is known as White Angel Trumpet, Angel's Tears, and Snowy Angel's Trumpet. It produces yellow, pink, or usually white flowers with oval leaves.
  • Brugmansia aurea: Known as the Golden Angel's Trumpet, this species develops large yellow and white pendent flowers that bloom in the summer and autumn in the Northern Hemisphere. It is also fragrant, most potent at night.
  • Brugmansia versicolor: Commonly found in Ecuador, this species has oblong, smooth leaves with flowers that start blooming as white and often turn peach, pink, and apricot as it ages.


Since angel's trumpet produces flowers and constantly grows, pruning the older branches help keep this plant from overcrowding while also encouraging new growth. It is considered an invasive weed in some regions because of how quickly it spreads, so prune this plant in the fall before dormancy to help maintain its shape and health.

Angel's trumpet is considered poisonous and can irritate your skin, so wear gloves and protective equipment when pruning. Look for the main trunk to determine which branches to prune—keep at least six to ten nodes on each branch to ensure new blooms the following season.

Propagating Angel's Trumpet

The best way to propagate an angel's trumpet is through cuttings—Select cuttings in the spring during the morning before it receives too much sun. Here is how to propagate from cuttings:

  1. Cut new stems sprouting from the plant's base, or save older branches when pruning the angel's trumpet.
  2. Trim each long stem into pieces that are six to eight inches in length. Make your cuts directly above raised nodes on the stem. The first piece will have leaves, while the others may not.
  3. Fill containers with moist potting soil and gently push the bottom of each stem into the mix, submerging half its length.
  4. Place the pots in a shady place, keeping the soil moist. Within several weeks, roots will form, and new leaves will emerge. Keep the plants in these containers until adequate root systems have developed. Pull gently on the stems to test readiness—they should be firmly anchored.

How to Grow Angel's Trumpet From Seed

  1. Angel's trumpet seeds are leggy so correctly planting them makes a big difference in the results. Depending on where you buy or harvest the seeds and their condition, pre-soaking them can help open up the seed coat.
  2. Next, fill a container with rich, potting soil and place the seeds below the top soil line but not too deep. Angel's trumpet needs sunlight to thrive, so burying the seeds too deep will inhibit the growth.
  3. Water immediately after planting and cover the container to help keep the temperature and humidity high. Continue watering throughout the growing process, so the soil is never dry. (Don't water-logged the seeds, either.)
  4. Keep the container in a warm, sunny area for three to four weeks. The room's temperature must be high enough for germination to occur. Using a grow light can help. (Place it a few inches above the soil.)
  5. Add fertilizer to help promote growth. (Use an organic, rich fertilizer.)
  6. Wait until after the final frost of the season before relocating the plant outdoors. You can start by placing the containers outdoors for a few hours daily to adjust them to the colder temperatures, but too much cold air too fast can shock the angel's trumpet—plant them in a permanent location with at least six to eight hours of sunlight daily.


Coarsely textured, large leaves complement the enormous blooms. Wind can cause problems for the broad foliage and elongated flowers, so choose a protected location when possible.

Over the winter, the angel's trumpet will go dormant. If you live in an area that experiences winters and cold temperatures below 50°F, bring the angel's trumpet plant indoors near a sunny window and continue watering it if you plan to keep it throughout the winter.

If you want it to go dormant for the winter, place the angel's trumpet in a container in a shady area—like a garage or basement—as long as it remains about 50°F. You won't need to water it as frequently, perhaps monthly, but as long as the trunk is green, you can still move it back outdoors in the spring. When temperatures increase as spring approaches, reacclimate the angel's trumpet to warmer conditions by exposing it to sunlight, watering, and fertilizing it.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases

Pests that affect angel's trumpet plants include whiteflies, cabbage worms, spider mites, and aphids. Treat these pests with insecticidal soap by lightly spraying the plant.

Fungal wilts such as fusarium and verticillium wilt can infect angel's trumpet through the roots, which then move up the stem, eventually wilting the leaves and preventing future growth. Maintaining healthy, disease-free soil will help avoid this from occurring.

How to Get Angel's Trumpet to Bloom

The best way to help angel's trumpet bloom is by balancing the correct amounts of water, sunlight, and fertilizer. Growing this plant from seeds can take some time to produce large blooms. Maintain healthy, nutrient-dense soil and give the plant enough space to grow.

Common Problems With Angel's Trumpet

Curling Leaves

If a fungal infection, such as fusarium or verticillium wilt, attacks the roots and is left unmanaged, this will travel up the plant's stem into the leaves, causing them to wilt. Planting angel's trumpet in healthy soil is the best way to prevent this from occurring as there is no cure.

Leaves Turning Black/Brown

Angel's trumpet can suffer from root rot if water intake is imbalanced. You want the soil to remain moist but never soaked or soggy. As the temperatures decrease, watering can be less frequent.

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