Angel’s trumpet, formerly known as Datura but now known as Brugmansia, is an impressive plant that draws a lot of attention with its large flowers. The angel’s trumpet is therefore extremely popular as a container plant, even if it has fallen into disrepute due to its hallucinogenic effect, it can enrich the balcony and terrace with an eye-catcher. However, the plant, also known as thorn apple, needs the right care, which is not possible without effort.


Suitable and comparatively robust types of Datura are:

  • Brugmansia arborea
  • Brugmansia aurea
  • B. x candida
  • B. suaveolens
  • B. versicolor

Hybrids of these species are also characterized by relatively low demands on culture and at the same time comparatively high resilience. Therefore, they are also suitable for beginners and anyone who does not have the greenest thumb.

On the other hand, the following are more susceptible and demanding and therefore only suitable for outspoken plant lovers:

  • Brugmansia x flava
  • B. sanguinea
  • B. volcanic

These usually require more heat and a separate substrate, and special care must be taken when watering. Their susceptibility to damage from waterlogging and viruses is very high, which means that you have to be very careful here.


The Datura likes to be spoiled by heat and sun, so the location must be correspondingly bright and protected. The Brugmansia tolerates full sun very well, but not shade, cold and wind. Caution is therefore required in the garden. The south side is ideal, or a balcony protected from strong wind and rain.

Culture in the bucket

It is not recommended to plant the angel’s trumpet freely in the garden. Even in rather mild winters, she would not survive the cold season here. It is also unfavorable to dig them up again and again. Instead, a bucket should be chosen that corresponds in volume to the size of the plant.

Tip: Plastic should be used as the material, as unlike clay, this does not increase evaporation. This reduces the later casting effort.


When it comes to the substrate, the Brugmansia is surprisingly frugal. Potting soil interspersed with well-rotted compost is optimal. If you cannot use compost, you can also use potting soil.
In any case, it is important that the substrate meets the following requirements:

  • Moderately loose and permeable
  • Good water retention
  • Nutritious

In addition, a drainage layer should be placed under the ground in the bucket to reliably prevent waterlogging even with the necessary abundant watering – because the angel’s trumpet is just as sensitive to this as it is to drought.


The Brugmansia lets the leaves droop very quickly when it is dry and therefore suffers in a very short time, especially in hot, dry places. Regular watering is therefore essential and often even more than once a day in summer. The angel’s trumpet is also not particularly picky when it comes to watering, at least when it comes to the hardness of the water. Tap water can therefore be used, even if it is hard.

Note: Due to the high water consumption and high evaporation in summer, the watering effort should not be underestimated. However, a layer of gravel or mulch on the substrate can reduce evaporation and thus the effort required.


Whether soft rainwater or hard tap water – the degree of hardness of the irrigation water should be known. Since the Datura consumes a lot of nutrients due to its size, the willingness to flower and the relatively fast growth, it must be fertilized accordingly. In order to avoid risking a shortage or an undersupply and to keep the pH value of the substrate in healthy ranges, the fertilization must be adapted to the hardness of the water.

In any case, a flower fertilizer is used. With soft water, however, this should counteract the lowering of the pH value. With normal and hard water, on the other hand, agents that lower the pH value should be used. The fertilizers from Hakaphos, for example, are well suited for this.

Alternatively, the angel’s trumpet can also be fertilized with compost, horn shavings, pond water and plant manure. However, the quality of the floor should then be checked continuously. Fertilization should be carried out from April to August at least every two weeks. With daily watering, even up to twice a week is best.

flower care

Withered flowers must be removed so that the Datura can keep flowering. It is not necessary to cut it off, it is sufficient to snip off the dried parts with your fingers. However, gloves must be worn, as all parts of the plant are poisonous.
In addition, the flowers should be disposed of in such a way that neither children nor animals can get to them.


Basically, the angel’s trumpets do not need a hibernation if they get a suitable location. Heated conservatories with a minimum temperature of 15°C are suitable, but other bright and warm rooms are also suitable. Of course, the plants still have to be watered and fertilized.
If such a warm area is not available, the Datura can also be overwintered in a cooler place. But it still has to be at least 8°C. In addition, a bright room or near a window is necessary. Fertilization is stopped during winter storage between 8°C and about 12°C. Watering continues, but sparingly and in such a way that there is no waterlogging. It is therefore advisable to water regularly in very small amounts.

The Brugmansia is brought into the house when the outside temperature falls to 12 °C. In spring it can be brought outside again as soon as the last frost is over.


The angel’s trumpet can easily be trimmed from spring to summer as soon as it gets too big. Only a third of the length of the shoot needs to remain. However, there is still something to consider with the adult plants if the flower is not to suffer from the clippings.

Brugmansia shoots are divided into growing and flowering sections. You can tell them apart by their leaves. If the shoots are capable of flowering, the leaves appear more asymmetrical. If they are not yet, they appear symmetrical. If you want as many flowers as quickly as possible, you should only cut symmetrically leafy areas. If this is not possible due to the size, it can simply be shortened all around. The plant may then need a little longer to bloom again, but otherwise tolerates the measure without any problems.

Incidentally, the resulting shoot tips do not have to be disposed of, but can be used directly for propagation.
Apart from that, you should pay attention to your own safety when cutting the Datura. The following points should be considered:

  • Wear impervious gloves to safely avoid skin contact
  • Thoroughly clean cutting tools before and after cutting
  • Dispose of plant remains in such a way that neither children nor animals come into contact with them

Propagation via cuttings

As already mentioned, the Brugmansia can be propagated by cuttings. This requires head cuttings that are at least 15 cm long. These can come from the flowering area, i.e. have asymmetrical leaves. However, buds or even flowers may not be present.
With the right cuttings, the propagation of the angel’s trumpet is very easy. The tips are put in potting soil or a mixture of potting soil and sand and the substrate is kept moist. If new shoots appear, the young plant can be repotted in the substrate described above. Due to the rapid growth, this is usually the case very quickly.

As an alternative to potting soil, it is also possible to place the cuttings in water. However, care must be taken to ensure that no rot occurs.

Propagation via seeds

In addition to propagation via cuttings, germinating seeds of the angel’s trumpet is also possible. Of course, this requires a little more patience and effort. The following procedure leads to success:

  1. Soak the seeds in water for about two days while keeping them warm.
  2. Prepare a planter with coconut fiber and insert the swollen seeds one centimeter deep.
  3. Wet the substrate well and cover it to protect against evaporation, for example with a pane of glass or a transparent film. Alternatively, a room greenhouse can be used.
  4. As a location you have to choose a bright and warm place. On this, germination usually begins within three weeks.
  5. As soon as a few leaves appear on the young plants, they can be isolated. However, with great caution, as they are very sensitive. Cultivation or plant soil mixed with sand is suitable as a substrate.
  6. The next substrate change is due when a size of about 20 cm is reached.

In the first year, the young plants should be as warm as possible. The temperature must never fall below 8°C. A culture in the house, conservatory or greenhouse is therefore advisable. In addition, it should be fertilized frequently.


Das Umtopfen der Engelstrompete ist immer dann notwendig, wenn sich Wurzeln am Boden des Pflanzgefäßes zeigen oder der Kübel aufgrund der Größe der Datura nicht mehr standsicher ist. Gewählt werden sollte dann in jedem Fall ein Kübel, der nur geringfügig größer ist. Bei einer zu schnellen Vergrößerung und nicht ausreichend durchwurzelter Erde ist die Gefahr für Staunässe und damit für Wurzelfäule erhöht. Das Einbringen von Kokosfaser ins Substrat und eine Drainageschicht, beispielweise aus Tonscherben, kann das Risiko reduzieren.

Umgetopft wird im Frühjahr, nachdem die Brugmansia wieder ins Freie darf. Die Maßnahme kann je nach Bedarf jährlich, sollte aber spätestens aller drei Jahre durchgeführt werden. Das ist schon für die Nährstoffversorgung und die Wasserspeicherkraft ratsam. Bei Bedarf können übrigens auch die Wurzeln eingekürzt werden.

Tip: Whoever removes the old substrate completely reduces the risk of diseases and pests.

Caution: poisonous!

All parts of the angel’s trumpet are poisonous and therefore only partially suitable for households and gardens with small children and pets. If dogs and cats like to tear at plants, if rabbits or guinea pigs run free in the garden or if the children play hard from time to time or put things in their mouths out of curiosity – you should reconsider the purchase of the plant. Because of the size, it’s difficult to place them safely out of reach.

Common care mistakes, diseases and pests

Mistakes in care occur mainly when watering and fertilizing, but can usually be easily remedied and avoided if you follow the care described.

The Datura is particularly vulnerable to pests. In particular:

  • aphids
  • leaf bugs
  • Red Spider
  • caterpillars
  • spider mites
  • white flies

All of these can be easily combated and eliminated with commercially available or even household remedies.

The situation is different with the diseases of the angel’s trumpet. In particular, a viral infection typical of the species can quickly become fatal. It first manifests itself as yellow-brown spots on the leaves and stunted growth. If the affected areas are removed as soon as possible, the plant can still have a chance. Nevertheless, if several Brugmansias are present, they should be isolated to prevent infection. Prevention is possible by only using disinfected cutting tools and treating an infestation with pests immediately. Because these are the sources of infection.

Conclusion Caring
for the Datura requires a relatively large amount of effort in terms of watering and fertilizing, but other than that, cultivation is not difficult. The Brugmansia is also suitable for beginners without green thumbs and experience. However, if you want to do without constant watering, you are not well advised to do so.

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