Originally I am from NJ, you know – ‘The Garden State’. Now, I’m not knocking NJ there are many, many things I love about it but when I first came to California I could not believe what I was seeing. Nature is huge out here, whether it’s the Pacific Ocean with enormous boulders jutting out or whether it’s plants that are growing wildly in almost every yard. This brugmansia is one of my all time favorites/I-can’t-believe-it exists-it’s-so-damn-beautiful plants. Totally amazing what grows in this climate. This particular plant is growing over the sidewalk around the corner from my house and it forms a tunnel that is intertwined with roses and kiwi vines. A lovely urban arbor. I also have this plant in my yard right under my bedroom window so I can go to sleep and wake up to the amazing scent of its flowers. It’s really very easy to propagate…and as I move often, I believe that the plant outside my window is on it’s 5th round of moving with me.I simply snip off a cutting and plant it straight in the ground or a pot. I keep the area moist for a while and then it pretty much takes care of itself. At first the leaves will die back and wither (remember this is a high drama plant), but it will come on full force and grow a few feet in the first year. At least here it will. I have also heard of people rooting it in water first, which I think I’ll try next.
The beauty above is also in my yard and is really stunning. Before the flower unfurls it is a waxy deep red color. Brugmansias are really easy to care for and they enjoy partial to full sun. I’ve seen them grow as tall as 15′ and 10′ wide here and often they are loaded with blooms. There must be about 50 on the orange one right now.
Now, this plant is poisonous and it can be more toxic or less toxic according to where it’s growing. So be careful around kids or pets. The flowers and seeds are most toxic. I have a friend who was pulling the dead blooms off by hand without gloves while looking up at the plant and she went to the hospital because her pupils dilated and stayed that way, for hours. She was ultimately fine, but you do have to pay attention.
There’s often some confusion about the name, a while ago it was called datura and then now it’s officially brugmansia, but most commonly when I talk about it people respond to Angel Trumpet. Brugmansias have pendulous flowers as you can see from the pictures and are more woody. Daturas have a flower that is similar in shape but that faces skyward and is more herbaceous.
Whenever I think of moving it’s this plant that really throws a big wrench into my plans. I can’t imagine having a home without it being a resident in my garden!