Brugmansia
Angel Trumpet

(4/5/10) I grew my first Brugmansia (Angel’s Trumpet) beside our pool in Florida. I purchased a small 6″ seedling from Burpee with little idea what to expect. I quickly learned that young Brugmansia’s are like teenagers. They are subject to astonishing growth spurts followed by unpredictable moments where they just sit there doing nothing and pout. They loudly proclaim that they all they need is the same care as any other plant, better yet, just leave them alone. In reality you can’t, and shouldn’t, take your eye off them, especially the watering. They greedily consume all the moisture they can find, like a teenager standing in front of an open refrigerator. And if you neglect their water for a second they will quietly sulk and wilt before your eyes. But fear not, they are also tough. There were several times when I neglected my Brugmansia in the Florida heat and it wilted horribly. However, with an ample application of water, it came right back, but with the threat that if I neglected it one too many more times, it would look elsewhere for a home. It also helps if you give them ample loamy soil and frequent applications of fertilizer.

Brugmansia

And 2 months later:

Brugmansia

And like any teenager, if you give them the right attention, they will flourish and reward you beyond your wildest expectations. The picture above is of my Florida Brugmansia at the height of its bloom.

So hoping to repeat my success in Florida, I purchased a Brugmansia sanguinea (Scarlet Angel’s Trumpet) from Annie’s Annuals in early March 2010 (picture to the right).  After about a month it has added a foot in height and is well on its way to being a 6′ to 8′ tall tree.

(Update 4/16/10) Keeping with the teenager metaphor, my Brug is putting out an amazing growth spurt. Eleven days later (see picture on the left) it has added at least another foot in height and is in the initial stages of looking more like a tree. The branches are still tender and, with the late winter storms that barrel through San Francisco Bay and the blustery winds from the summer fog, I’ve had to add some stakes for extra support.

I am amazed at how durable Brugmansias are in the Bay Area. There is a massive planting of Angel’s Trumpet in Union Square in San Francisco that were in full bloom in the midst of the Christmas holidays. Hopefully, mine will survive as well.

(Update 4/28/10) My teenager seems to have developed hormonal problems. A few days ago I discovered to my surprise that the Brugmansia had set two blossoms. I wasn’t expecting any flowers for at least another three or four months. So, to say that the plant (much less its owner) is happy would be an understatement.

 

 

 

Brugmansia sanguinea

Brugmansia sanguinea

(Update 5/11/10) Another two weeks,  another six inches of growth and yet another bloom. The growth on this plant is astounding!

(Update 7/30/10) Adolescence has passed and the Brug is entering the early stages of adulthood. Vertically, it has only grown a foot in the past six weeks. However, in terms of horizontal growth, it is beginning to set the initial branch pattern for the canopy.

Brugmansia sanguinea
The Brugmansia has also lost most of the leaves along the slender trunk and taken on a more tree-like appearance. There are a few buds just beginning to set, so I’m expecting the nest display of flowers some time in late August or early September.
(Update 08/22/2010) The Brugmansia has obliged with its first full set of blossoms. I still need to do some work with pruning to get a fuller tree form on top and coax along the lower branches to fill out the bottom.
Brugmansia sanguinea ‘Scarlet Angel’s Trumpet’