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November 2012

QuestionI have a 10' Angel Trumpet (Datura Brugmansia) planted in my backyard. How should I winterize? Some say to cut down and it'll come back. Others say leave it and it will grow onto a tree.


 AnswerThere are two plants called angels trumpet, and you have included both into one name. Datura is one and Brugmansia is another. Datura will overwinter outdoors almost statewide, but they do die back to the ground with a hard freeze. They come back and can grow the next season and then bloom next summer, but rarely do they grow taller than 4 feet or so. Their flowers grow upright and are usually white or purple. Brugmansia is typically the one that grows like a small tree or large shrub, and it is not quite as winter hardy as Datura, but it will overwinter in protected spots in NW Arkansas and does well in central and southern Arkansas. It comes in white, pink, yellow or apricot color and its large flowers hang down. If you want it to be a small tree and bloom earlier, then moving it inside or to a protected spot in a garage to prevent freezing would be called for.

August 2012

QuestionI have an angel trumpet that I rooted from a cutting. When and how much do I cut it back in the fall? Is there a special way I need to cut it to make cuttings?


AnswerAngel trumpet is the common name for Brugmansia and Datura. Brugmansia is less winter hardy than Datura which is hardy statewide. If you live in central Arkansas, you can plant the Brugmansia in the ground and let it die to the ground in the fall and hopefully come back next spring. Or you can leave it in the container and move the pot inside and use as a houseplant, put in a greenhouse if you have access to one, or store it in the garage for winter protection. If the plant is protected and doesn't die to the ground, it will become a larger plant next season and bloom earlier. It can be left whole or cut back. If planted in the ground, it will freeze to the ground with a killing frost, but you can take cuttings before that occurs. If you do cut it back, it roots readily –make the cuttings 3-4 inches in length.

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