By Nikki Phipps
(Author of The Bulb-o-licious Garden)
While most types of brugmansia, or angel trumpets, can thrive year round outdoors in warmer climates, they need to be protected from freezing temperatures, especially when growing brugmansia in cold climates. Therefore, wintering brugmansia indoors is oftentimes recommended. Follow these tips for over-wintering brugmansia in your home.
Growing Brugmansia in Cold Climates
Over-wintering brugmansia indoors is an important part of brugmansia maintenance in cold climates. To make this endeavor easier, it’s usually better to grow brugmansia plants in containers. Container grown plants can be easily moved indoors for brugmansia winter care.
Brugmansia Winter Care Preparation
Prior to bringing brugmansia indoors for winter dormancy, it is usually a good idea cut the plant back. Likewise, outdoor brugmansia plants in warmer climates should also be cut back to the ground and mulched generously. To ensure continuous plants, in the event something goes wrong, you may also want to consider rooting the cuttings taken during pruning.
Once temperatures drop below 50 degrees F. outside, it is time to take steps for wintering brugmansia. Place the plant in a dark, poorly lit location, such as the basement or even a closet, for winter storage. Less light and cooler temperatures (above 40 degrees but under 50) are important for dormancy. Continue to water brugmansia sparingly, about once a month, to prevent the plant from drying out completely. However, do not fertilize it. Allow brugmansia to enter dormancy as normal. Complete leaf drop during this time is normal for brugmansia over winter.
Wintering Brugmansia as Houseplants
Some people prefer to grow brugmansia over winter as houseplants rather than allowing them to go dormant. This is fine. While some species of brugmansia may continue to develop buds throughout winter, in order to encourage blooming, the brugmansia will require significant light. Place brugmansia in a south-facing window where it will receive plenty of sunlight and treat it as a houseplant throughout winter, watering about once a week.
Likewise, they can be placed in a greenhouse. While the plant may begin dropping leaves once it’s brought indoors, this is a normal response and nothing to be concerned about.
Growing brugmansia in cold climates requires a little extra effort, but it is well worth it in order to have these lovely plants in your garden year after year.