Feeding Angels Trumpet: When And How To Fertilize Brugmansias

White Angels Trumpet Flowers
(Image credit: kemmudsudsakorn)

If there ever was a flower you just had to grow, brugmansia is it. The plant is in the toxic Datura family so keep it away from children and pets, but the massive blooms are nearly worth any risk. The plant produces a season long display of 6 to 8 inch (15-20 cm.) trumpet-shaped blooms in hues of pink, yellow, and white. Knowing how to fertilize brugmansias will enhance and extend the parade of these brilliantly colored flowers.

Feeding Angel's Trumpet

Brugmansia is also known as angel's trumpet because of the large drooping blooms. The plant can grow to a massive shrub in good lighting and, with good care, up to 8 to 10 feet (2-3 m.) tall. The blooms release an intoxicating scent in the night air, adding to their angelic mien. Brugmansia is a voracious feeder and thrives when fed frequently. Plant food enhances most plant's growth by providing extra macro-nutrients not found in soil-- nitrogenphosphorus, and potassium-- which are commonly found NPK ratios on fertilizer products.

  • N - The first number on any fertilizer formula is the nitrogen, which directs strong plant growth and stem and leaf formation.
  • P - The second number is phosphorus, which assists with bloom and fruit production.
  • K - The third number, potassium, enhances roots and overall plant health.

The type of fertilizer for brugmansia depends upon the time of development. During initial growth, use a balanced fertilizer such as a 20-20-20. By the time buds begin to form, alternate with one higher in phosphorus to promote bigger, lustier blooms.

When to Feed Brugmansia Plants

Every two weeks is when to feed brugmansia according to the American Brugmansia and Datura Society. Angel's trumpet requires high amounts of additional nutrients to achieve maximum size and blooms. Use the all-purpose fertilizer once per week during its start-up period, then begin the higher phosphorus formula once per week about three to four weeks before bloom time. The best type of fertilizer for brugmansia is a water soluble one, which is readily available for the plant to uptake. Start at half dilutions when the plant is little and graduate to the full dose once the plant is mature. Water any fertilizer in well.

How to Fertilize Brugmansias

Young brugmansia can take two to three years to flower from a hybrid cross. Most nurseries sell them ready to bloom, but if you are self-propagating, your young plant will need special care. Besides the macro-nutrients your young plant needs:

You can find these in a good, all-purpose, plant food starter. These are easy to apply either as a foliar drench or watered into soil. When young plants are ready to repot, use a time-release fertilizer mixed into the soil for slow, gradual nutrient release. Feeding angel's trumpet frequently will result in big, spectacular bloom shows all summer long.

Bonnie L. Grant

Bonnie Grant is a professional landscaper with a Certification in Urban Gardening. She has been gardening and writing for 15 years. A former professional chef, she has a passion for edible landscaping.