Potted Brugmansia Plants: Growing Brugmansias In Containers
Growing Brugmansias In Containers – Part 1: What Are They?
Brugmansia are succulents that grow in wooded areas. These plants have small leaves with many leaflets (petioles). Their flowers are white or pinkish red and they produce seeds, which look like little black berries.
The plant’s name comes from the Latin word “brugem,” meaning “little.”
They are native to tropical regions of South America, but they have been introduced into other countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Europe.
In their natural habitat, brugmansias require moist soil. However, when grown in containers they need dry soil.
For this reason, they are sometimes called containerized brugmansias.
If you want to grow them in your home garden, it is best if you have some sort of drainage system. If not, then the roots will rot out of the pot and eventually die due to lack of moisture.
Planting Brugmansia In Containers: How To Grow Them Indoors Or Outdoors?
Because brugmansia are from a tropical climate, they can grow quite large outside. They may be planted in the ground, or they may be grown in large pots. Some have been known to grow up to 15 feet tall!
However, they can also be grown indoors in containers as well. Containerizing brugmansia can be a bit tricky, but it can be done with proper care.
When planting brugmansia in containers make sure to use a good quality container that has drainage holes, such as a clay pot.
Brugmansia can grow quite large, so you may need a very big container! If you are planting multiple brugmansia in one container, make sure they have plenty of space between each other.
The larger the container, the more water it will hold, which means more time between watering.
You should keep in mind however that a very large container will be heavy when it is full of water. You will need to make sure the container you choose can actually be moved when it is full of water.
If you are growing multiple brugmansia in one container, keep in mind that they will get quite big. This means that the container will most likely be heavy when it is full of water!
Soil, Fertilizer And Mulching For Brugmansia In Pots
The type of soil you choose to plant brugmansia in is very important. If you choose the wrong type of soil, the plant will most likely develop a fungal infection.
Also, the wrong soil type may not allow for proper water drainage. This may result in root rot. Root rot can kill a brugmansia.
It is best to use cacti and succulent soil. This type of soil is lightweight and porous.
It drains well, yet retains moisture. You can buy cacti and succulent soil at most garden centers.
If you would rather make your own, here’s a recipe:
12 qts. of builders sand
3 qts. of horticultural charcoal
1 qt. of yucca extract
1 qt. of pulverized clay (orchid soil)
Mix the ingredients into the above order. Store the remaining soil in an airtight container, so it retains moisture.
When planting brugmansia in containers, you will need to fertilize them occasionally. You can use an all-purpose 20-20-20 fertilizer or a cacti and succulent fertilizer.
Follow the instructions on the package for proper measurements.
If you do not want to bother mixing your own soil or buying a bag of cacti and succulent soil, then you can also use fast-draining loam with added pumice or perlite. Make sure to add lots of organic matter such as leaf mold, peat moss, well-rotted manure, or compost.
These ingredients will help retain moisture and keep the soil loose.
Mulching brugmansia is very beneficial if you are growing them in containers. If you choose to mulch, then use only hardwood mulch.
Do not use evergreen or pine needles, because they contain oils that can potentially cause fungal infections on the plants’ roots. To learn more about mulching, please read our Mulching Gardens And Landscapes article.
Planting Brugmansia In The Ground
If you want to plant brugmansia in the ground, be prepared for a big commitment. If in three to four years you decide that you do not like the plant’s placement, then it will be very difficult to move.
You may even have to remove the majority of the soil in order to remove the plant and replant it somewhere else. This will be a lot of work!
Choose a sunny location. This plant does not do well in the shade.
There is also a possibility that the plant will get eaten by grazing animals that prefer shade. If you live in an area where there are grazing animals, then you might want to build a fence to prevent them from eating your brugmansia.
Brugmansia can also be planted in the ground and used as a cactus. You will need to use a cacti and succulent potting soil with added organic matter.
General water guidelines are as follows:
If the soil is dry several inches below the surface, then water thoroughly until the water begins to run out of the bottom of the pot. Allow the soil to dry out almost completely before watering again.
The type of pot that you are using will determine how often you need to water. If it is a porous terra cotta or other similar type, then water less frequently.
If it is a plastic, fiberglass, metal, or heavy ceramic, then you will need to water more often. The heavier the pot, the more water (and fertilizer) it will absorb.
You can fertilize your brugmansia with either liquid or organic fertilizer. Liquid fertilizers are more readily absorbed by the plants.
You can mix your own or buy one from a store. Follow all instructions on the packaging for proper usage.
Organic fertilizers include (but are not limited to) compost, rotted manure, and bone meal. You can also buy packaged organic fertilizer that is specifically made for flowering plants.
Like liquid fertilizers, you must follow the instructions on the package to ensure that you are using it properly.
How To Propagate Brugmansia
You can grow brugmansia from seed, cuttings, or division.
When growing brugmansia from seed, they can take anywhere from 3 to 18 months to germinate.
Sources & references used in this article:
Brugmansia (Datura) Angel’s trumpets. by U Preissel, HG Preissel – Brugmansia (Datura) Angel’s trumpets., 1991 – cabdirect.org
The Plants by B McGowan, A McGowan – 2014 – Storey Publishing
Comparative study of the alkaloids in tribe Datureae and their chemosystematic significance by D Clark, R Claxton, M de Cooker, R Fulton… – otherfellow.co.uk
‘THE SAGE’–OCTOBER 2007 by T Doncheva, S Berkov, S Philipov – Biochemical Systematics and Ecology, 2006 – Elsevier
Bulbs in the Basement, Geraniums on the Windowsill: How to Grow & Overwinter 165 Tender Plants by P Baggett – 2008 – Timber Press