About Datura Plants – Learn How To Grow Datura Trumpet Flower
Datura plants are native to Mexico and Central America. They have been used medicinally for centuries. There are many varieties of daturas, but most commonly known as angel trumpets or trumpet vine (Tribulus terrestris). Angel trumpets are considered sacred in some cultures and used in religious ceremonies.
Other uses include making music, healing, and divination.
Angel trumpets are easy to grow and require little attention. However, they do need to be protected from frost during winter months. If grown outdoors, it is best not to overwinter indoors because of their short flowering period. Growing them indoors requires at least three years before they will produce flowers.
Growing Datura Plants From Cuttings
If you want to start your own garden from datura plants, then you may consider using cuttings. You can take cuttings from any variety of datura. These cuttings will eventually develop into new plants when mature. There are several ways to get started with cutting out a few leaves and rooting them in water.
First, find a healthy datura plant with stems that have no signs of damage or disease.
Next, cut a 6-inch section from the stem. You can also take a cutting from another portion of the stem but you need at least three leaves on it. Cut at a 45-degree angle about two inches below a leaf joint.
Remove any flowers, buds, or leaves from the bottom half so all the energy goes to the cutting.
Place the cuttings in a glass of water and set it in a sunny spot. If you want to speed up the process, you can add a very mild solution of fertilizer to the water (1 tsp fertilizer per 1 qt of water). If this is your first time rooting cuttings, it’s best not to add any nutrients at this time.
If you position the cutting in direct sunlight, the young plant will produce more leaves and stems. For rooting, you want to keep the cutting in a shaded area so it will produce roots.
After the stems develop roots, you can either plant them in the ground or continue to grow them in their glass of water. The choice is yours.
How to Grow Datura Plants from Seed
You do not need to start with cuttings to have a datura plant. You can also start with the seed. These plants are very easy to grow from seed if they are started indoors. You will want to start them four to six weeks before the last frost in your area.
They can be grown outdoors but only after temperatures consistently stay above 70 degrees at night.
Fill your container with a well-draining soil or seed starting mix that is formulated for wildflowers and the like. You do not want to use garden soil because it contains fungi, bacteria, and other life that will compete with the datura seedlings for nutrients.
Sprinkle the datura seeds over the surface of the soil. Only lightly cover them with soil. You should see the top of most of the seeds. This will allow moisture to reach the seed and help it to sprout.
Place your container in a location that has a temperature between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use a heat mat to help with this if necessary.
Water the surface of the soil and place the container in bright light but not in direct sunlight. The seeds need the light to sprout so they are encouraged to emerge from the soil.
If all goes well, the seeds will start to sprout in about a week or bit longer. Once they are 2 to 3 inches high, you can transplant them into bigger containers or outside.
How to Take Care of Your Datura Plant
Once your datura plant is established, it is fairly easy to grow and doesn’t require much attention. It prefers sandy, loose soil that drains well. If your soil is on the heavy side, it is best to add plenty of organic matter to it before planting.
Give it full sun to partial shade and keep the soil lightly moistened. In the heat of summer, this plant will appreciate some afternoon shade.
It is not a picky about its fertilizer but if you want to give it a little boost, you can add a balanced water-soluble fertilizer to the watering can and sprinkler it on the plant. Follow the directions on the package for amounts.
You will want to deadhead the spent blooms as they fade. If you don’t, the plant will naturally reseed itself everywhere and take over everything with little seedlings. If you want more datura plants, you can easily start new ones from the seeds but be prepared for a few of them to be short-lived. They are fussy babies until they get well established after two or three years.
Pests and diseases are not usually trouble for this plant. It’s tough and sometimes even considered invasive in some areas. The biggest threat is people stealing the pretty yellow blooms because they make great additions to floral arrangements.
If you are going to grow Datura plants for their blooms, be sure to grow at least two. The plants will bloom longer and will be less likely to suffer from drought if they have a buddy. Even with a friend, the datura plant is not long for this world. It typically only lives for three years and then it starts to decline after its second flowering.
Bump up the watering and fertilizing and it might even make it to four years.
It is illegal to grow Datura stramonium (jimson weed) in some parts of the country because it is so dangerous. It isn’t illegal to own or buy, but it does fall under Schedule 1 of the Poisonous Substances Act of 1972. So, unless you have a medical reason or you live in the country that doesn’t enforce that law (if there is such a place), you won’t be able to legally grow or possess this plant.
Sources & references used in this article:
Trumpet Flowers of the Sonoran Desert: Floral Biology of Peniocereus Cacti and Sacred Datura by RA Raguso, C Henzel, SL Buchmann… – … Journal of Plant …, 2003 – journals.uchicago.edu
Aspects of Datura poisoning and treatment by EP Krenzelok – Clinical Toxicology, 2010 – Taylor & Francis
Accidental mydriasis from exposure to Angel’s trumpet (Datura suaveolens) by WE Safford – 1922 – US Government Printing Office