Some of the most beautiful flowering plants out there, Brugmansia (broog-MAN-zee-ah), have large, trumpet-shaped flowers which produce heavenly scents in the evening.
While the seven species and three variants of Angel Trumpets can be a little finicky, they’re not much more challenging to care for than their numerous cultivars.
Generally free of pests and disease, your Brugmansias can still get sick from time to time. As they’re closely related to both daturas and tomatoes, Brugmansia can contract many of the same diseases.
Here are some of the most crucial Brugmansia diseases, what they do, and how to fight them.
What Diseases Affect Angel’s Trumpet?
As already mentioned, these plants can contract and transmit diseases that also affect datura and tomato plants. These are some of the most common ailments and how they’re caused.
Bacterial Leaf Spot
High humidity levels or getting the leaves of your Brugmansias wet can lead to a case of Xanthomonas campestris, better known as bacterial leaf spot.
When caught and treated early, it’s easy for your angel’s trumpet to make a full recovery from this infection.
Columbian Datura Virus
For short, the Columbian Datura Virus (or CDV) has only recently become a threat in the US.
This terrible virus is the plant equivalent of HIV and is highly contagious. It’s spread primarily by aphids and broad mites.
Downy mildew is a common infection that several different fungi may cause. Luckily, it does very little damage when caught early and easily controlled. High humidity and infestations are two common causes of this problem.
Of all the possible fungal infections, this is perhaps the most common.
It’s caused by excessive humidity and often infects plants infested by piercing insects.
Root rot may be caused by either bacterial or fungal infection and is quite deadly if not caught in time.
The single most common cause of this disease is overwatering.
Tobacco Mosaic Virus
There are many kinds of mosaic viruses, but TMV is perhaps the most feared.
This deadly disease affects a wide range of food crops and many ornamental plants.
It can survive dormant in barren soil for 50 years, and there’s no cure.
The most common ways of contracting this virus are using contaminated soil or contact with an infected plant.
Tomato Spotted Wilt
This common tomato virus can be transmitted through infected soil or contact an infected plant.
While it won’t kill the plant, it causes severe damage and cannot be cured.
This incurable fungal disease is every gardener’s nightmare, caused by contaminated soil or contact with an infected plant.
What Damage Do These Diseases Cause?
As mentioned, CDV is little more than HIV for plants. Both CDV and TMV weaken the plant’s immune system, allowing other infections to set in. TMV’s mosaic display is a marbling of dark green along with blistering.
Root rot destroys roots, preventing them from absorbing water and nutrients. As a result, the lower sections of the plant may begin to die back as if underwater, although it’s not uncommon for this to happen to the plant in areas.
Likewise, verticillium wilt spreads through the plant’s vascular tissues and will kill one section at a time.
Powdery mildew leaves a powdery substance on the tops of infected leaves, interfering with photosynthesis.
Downy mildew, meanwhile, causes yellow spotting on the tops of leaves and a cottony webbing on the undersides.
Bacterial leaf spot also causes spotting, this time as small brown necrotic spots with a yellow halo which quickly expand until the entire leaf has been destroyed.
Tomato spotted wilt will stunt the infected plant’s growth, causing deformed leaves and brown to black streaking in the stems and yellow leaf veins.
Do the leaves on your Angel Trumpet Curl? Learn what makes Brugmansia leaves curl.
How To Control Angel Trumpet Diseases
Many of these diseases are prevented easily with only minor maintenance.
Regular preventative treatments using neem oil can help boost your Brugmansia’s immune system and eliminate surface infections before they can spread.
Checking your plants regularly for pests is another critical step in protecting them from disease.
Again, neem oil is a great way to help prevent infestations or deal with existing ones.
In the case of verticillium wilt, TMV, CDV, and tomato spotted wilt, and the only treatment is to destroy the plant, preferably through burning.
Be sure also to destroy the soil and any container the plant was in.
Keeping your tools clean and only buying plants or supplies (including any soil) from reputable sources can go a long way towards preventing the spread of disease.
Practicing proper watering techniques and keeping the ground around your plants free of debris will also help prevent the spread of pests and diseases.