Like a vengeful angel, Brugmansia (broog-MAN-zee-ah) are beautiful, deadly, and an encounter you’ll never forget.
Their drooping, trumpet-shaped blooms range from 6 to 15” inches or longer, and the trees themselves may be anywhere from 20’ feet tall or higher to the tiny 3’ food dwarf cultivar ‘Angels’ Summer Dream’.
As with their close cousins, the daturas, Brugmansia are highly toxic, and their flowers have been used as a dangerous (and often fatal) hallucinogen.
Now extinct in the wild, the seven species and three variants have found new life as popular garden plants worldwide, including hundreds of registered cultivars.
Of course, the reason we all love these dangerous plants is their incredible blooms, which often give off a heavenly, heady scent in the evening.
But once you have one, how long can you expect those wonderful blooms to last?
How Long do Angel Trumpet Blooms Last?
Before you can determine how long those majestic blooms will last, it’s essential to know just when a brugmansia will bloom.
Your zone and several other factors may affect the bloom time, but typically, the cold group will bloom from spring into fall, and the warm group will bloom in summer through September.
Typical Outdoor Duration
The group your Brugmansia belongs to, and your hardiness zone can have a huge effect on bloom durations, as these plants have a natural aversion to cold.
Cold group angel trumpets can be grown outdoors in USDA hardiness zone 9b but may need to be cut back severely to survive the winter.
Brugmansia arborea is the hardiest outside of cultivars and will fare best in this zone.
However, when growing a cold group Brugmansia in zone 10 or 11, they will generally have no problems with the winter chill and will bloom from shortly after the final frost to the first autumn frost.
Warm group Brugmansias are less cold tolerant and may suffer some dieback in zone 10b.
In zones 11 to 12, these plants will have no issue tolerating the winter and typically bloom in late spring or early summer through September.
Even more incredible, a properly cared for warm group Brugmansia in zone 12 or cold group in zone 11 may actually bloom all year long.
Typical Indoor Duration
It’s a little harder to give your angel trumpet the proper amount of light when growing indoors, and this plant can get a little finicky when being stuck in a container.
However, they will typically bloom from spring to early summer until September or early October, as they aren’t affected by outdoor frosts.
The downside is that you may be unable to make it bloom during the winter months despite having the ability to control room temperatures and climate.
The good news is that your indoor Brugmansia will likely stay evergreen, so you can at least enjoy the attractive foliage.
Does Deadheading Increase Bloom Time?
Deadheading is a practice prone to (sometimes heated) debates among plant enthusiasts.
It appears to greatly increase bloom periods for some plants, while in others (such as self-cleaning plants), all evidence thus far has been anecdotal.
The concept behind deadheading is that by removing a spent or fading flower, you’re helping the plant reclaim resources and encouraging it to produce replacement blooms.
When it comes to Brugmansias, deadheading may or may not be helpful, and it’s usually a matter of personal preference.
To deadhead, simply check for blooms that are fading, diseased, or otherwise past their prime.
Gently pinch these off (you’ll want to wear gloves, as all parts of the plant are highly toxic in even trace amounts) and dispose of them safely.
Supporters of deadheading claim that it encourages new blooms to appear between the usual waves of flowers that Brugmansia are known for.
Common Reasons for Shorter Bloom Times
A few factors may cause your Brugmansia to bloom later than normal or stop ahead of schedule.
The most common reason is temperature, as Brugmansia hate the cold and will go dormant at the first signs of frost.
Likewise, they need 6 hours of full sun to maintain their blooms, so too much shade (or too much harsh midday sun) can affect the plant’s ability to produce flowers.
Too much water can lead to root rot or fungal infections, which will affect your plant’s ability to produce flowers.
Likewise, not enough water can prevent it from blooming.
Always water your Brugmansia when the soil is dry 1” inch down, as these plants are adapted to about 3” inches of rainfall per week, and ensure the ground is well-draining.
You should be giving your angel trumpets a fertilizer explicitly designed for either tomatoes or Brugmansias and daturas.
Phosphorus is essential for healthy blooms, but angel trumpets don’t need a lot of it, so check your NPK levels if you’re seeing a lot of leggy growth and not enough blooms (a sign there’s too much nitrogen and not enough phosphorus present).
Finally, always be on the lookout for pest infestations of signs of infection, as both of these can affect the plant’s ability to produce healthy blooms.