What Makes Leaves On Angel Trumpet Plants Curl?

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Brugmansia (broog-MAN-zee-ah) is a genus consisting of 7 species and three variants, with none extinct in the wild.

Their large blooms bear a wonderful scent, and their shape is why these plants are often called angel’s trumpets.

Over the years, brugs or Angel Trumpets (as they’re affectionately called) have become popular in gardens worldwide.

There are now many cultivars of angel trumpets in both the warm group and cold group. These terms are because some were native to the Andes mountainsides while others grew in the nearby valleys.

While Brugmansia plants are generally free of disease, they are not immune.

One of the most common signs that your Brugmansia is in trouble is the presence of curled leaves.

There are numerous causes of curling leaves in angel’s trumpets, and most are treatable or preventable.

What Causes Brugmansia Leaves To Curl?

Chemical Burns

Your angel’s trumpet may present curling leaves if you’ve recently used chemical pesticides or fungicides.

It may also suffer burns caused by the improper application of fertilizer.


Brugmansias are closely related to tomatoes and are susceptible to the same kinds of viral infections.

One of the worst infections is tomato spotted wilt, which may lead to curling.

Both fusarium wilt and verticillium wilt lead to curled leaves and are very difficult to control.

These two fungal infections block water transmission from the roots to the rest of the plant, causing the leaves to dehydrate.

Heat Or Light

Too much or too little heat or light can both lead to curled leaves.

Cold group brugmansia prefer lower temperatures than the warm weather group. Yet, neither group is particularly cold-hardy.

Exposure to particularly harsh sunlight in the afternoon may lead to scorching and curled leaves. Read this article on the Best Location To Grow Angel Trumpets.

Finally, sudden temperature fluctuations may stress the plant.

Improper Watering

A common mistake gardeners make is to give theirBrugmansia the wrong amount of water.

Giving your angel trumpet too much or too little water can cause the leaves to curl.

Even worse, overwatering may lead to root rot, a disease that could kill your angel trumpet.

Insect Damage

Many sap-drinking pests, such as aphids or spider mites, can drain so much sap the leaf’s cell walls begin to collapse. The result is leaf curl.


A deficiency in boron or calcium can cause leaf curl.

Likewise, too much copper (often also found in pesticides) can cause curling due to chemical burns.

What Other Damage Do These Problems Cause?

Many of these issues cause more damage to your plant.

For example, many diseases and infestations can lead to spotting or other leaf damage.

Additionally, diseases may weaken the plant, making it more attractive to pests. Pests may, in turn, open the door for infection.

Providing insufficient nutrients can lead to this wide range of symptoms:

  • yellow or brown leaves,
  • crispy leaf margins,
  • stunted or straggly growth,
  • and root damage.

Excess water may cause root rot or edema, a condition that creates blisters on the foliage.

Conversely, when the plant isn’t getting enough water, entire sections may begin to die out.

Excessive water causes damage from the bottom upwards. Too little water will start at the top and work its way down.

Excess water may also lead to a wide range of fungal infections.

Lighting and temperature issues may cause dieback, leaf drop, or leaf discoloration.

How To Control Curling Leaves?

Most of these problems are preventable by using proper care techniques.

Keep your angel trumpet in bright, indirect light or dappled sunlight. Or plant it in a spot with total morning exposure and some protection in the afternoon.

Be ready to transplant or move your angel trumpets indoors when the threat of frost is here.

Always apply fertilizer to Brugmansia according to the instructions on the package.

Aim for a balanced liquid formula that contains 17 additional nutrients so that your plant is getting proper nutrition.

Check your plant often for signs of disease or infestation. If found, treat the plant immediately.

Consider using neem oil instead of chemical remedies, as neem is less likely to cause burns.

Unlike chemical options, neem doesn’t result in bugs building up a tolerance. But it does take longer to see the results.

Unfortunately, viral infections are incurable, so you must destroy infected plants.

Preventative destruction includes all seeds or cuttings from the infected plant.

Many fungal infections can survive in barren soil for years. Thus, you will need to sterilize or replace any soil that contains diseased plants.

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