Brugmansias (broog-MAN-zee-ah) have a reputation for being both beautiful and dangerous (poisonous).
The genus consists of seven species and three natural hybrids, which are now all extinct in the wild.
Despite being highly toxic, Brugmansia (or “brugs” for short) are prized for their large blooms and trumpet-shaped flowers, which have earned them the nickname of angel’s trumpets.
These plants are quite popular in gardens worldwide, and several new cultivars are registered each year.
But once you’ve owned a Brugmansia plant, you realize one just isn’t enough.
Thankfully, you can easily get more by propagating from either seeds or cuttings.
How to Grow Angel Trumpet from Seeds
Growing an angel’s trumpet from seeds is a little more complicated than many other plants, but only slightly.
Once you’ve properly prepared and planted the seeds, they’ll generally sprout with a high degree of success.
When to Avoid Seed Propagation
One of the biggest mistakes people make when planting Brugmansia seeds is expecting to get more of the same plant.
While this is true if you’re harvesting the seeds from one of the seven species, using the seeds of a cultivar or even variants will often produce a surprise plant and bllom.
This mystery plant will likely be one of the parent plants, but it may also be a species or cultivar further back if your plant has been created from multiple cultivars.
Preparing the Seeds
You’ll know when to harvest the seeds when the seed pods turn brown or yellow.
These seeds are viable for a long time under proper conditions, but be wary when purchasing from an online seller, as some may be offering bad seeds.
Open the pods and remove the seeds.
Unlike its cousin, the datura, brugmansia have a tough pith coating to protect their seeds.
Soak the seeds in slightly warm water for 24 hours to soften this coating.
Some growers prefer to remove the casing at this point, although it isn’t necessary.
Follow this initial soak with a disinfecting soak of 1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide in a glass of distilled water for 10 minutes.
Proper Sowing Technique
Your Brugmansia seeds will need light to germinate, meaning they cannot be covered by soil.
Instead, you’ll want to prepare your pots or flats with either a sterile potting mix or an equal mix of peat and coarse sand.
Next, gently press the seed against the soil so it’s only partially submerged.
Dampen the soil and cover your container with clear plastic so the moisture remains inside.
Proper Germinating Conditions
With the seed partially exposed, it can absorb light from nearby sources.
Place the tray or pots in a spot where they’ll enjoy 70° degrees Fahrenheit temperatures (or slightly higher) and have bright, indirect light.
This light may be from a sunny spot near a window or using grow lamps.
As the seeds sprout much healthier when exposed to 18 to 20 hours of light per day, a grow lamp suspended a few inches above the container tends to be the best option.
Finally, you’ll need to ensure the seeds remain in high humidity and moist but not wet soil.
Be sure to add a little water every few days if the surface is dry to the touch, but don’t overwater.
With proper care, the seeds will germinate in about a month.
At this point, you can remove the plastic and begin fertilizing the seedling every two weeks with a balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer at ½ strength.
Be careful not to use too much fertilizer as the tender new leaves can easily suffer chemical burns.
Harden The Angel Trumpet Plants Before Planting
The final rule to consider is in regards to transplanting.
When taking a plantlet outdoors to either plant or keep as a container, it will first need to acclimate to the less controlled conditions.
That’s because the sapling is still very tender, although older plants will still need to harden for about a week when bringing them outside.
Bring it outside for a few hours each day once the risk of frost has passed, setting them in a shady spot.
Over the next 10 to 14 days, leave them out a little longer each day and in a slightly sunnier spot.
At the end of this phase, the stems will have toughened up, and the plant will be ready to remain outdoors for the rest of the growing season.