Brugmansias (broog-MAN-zee-ah) are some of the most beautiful flowering plants in the world.
Now extinct in the wild, the 7 species and 3 variants have found a new home in subtropical gardens everywhere, with new Brugmansia cultivars registered every year.
As they are so similar to daturas, many growers are unsure about the growing conditions their new brugmansia will need.
This includes the amount of light.
Some guides say angel’s trumpet plants need full sun, others say they can tolerate full shade, but who is right?
The true answer comes down to the zone you’re growing it in, as well as the season.
Where To Best Grow Angel Trumpet – Sun or Shade?
As a general rule, your angel’s trumpet tree prefers full sun.
However, it’s better to provide some afternoon shade in the southernmost regions where the sun may be too hot.
Growing Container Brugmansias (North of Zone 10)
When growing an angel’s trumpet in a container, full sun is almost always best.
Indoor plants will not need to be protected from direct sun in these cooler climates.
As for outdoor plants, they’ll absolutely thrive from direct sun exposure.
Just remember that you may need to bring the plant indoors as the summer weather begins to wane.
Growing Angel’s Trumpet in Gardens Up to Zone 10
Full sun is also the best way to go when growing your perennial Brugmansia in zones 9 to 10.
In these more temperate climates, the sun rarely gets very harsh, and that extra light can result in even more spectacular blooms than you might otherwise get from even light shade.
The full sun can also help keep your plants healthy after a decent rain.
It will dry out the soil much faster and help keep the leaves from staying wet too long.
Wet leaves and soggy soil are some of the leading causes of fungal disease in Brugmansia plants, so that little extra bit of solar warmth can save a lot of money and frustration.
Growing Brugmansias in Zones 11 to 12
The rules change a little in zones 11 to 12, where the sun is often more harsh at midday.
In these circumstances, you will want to provide full sun in the morning and/or evening.
However, dappled sunlight or light shade in the middle of the day can prevent your brug’s leaves from getting scorched by the harsher rays.
Indoor plants may also benefit from bright, indirect sunlight at this point of the day.
Remember that the window glass will intensify the sun’s rays, making them more likely to scorch the plant.
A sheer curtain that you can close around noon is one good solution.
Another is to place your Brugmansia in a window that has morning or evening exposure but only partial exposure when the sun’s at its hottest.
Winter is the one point in the year where full shade tends to be best, especially in areas that receive frost.
For plants in pots or which you plan to uproot and overwinter indoors, you’ll want to find a spot in a garage or basement where there’s very little light and just enough heat to prevent frost.
The darkness helps your Brugmansia shrub get some well-deserved rest for the winter.
Plants that will be overwintered in the ground will likely already have severe pruning by the time the winter weather arrives.
A nice, thick layer of mulch will keep the roots warm and protect the base of the trunk but will still leave a bit of the plant exposed.
You can protect the plant by placing a cover over it, although many leave their Brugmansia in this state throughout the winter, allowing it to die back and sprout fresh from the roots.
A Special Consideration: Warm or Cold Group?
There’s one other factor that’s easily overlooked: the fact that Brugmansias come from two different altitudes and are thus divided into two groups.
The cold group plants originally grew in the Andes mountains and can tolerate slightly cooler conditions than those in the warm group.
Meanwhile, the warm group plants grew in the foothills around the Andes and are thus more suited to slightly warmer conditions.
Due to their slightly different conditions, warm group Brugmansias are somewhat more tolerant of harsh sunlight than their cold group counterparts.
However, both groups may suffer damage when the sun gets particularly harsh.