24 Easy ‘trumpets’

first_imgBy Paul A. ThomasUniversity of GeorgiaWith the fast-rising popularity of angel trumpets, many gardenersare wanting to start propagating them. But surprisingly little iswritten about how to do it. Volume XXXINumber 1Page 24 For the record, brugmansias, which most people know as angeltrumpets, and some of the closely related daturas are very easyto propagate. The trick is to know when to cut and what to use ascuttings.Cuttings are best taken in June and July. The trick is to takecuttings from branched stems.Straight stems will lead to tall plants that bloom late in thesummer — maybe. Branched stems are “mature” and will bloom a fewweeks after you establish them in the garden.Root cuttingsYou can root cuttings in a mix of peat and sand kept moist. Or,place 4-inch to 6-inch stems in a glass of water, just as youwould an African violet leaf.They root rather fast. Even large stems can be rooted in 5-gallonbuckets. Once you’ve transplanted them to pots or the garden,they’ll need a few weeks of shade to develop extensive roots.Slowly expose them to more sun, and your brugmansias will bepoised to take off.Seeds, though, are another matter.Remember that like most plants, seedlings will vary from theadult. Brugmansia seeds are weird-looking things, similar to aflat bark chip. Pealing off the brown covering speeds germinationbut requires a bit of skill.Be carefulWear gloves when you do this, or at least wash your hands rightafter processing the seeds. Both brugmansias and daturas arepoisonous if eaten, especially the seeds and leaves. Handling theplant isn’t dangerous in itself.Daturas germinate slowly and irregularly, and you’ll needpatience. Both species require warm, moist soil conditions togerminate. It will take at least one summer season, and sometimeslonger, to see the first flowers.To learn more about brugmansias and daturas, visit the AmericanBrugmansia and Datura Society Web site (www.abads.net).(Paul Thomas is a Cooperative Extension horticulturist withthe University of Georgia College of Agricultural andEnvironmental Sciences.)last_img

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