I was paging through the April Northern Gardener magazine and a splashy photo of pink trumpet-shaped flowers caught my eye.
That’s because it triggered a memory of a trip to Naples, Florida a couple of Januarys ago. I posed with my sisters under the graceful canopy of those same trumpet flowers dangling from a tree's branches. I was entranced by the otherworldly plant and wondered what the heck it was called.
Now I know. The tree bearing the big perfume-fragrant flowers was a brugmansia.They're also called trumpet flowers or angel’s trumpets because the blossoms look like an ancient horn. And I was thrilled to find out that the tropical Zone 8 plant wasn’t strictly a Florida whimsy - it can be grown in pots in Minnesota.
I’ll need a container at least two feet in diameter and placed where the tree will get at least 6 hours or more of sun. The trees are sold at garden centers and online websites and sprout peach, gold or pink blooms up to 10 inches in size.
The Northern Gardener article and other gardening websites explain the steps to overwintering and pruning the tropical “brugs.” In spring, you can transplant the trunks into pots outdoors. But all parts of brugmansias are poisonous - so keep it away from children and pets.
I’ve vowed to buy and plant one of these dramatic tropical beauties in a pot next spring. I want to relive my winter trips to Naples - sitting on my deck next to a brugmansia in the middle of a Minnesota summer.
Have you ever grown an angel’s trumpet? Which varieties have you had the best luck?
Photos: Jackson & Perkins and Plant Delights