Information on Gabriel's Trumpet Flowers

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Gabriel's trumpet flowers grow upside down.
Gabriel's trumpet flowers grow upside down. (Image: Corps de brugmansia image by sylbohec from Fotolia.com)

Brugmansia, commonly known as Gabriel's trumpet flower, is sometimes confused with daturas, known as angel trumpets. Often thought of as a shrub, brugmansia is really a tree with flowers that hang upside down. Datura is a shrub with flowers that grow upwards. The Gabriel’s trumpet flower is commonly grown in a tropical climate and provides a beautiful addition to gardens and landscapes.

Composition of Gabriel’s Trumpet

The Gabriel’s trumpet flower tree can grow up to 15 feet. The flowers are shaped like a trumpet and grow up to 12 inches in length with green leaves reaching 8 inches. The flowers bloom all summer in beautiful colors of cream and bright yellows and oranges.

Caring for Gabriel’s Trumpet

Gabriel’s trumpet flowers grow best in acidic soil and need plenty of water. Be careful not to overwater, as it will cause the root to die. It grows best in the sunlight although it will grow in a partly shaded area. Use a water soluble fertilizer once a week while the flowers are in bloom. After the flowers are done blooming they will need to be pruned to encourage more growth. Prune old growth and dead stems at the trunk.

Growing Gabriel’s Trumpet in Containers

The Gabriel’s trumpet flower is originally known for growing in tropical climates. However, they fair well in the United States when grown in a large container with sufficient drainage. If proper drainage is not provided, the water will cause the soil to become clumpy, preventing the roots from growing. The flower can be outdoors until the temperature reaches 50 degrees F when it will need to be brought indoors. Once indoors, place the flower in front of a window with plenty of sunlight.

Insect Invasion

The Gabriel's trumpet flower is very susceptible to insects that feed on the plants and spread viruses causing the tree to die. Whiteflies are the most common insect affecting the plant, along with spider mites and mealybugs. If these insects are spotted on the leaves, immediately treat it will an insecticide. Check with a local nursery for the types of insecticides to use.

A Word of Caution

You will probably not see the Gabriel’s trumpet flower in your neighbor's garden since they grow best in a tropical climate and because they are also poisonous if ingested. Even though the plant must be ingested in large amounts to cause harm, it can cause hallucinations and fevers. When growing this tree inside, take measures to keep pets such as cats and dogs away so they do not eat the toxins in the flowers.

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