Brugmansias and Trees

One of my favorite trees to grow is the brugmansia or also known as Angel’s Trumpet. They are highly fragranted, fast growing, and produce abundant beautiful flowers year round. They are so easy to propagate in a glass of water.

The brugmansia below is propagated from another plant and it is a little over a year and a half. It is about 3 feet tall. You may notice in my posts that I like to say how old and how tall my plants or trees are. I do that because I feel sometimes new gardeners like myself like to know how big plants could get and how long it takes to get such and such sizes. I find that very few gardening sites tell you how big plants are at certain stages. If you look at all the tall things growing in my yard in these pictures, know that they are about at least three years old because that’s how long I have been gardening. My BEFORE garden pictures were posted in this earlier blog here.

Charles Grimaldi Brugmansia

They can get pretty tall like this one, which is about 10 feet tall if you trim the side shoots. Bees love them and so do pests like aphids. I don’t remember what kind of brugmansia this pink one is because I’ve had it for over 15 years.

The mother plant Charles Grimaldi of all my Charles Grimaldi brugmansias. It blooms continuously throughout the year.

The picture below does not do this Duranta Erecta justice. It has beautiful purple flowers all year long. In the late afternoons, I can hear hummingbirds zipping in and out of this bush like Star Wars pod racers. This tree is 20 years old and is now about 16 feet. I have seen most people keep this type of tree much shorter around 6 feet but I just let it grow to enhance the landscape.

“Duranta Erecta” Sweet Memory Bush

The Red Baron peach below is about 2 years old and will be turning red sometimes in September. Right now there are some peaches on the tree but it is still slightly brown and green so my dogs have not discovered it yet. Once it ripens and stands out more in the tree, I will have to figure out how to keep it from being snatched off the trees by my dogs. It drops leaves in the winter and then develop buds which later turns into beautiful reddish blossoms.

This here is my Cranberry hibiscus tree which I grew from seeds. It has been about 3 years and they have these beautiful reddish foliage like a maple tree but better because these stay like this all year. This tree was about 10 feet tall at one point but it was growing awkwardly so I trimmed it down and trained it to lean more upright. It was leaning 45 degrees when it grew! Now it is somewhat upright, more like at an 80 degree angle. The flowers are really pretty cranberry-colored like the picture below. It blooms during the day and closes up each day.

This is a three year old papaya tree grown from seeds. It is about 3 1/2 feet tall. I’m not sure when they are supposed to have fruit but they get yellow leaves when I try to give it water. Besides the Red Baron peach, this papaya is my other favorite fruit tree in the yard. I’m hoping it will flower and give me fruits soon because I love papayas!

I am also growing some cherimoyas, a starfruit, a persimmon from seeds. I don’t know where my persimmon plant is out there right now.

Cherimoya – 2 year old from seed about 12 inches tall
Starfruit: the center woody stick about 8 inches tall after 2 years

While I was outside, I noticed this Columbine flower which I am sure I never grew. It was such a wonderful surprise since I have been wanting a Columbine for a long time. I will leave you with admiring that flower.

Gardenscape

Recently I started playing a gardening game called Gardenscapes in which you get to restore a neglected garden to its former glory.  It is a lot of fun re-doing the fountains and hedges, reviving and cleaning up old plants.

In the real world I do that in my backyard too. For many years I have lived in my house and neglected the yard. We had grass put in when my boys were young.  The last four years I became interested in gardening when I inherited some of my mother-in-law’s plants. I realized gardening is a great mental and physical benefit so I started hauling out almost all of the grass in the backyard to create my garden. I am so glad I did because my garden now is so colorful and lush. I have put in a lot of back-breaking work but when flowers bloom, it was totally worth it.  It has frequent visitors such as birds, bees, ladybugs, butterflies, slugs, and worms of all kinds.  There is a healthy ecosystem in my backyard.

Although it looks like a “jungle” as my mom and kids like to call it, I really like that the inner garden is disguised by the big trees and bushes maturing over the years.  It makes the garden feel like a “secret garden”. Below, I have two official entrances to my garden, each are flanked by trellis arches with clematis and passion flowers growing on it.

Passion flower trellis

Did you see the passion flower fruits that are hanging off of that trellis? I was so excited to see them since I didn’t know whether the kind I grew would bear fruit!

Clematis trellis
This view is from the back of the garden.
Right side of the garden

The above picture is the right side of the garden and starting from the front right is my sage, magnolia souvlangiana tree, blue chicory, purple daisies, pink rose bush, and pink Strybing Beauty bush next to the tall brugmansia tree on the far right.

The scenery above is a view into the front of the garden.  In the front I have a holly hock bush, pink geraniums, foxgloves on the right with the yellow Charles Grimaldi brugmansia in the back. On the far left, I have the purple and white foxglove bushes, a White Bouquet tansy ground cover, orange At Last roses, and an orange tree behind it.  I have some poppies growing in this area that hasn’t gotten tall enough to make it in the picture.

Finally, below are a collection of some new flowers blooming these past few weeks. My pink Pompom poppy finally has a couple of flowers that didn’t look diseased, most were in very bad shape.  I tried growing them many times but this is the first year that it flowered.

Poppy
Purple Emperor nasturtiums
Princess Victoria Louise poppy

Brugmansias

Brugmansias (Angel’s Trumpet)  are one of the best and easiest plants to grow.  The large bell shaped flowers are large and fragrant, especially at night.  They have a very wonderful, intoxicating scent so grow them where you would like to smell them regularly. They can reach as high as 10-12 feet tall, provided you trim the side shoots.  They like moist soil but can tolerate heat and dry soil as well.  I usually give them a deep watering each week.  I rarely fertilize and they still bloom prolifically. But if you fertilize, choose a fertilizer that has the higher phosphorus which is the P in the N-P-K of most fertilizer compositions.  

Side shoots from brugmansias should be trimmed back every few weeks because they grow very quickly.  I sometimes take the trimmed branches and leave them sitting in water for days and even weeks so that they root.  They are very easy to propagate.  

Flowers most of the year but particularly more prolific in late spring and summer.

If you grow these beautiful trees, beware that all parts of the plant are poisonous.  Bees love these flowers. This tree also attracts a lot of white flies and pests.

If you don’t have a lot of space in your yard or patio, this plant is also good in large containers. Choose a heavy pot though as they can get pretty top-heavy with flowers and branches. These plants are not usually found at Home Depot or most garden centers. I usually purchase them online and they can be very pricey. If you live near me, I could give you a cutting 🙂

Makes a great SCENTED flower arrangement in the home for about a day.
This tree I grew from a cutting of another plant. Plopped it in the ground and 2 years later it is about 12 feet tall.

It’s worth it to grow these though because they smell wonderful, flowers every few months throughout the year, and great as a privacy bush.