Elisabeth C. Miller Library

Gardening Answers Knowledgebase


Knowledgebase record #575


PAL Question

When should I cut back angel's trumpet and can I replant the part that was cut?

Answer

I've checked a book called Brugmansia and Datura: Angel's Trumpets and Thorn Apples by Ulrike and Hans-Georg Preissel. It has a whole chapter on growing angel's trumpets from cuttings as well as a section on pruning them, which should be done after they bloom. As you probably know, they can't take freezing temperatures, so people often prune them in the fall to make them easier to bring into a greenhouse (for overwintering warm) or 41-50 degree room (for overwintering cool). The important thing to remember is to confine your pruning to the flowering part of the plant, so you don't have to wait as long for more flowers. The book says you can tell the flowering part of the plant by looking closely at the leaves--the flowering part has an asymmetrical leaf base on each leaf, but the base of the "vegetative" leaves is symmetrical.

The cuttings you take can be used to start new plants, and the success rate will vary depending on the time of year (spring and summer cuttings work best) and the variety of angel's trumpet you have. Viruses can be a problem, so keep your shears very clean. You can often get them to form roots by placing them in a jar of water so that only the lowest 1.5 inches of the stalk are under water. Alternatively, place woody fall cuttings "about 10 inches long...in a mixture of peat and sand, in vermiculite, or in pumice... temperature between 53 and 64 degrees... Many of these cuttings will form roots by the following spring. For root development the cuttings need the same light levels as for good growing conditions... It is a good idea to pot all cuttings into a nutrient-rich soil as soon as possible after they have formed roots."Keywords: Woody plant propagation, Brugmansia, Pruning
Date: 2007-11-20


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