When they first arrive, unpack carefully and give them a good, long drink. Brugmansia often wilt when shipped, due to the fact they really do drink a lot of water. Many times they will lose leaves. This is normal. Many sellers send them with the leaves already stripped off, but I like to leave them on in case some make it they will look better for the few weeks it takes for them to regrow.
I pack them in sealed plastic bags that I add a lot of water to before shipping, but sometimes they have drank all that and wilt anyway. Don't fret. As soon as they get another drink they will perk up within 15 to 20 minutes, no damage done. And if you have a spray bottle, mix either Superthrive or another Good Foliar Feed or some Compost Tea; appropriately in a spray bottle and spray the leaves, stems and roots of the new Angels. If you don't have any foliar feed spray, it's OK. Just mist them with Rain or bottled water, to help rehydrate the leaves. Leaves of brugmansia will also fold upon shipping. These will unfold and straighten out in a few days from unpacking and repotting.
You can pot them up now, or let them rest a day in a shady, cool location while you get together their pots and soil mix (below) In optimum conditions, you have anticiapted their arrival, and have these things already at hand.
Loosen the root ball all over the sides and the bottom! This is very important. If you don't do this, you can stunt the growth of the plant. Then repot them in a 1 quart or 1 gallon pot size. Example of this is if you ordered a starter sized plant, place it in a 1 quart pot. If you ordered a 1 quart, place it in a 1 gallon pot. Use soil mixture indicated below, and keep them in a shady location about 2 weeks. If you only ordered 1 or two plants, you can use a bag of MiracleGro Potting soil instead, but add some extra perlite to it, and the Osmocote feeding beads. Notice in the photo how the plant is set on pea gravel? This helps to retain humidity around the plant. That helps the leaves to stay hydrated, and grow better. It also helps the new roots to take faster.
The bamboo stake I use to reinforce the boxes can also double as a stake for plants with a trunk that isn't as straight as you might like. Since Angel trumpets have such pliable trunks and stems, they lend easily to training in this manner. I use the soft velcro strapping that is sold at Home Depot and Lowes (in rolls) to tie the plant gently to the bamboo rods. It can be found in the area where the MiracleGro tomato fertilizer is sold.
When they get bigger, it is advisable to go ahead and make up this specialized soil mix (below are ingredients) to make them really thrive. Brugs love to eat, and will reward you with lots of blooms and strong growth if you go this extra step. ☺
As you see them begin to 'take' (the leaves will begin to stand up and you will see vigor return as they root in your soil mixture) allow them to have more sun exposure. Brugmansia do excellent in a well lit environment, but too intense of sun will cause the leaves to lighten up and you will find yourself watering the plants more frequently. You will know when you find the perfect spot. The leaves will stay a deep green, and it will set flower buds at least once every 6 to 10 weeks upon making a few Y's along the canopy. To deepen the leaves color, and get more blooms, use Milorganite.
Brugmansia naturally shed their leaves at a slow rate. Don't be alarmed if a few leaves yellow and come off. As the plant takes, the new leaves will have already begun growing along the nodes and return strongly.
Things you will need to make them grow and flourish are listed below. I have tried to keep the list made up of local supplies to most of the U.S.A. in places like Lowes, Home Depot, Target or WalMart. A few items are best ordered online, and I have supplied links.
- *Miracle Gro Potting Soil for Veggies and Flowers
- Pine bark nuggets
- Clean play sand, sold in small bags
- Rock dust/Azomite, optional but a great addition
- Miracle Gro Tomato Fertilizer
- Maxicrop kelp powder
- Fungicides (Read down, there are 2 listed)
* One or the Other. If you only ordered one or two plants, you are fine just using the Potting Soil mix listed Here. But be sure to add the Osmocote, or the plant will languish. Azomite is a rock dust you can buy from Amazon in small quantities, or for larger use in 50 and 55 pound bags. Just keyword it. Brugmansia thrive on it.
Note: If you only have one or two plants and do want to specialize the mix, you can buy almost all of these ingredients for the soil mix in much smaller quantities than I am showing. Ask for help in the Garden center to locate them.
Brugmansia specific soil mixes must be hand made by you. All ingredients are easily attainable. Pine bark nuggets, made by Timberline, are available all across the country. Get one bag of those. My mother brugmansia do really love them.
Next, you will need perlite and peat, all pictured here for you. You will find the perlite up by the Orchids and Orchid supplies of either Lowes or Home Depot. The Peat is found near the back of these same garden centers, in cubic bags. This stuff can get heavy, ask for help loading and unloading if you need it. Play sand is also found in these areas.
You will need a large empty tupperware container that is about 16 or 17 inches tall, and about 2 feet long. Use this as a mixing tub. Also get a large pyrex measuring cup. Dump half of the Miracle Gro potting soil. If you prefer, switch out the Miracle Gro potting soil for Lambert's Peat. You will only need to have one or the other of these. Now add 5 to 7 cups of the perlite, 3 cups of the sand, and 5 cups of the pine bark nuggets. Add about 10 heaping spoons Osmocote. Stand over the container and mix well with a shovel if possible. This saves your back. Otherwise, pull up a low chair and mix with a hand held shovel. If I had it to spare and sent it to you, throw in the Bunny Doo.
Use this as your beginner's brugmansia potting soil mix. You can easily store it in the lidded plastic container. When the roots start to appear out of the bottom of the new pots, move up a pot size or two. By then, you will have had time to
learn how to make an even better mix, found on the trumpetflowers.com website, page: Soil Mixes for Brugmansia.
There are more photos of the specific items needed to enrich this mix. Also read the page on getting brugmansia to bloom. Getting Brugmansia to bloom.
The Superthrive is excellent to help newly transplanted or traveled plants to re-establish. It also builds better blooms. Buy it at Lowes, Home Depot, or WalMart. SeaCrop kelp powder is a foliar feed and available online at Brugmansia Growers International.
FAST AND EASY, ALTERNATIVE SOIL MIXTURE
Here is an alternative Soil Mix that is easy to prepare and does not need all the soil mixes above. If you don't have access to all of the specialized soil additives above, try using the BGI soil mix available at Home Depot, and the Mushroom Compost available at Lowes. Do try to add the Azomite rock dust, and the Superthrive, which (Superthrive) is also available at Lowes or Home
Depot, even Walmart. The BGI soil mix contains a lot of flaked pine bark and other loose barks, and is great for creating air pockets in the soil mix. The mushroom compost is only about 3.50 a bag and will add much needed nutrients to the soil. One bag of the BGI mix to one half bag of Mushroom compost should create a nice mix for your new brugmansia. Osmocote beads added will slowly release other needed nutrients and give you the perfect soil mixture.
And if I send you a bag of Bunny Doo (I'll send some in your pkg. if I have some extra) just add it to your soil mix. It's a natural fertilizeer that won't burn the roots and will help your new brug get started.
Read here on how to pot up that new Brugmansia
Insecticides and Fungicides that can be commonly found are mostly made by Bayer. The Lawn type Fungicide is a granular type that can be dusted onto the surface at specified rate to help stop fungus types that thrive in warm weather. Liquid Copper fungicide (comes in a spray bottle) can also help. Use only as directed. Use them as starters, until you can find more specified fungicides. They will help you when first starting out.
Bayer 3 in 1 Systemic Pesticides come in granular or liquid forms. They will help you fight many of the pests that find brugmansia so attractive. For more on bugs, read the page Insect pests and how to eliminate them.
Bunny doo really is magical. If you can get it, add it to your soil mixes. Bunnies are vegetarians, and their doo does not contain enough nitrogen to burn your plants. It is fantastic for added growth and root strength. If I have any spare, I will send you some with your order. Just mix it right in when you are making your brugmansia soil mix.
Bunny doo naturally contains the following:
- 2.4 nitrogen
- 0.6 phosphorus
- 0.4 potassium
Finally, here is a tutorial with photos to help you with a perfect, easy to make soil mix: How to Make Potting Soil for Brugmansia, step by step.