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The angel's trumpet belongs to the nightshade family and is deciduous in autumn. Since it is not frost hardy and temperatures below 0° Celsius damage it, it must be protected from the cold in the local latitudes in winter. Because originally the plant with the decorative large flowers is native to southern Brazil. Due to the stately size of up to five meters that the angel's trumpet can reach, winter care can be a little more complex.
Since the angel's trumpet can already be damaged by light night frosts, it must move to its winter quarters early enough, ideally in October. Before moving indoors, the bucket with the plant should be moved to a sheltered place so that it is no longer in the rain and the soil and root ball can dry off easily. However, the soil must not be completely dry and it may have to be watered moderately. A covered terrace or a covered balcony is ideal as a transitional location in the rainy autumn. This first move should already take place at the end of September or beginning of October.
It should then remain in the closed and frost-free winter location until spring, because even in the first few months after winter, night frost can often still occur in many areas, which could then damage the plant immediately. From mid-March, the plant can go outside on nice, warm days, but should be brought inside again at night. The angel's trumpet can only resume its summer location in May after the Ice Saints.
Since the angel's trumpet can reach a height of up to five meters, it is essential for most hobby gardeners to cut back the plant before accommodating it in a suitable quarter. As a rule, such large and high rooms are not available. Only those who own a conservatory can leave the plant relatively large if the height of the room allows it. But not only because of the lack of space does the angel's trumpet have to be cut before winter, also because it can be brought to its winter location more easily in this way. When cutting, attention should be paid to the following.
- Cut shortly after summer
- a cut on warm days helps healing
- otherwise bleeding could occur that can no longer be stopped
- can also be cut back to a relatively small height
- the cut does not harm the plant
- she sheds her leaves in autumn
- in spring it quickly develops new shoots
Preparation for hibernation
In addition to pruning, other measures must also be taken before the angel's trumpet can move to its winter location. Rain is often to be expected, especially in autumn. If the plant is therefore free in the garden bed, it should now be moved to a bucket and placed under a roof to protect it from the rain. Because the root balls and the soil should not be too damp for the move to the winter quarters. Under the roof, under which they can remain until the first frosty nights, they are now only watered moderately, and the fertilization is now completely stopped.
Prepare bedding plants
Hobby gardeners who have cultivated their angel's trumpet in the bed have a little more work to do in preparation for the winter. Because these plants should be removed from the bed after cutting and transplanted into a bucket. Not only does this mean more work for the gardener, it also means a certain amount of stress for the plant before winter. The tub is also placed in a rain-protected, covered location beforehand to prepare for the winter quarters. Of course, the angel's trumpets look beautiful in a garden bed, but in the local latitudes they are better cultivated in a bucket. This can also find its place in a flower bed, on the edge of a meadow or as a terrace border in summer. If the angel's trumpet is not removed from the bed for the winter, then it must be protected as follows.
- Spread mulch and brushwood mats over the soil
- Plant does not necessarily have to be cut back
- however, this makes sense for very large plants
- this makes wrapping easier
- protect when first night frosts are expected
- wrap plant fleece around the entire plant
- alternatively use a winter tent
- is available in well-stocked gardening shops
There is no guarantee that the angel's trumpet will actually survive a winter in this way, especially if it is very hard, snowy and frosty. Therefore, it is always better to overwinter the graceful plant in a closed, frost-free room.
It is ideal if a bright, not too warm room is available in which the angel's trumpet can overwinter. If the plant overwinters brightly, then it carries its up to 40 cm long flowers, which are reminiscent of a trumpet in shape, well into winter. A temperature between 10° and 15° Celsius is recommended in a bright location. Therefore, the decorative plant should not be overwintered in a heated living room. Warmth stimulates the plant to grow again, but the new shoots die, which then have to be cut in the spring. In addition, it is not very decorative if the leaves and flowers fall off over the winter.
The following locations are recommended in winter:
- unheated conservatory
- bright garage
- Garden shed with light
- unheated living space
- bright staircase
- bright storage room
If the angel's trumpet is brought into the apartment, care should be taken that neither small children nor free-roaming pets come into contact with the plant, as all parts of it are poisonous. This should definitely be taken into account in the winter location.
If no winter quarters in a bright, cool place are available, then a dark location can also be chosen. However, this should also be significantly colder. A temperature of around 5° Celsius is ideal here. Because for the hibernation of any plant, the darker the room, the colder it should be. In the dark, cold location, however, the plant quickly loses its leaves and flowers. The expulsion in the spring then takes correspondingly longer. Roots of potted plants absorb the cold from the ground they are standing on more easily and can also suffer cold damage. It is therefore advisable to place the bucket on a piece of wood or a piece of Styrofoam in a cold, dark room so that the cold from below is mitigated.
The following are particularly suitable for a dark location:
- a dark, cold, frost-free basement room
- not right next to the boiler room
- a frost-free, dark garage
- a cool, dark closet
If the angel's trumpet is placed in a dark and cool place, it is weaker and more susceptible to pest infestation. It is therefore important to examine the plant regularly here.
care in winter
Even in the winter quarters, whether dark or light, the angel's trumpet needs a certain amount of care. The root ball must not dry out, so it should be watered moderately. If the plant is dark and cold, it naturally needs less water than in a bright location with a slightly higher temperature. A finger test should therefore always be carried out before watering, because if the soil in the pot is still slightly damp, the plant does not need any water. Lime-poor and lukewarm water should be used for watering. Furthermore, care should be taken as follows in winter.
- do not fertilize
- Plant is in a dormant phase
- regularly check for pests
- remove faded flowers
- remove yellow leaves
- Also remove leaves on soil around roots
- This is also a way of preventing a possible pest infestation
- Mold or a fungus can also form under leaves
- these also damage the plant
Repot after winter
In March, after the long winter, it is ideal to repot the plant, because every spring it should be treated to a new substrate and a little more space. The bucket should always be chosen one size larger than the previous bucket. A drainage system is installed here to prevent waterlogging. Gravel, potsherds or stones, depending on the size of the bucket, are placed on the ground above the drainage hole. Plant fleece is laid over this so that no soil can clog the drain. Then part of the new substrate is filled in.
When repotting, proceed as follows:
- remove the plant from the old container
- Make sure that any newly sprouting shoots are not damaged
- Remove old soil from root balls
- dip briefly in water
- put in new bucket
- distribute the rest of the soil
- water well
After repotting, the angel's trumpet is not allowed to go outside directly, as there is still a risk of night frosts in March.
Process after hibernation
After the winter and the repotting, the angel's trumpet must slowly get used to the new situation again. Plants in particular that have overwintered in a dark place need a little more time to get used to warmth and brightness again and should therefore not be exposed to them abruptly. After the angel's trumpet has received fresh substrate, it will be fertilized regularly over the next few weeks and the watering will be increased. The procedure for getting used to brightness and fresh air is as follows.
- put in a warm and bright place
- on warm days on the terrace or balcony
- in a sheltered corner
- do not expose to direct sunlight
- spend the nights inside again
- Also fertilize any plants left in the bed again
- water if necessary if rain is not sufficient
- Remove plant fleece or winter tent during the day
- so the plant gets light and air
- continue to protect at night
Only when the ice saints are over in May and there is no longer a threat of frost are the overwintered plants allowed to go outside to their original summer location. Bedding plants that were overwintered in the tub are now placed back in the bed and the protection of the angel's trumpets, which have spent the winter in the bed, can now be completely removed at night. It is important that the graceful plants slowly get used to the sun, so a semi-shady place without direct midday sunlight is ideal at first.