Angel trumpet losing leaves

Asked July 17, 2018, 11:11 AM EDT

Hello, my Angel Trumpet is losing leaves rapidly. They are turning yellow and falling off. I have sprayed the plant with Neem oil for pests, but the leaves still continue to drop. This has been happening for about a month now.

Schoharie County New York

5 Responses

Dear Gardener,

Thanks for contacting us. Generally, yellowing leaves that drop off are a sign of either too much water or too little. Since the leaves affected are near the bottom of the plant, I suspect the soil is too wet. It is also possible that the potting soil/medium is too heavy and holds too much moisture

Allow the soil to dry out slightly in between waterings. Press your finger into the soil one-half inch down. If the soil feels dry, that is the time to add water.

With regard to treating for pests, you must identify the pest before you can select the correct control method. If you suspect pest damage and cannot see the pests, then send us a couple of close-up photos of the damage they cause, describing the type of plant and growing conditions. We will be happy to try to identify the pest and give you the recommended methods of control.

Thank you for getting back to me. The last time I used the Neem oil there some aphids on the underside of one leaf. So most likely its not the lighting and just finding a good balance for watering correct? And should a fertilizer be used when watering?

Hello again,

Angel trumpets are heavy feeders and, as with all potted plants, need fertilizer to thrive. Choose a fertilizer specifically for flowering plants and follow the directions carefully. The numbers on the label indicate nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (N-P-K) in that order. The middle number should be the highest, such as 15-30-15. Sometimes the label gives you the option of feeding all at once or using a weaker solution with each watering. I prefer the latter option myself, but either will work.

Aphids can usually be controlled by a hard stream of water. This is easy to do with a garden hose or in a sink with a spray nozzle. Aphid damage generally shows up as curled, deformed leaves or as brown spots which may decay into small holes in the leaf.

Yellowing leaves may be caused by insufficient light, but I cannot determine that from your photo. Are all the yellowing leaves on one side of the plant (the side away from the light)? If so, it may need more light.

One last point, because brugmansia has the potential to grow very large and fast, it needs a big pot to accommodate the roots. I can't tell how big your pot is, but that is something to keep in mind.

Thank you so much for your time. I will have to find a good fertilizer with your recommendations in mind. The yellow leaves are all around the plant so it probably is the water issue as you suggested earlier. I did have it in full sun at one point but that is when it seemed to start having issues. The pot is very large, it is alittle smaller then a whiskey barrel.