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June 2010
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Datura: characteristics, growing and planting conditions.

The Datura (Brugmansia) is a beautiful tropical plant, with a big advantage. The plant can easily re-seed and lead to more growth in your gardens. The Datura is a perennial plant in many areas; with being perennial through the plant dying back to the ground. You can then protect it from the cold of the winter months through some mulch being applied on the remains of the plant. However, natively the Datura is a true perennial in the warmer Southern United States and grown as an annual in the colder Northern United States.
The plant is real beautiful, being an attractive part of a garden; some of the parts that make it more attractive include the blue-green foliage. The foilage reaches 18 to 24 inches high. Further, there is a bloom that starts in summer and lasts through fall. The flowers can grow to being upto 15 inches long, what is curious about the plants is that they have a curious basis for the bloom opening up – they open in the late afternoon and close in bright light.
The Datura is a flower native to the Americas, with an association with the Native American Indian culture where datura has long been associated with magic and shamanism. Their fragrance will perfume your entire yard on calm evenings as their scent is stronger after dark.
However, not everything is as fine as you would like. The Datura is considered dangerous because of the presense of chemicals – the Daturas contain dangerous tropane alkaloids — atropine, hyoscyamine, and scopolamine. In addition, the Daturas have an incredible and very powerful, lily-like or lemony fragrance; the fragnance and scent has chemicals that cause people who are near the blooms and sleeping to get intense nightmares caused by psychoactive properties of the flowers’ scent. The honey of these plants can be poisonous.

Growing Conditions

– Daturas like rich soil and full sun.
– Decent drainage is appreciated.
– They tend to rot in standing water or clay soils.
– The roots can reach for water but the crowns like to stay dryish.
– The seed is easily grown if kept at 70F soil temperature until it germinates.
– The seeds of Datura should be sown at a depth of 3mm.
– They should be sown outdoors after the last frost of spring.
– The growing process should be started about 10 weeks before they are due to be planted outside in the middle of spring.
– It is very easily propagated from cuttings.
– Fertilize after planting.

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