Datura are herbaceous annuals and short-lived perennials in the tomato family (Solanaceae) with a confused taxonomy and disputed origin because of their extensive naturalization through temperate and tropical regions world-wide. Of the eight or nine species in the genus Datura, many naturally exhibit extreme variability in foliar and floral characteristics and many are very similar in appearance. Depending on the conditions a plant is growing under, the size of the plant, leaves and flowers can range from very large to very small – which has led to many “new species” being described that are later found to be simply variations that developed in different locations due to the conditions.
The flowers exude a pleasant honeysuckle-like scent, especially at night, which attracts night-flying sphinx moths which are their primary pollinators. The flowers may also be visited by honey bees and other insects. Plants bloom continuously from summer until frost.
Daturas tend to be large, sprawling plants with a coarse texture, so they are best suited as specimen or background plants in mixed or annual plantings. If possible, place them where the fragrance of the dramatic flowers may be enjoyed. Those with white flowers are a natural choice for the moon garden as they are most fragrant in the evening. The bold foliage contrasts well with short ornamental annuals with fine or medium foliage and lots of flowers, such as Profusion series zinnias or petunias.
Grow datura in full sun and well-drained soil (it will grow in partial shade, but will be leggier and have fewer flowers). It is drought tolerant once established and thrives in almost any type of soil, but the plants are most impressive when grown in humus-rich loam with regular moisture.
They need plenty of room and will quickly grow to fill an area of several feet once the weather gets hot so place them accordingly. They may be grow from seed sown outdoors after the last frost or started indoors 6-8 weeks before the average date of last frost and planted outdoors after all threat of frost has passed (and after acclimating the young plants to outdoor conditions).
15-20 Seeds Per Package.