Trumpet vine (Campsis radicans) is a native North American plant with glossy dark green elliptical leaves that grow up to 15 inches long, with seven to 11 serrated leaflets. Clusters of trumpet-shaped red, orange, or yellow flowers appear during the summer months and reach around 1 to 3 inches long before giving way to bean-like seed capsules. These flowers are very attractive to hummingbirds and other pollinators. The foliage turns yellow in the fall before dropping off the vine for winter. Trumpet vine can extend as much as 40 feet when mature and is an aggressive spreader that should be grown with caution. New shoots can pop up yards away from the mother plant, quickly escaping the garden site and forming thickets that can choke out other plants.
Trumpet vines are best planted in the spring or early fall. It is both a fast-growing plant and one that can live for many decades if given a favorable garden location. Trumpet vine is mildly toxic to people and animals.
Click Play to Learn How to Grown Trumpet Vine
|Common Name||Trumpet vine, trumpet creeper, cow itch vine, hummingbird vine|
|Botanical Name||Campsis radicans|
|Plant Type||Woody perennia vine|
|Mature Size||25–40 ft. long, 5–10 ft. wide|
|Sun Exposure||Full, partial|
|Soil Type||Average, moist but well-drained|
|Soil pH||Mildly acidic to mildly alkaline (6.0–8.0)|
|Flower Color||Orange, red, yellow|
|Hardiness Zones||4–9 (USDA)|
|Native Area||North America (Southeast U.S.)|
|Toxicity||Mildly toxic to people and animals|
Trumpet Vine Care
For gardeners willing to put in the effort to control its spread, the trumpet vine can quickly blanket fences, stone walls, arbors, trellises, and other structures, providing a beautiful green focal piece. It can also cover the ground to hide rock piles, tree stumps, refuse heaps, and more. It is critical to provide a sturdy support structure for this vine, as it can overwhelm trees or buildings. Avoid planting it close to foundations because the creeping vines can damage them. Likewise, the vines can also creep under shingles and cause damage.
Trumpet vines require little care in order to thrive. Fertilization typically is not necessary and watering usually is only required during periods of drought. But trumpet vine is still a high-maintenance plant, as aggressive regular pruning is mandatory in order to control growth and spread. Removing unwanted shoots from your lawn, and removing seed pods to discourage self-seeding are all tasks necessary for keeping trumpet vine under control. The seeds are similar to milkweed seeds, with each seed attached to white fluff that allows the seeds to be carried by the wind. It's advisable to use gloves when handling seed pods and seeds.
Trumpet vine is native to the Southeastern U.S. but it has naturalized in many other regions where it is not native. When it escapes from cultivation, it can choke out other species. When used in a landscape, trumpet vine is best planted within boundaries that can be easily enforced. It is also worth looking for cultivars that are considered less aggressive.
Trumpet vines can grow in full sun to partial shade. Full sun, meaning at least six hours of direct sunlight on most days, will produce the best flowering.
These vines can tolerate a wide range of soil types, including sandy, loamy, and clay soils, and have a natural affinity for soils that are moist but well-drained. In native locations, they are often found in seasonal swamps and forest thickets.
Trumpet vines like a moderate amount of soil moisture but have good drought tolerance. In general, they only need watering when there are obvious signs of wilt and withering. In most climates, the typical rainfall will be sufficient to keep the plants healthy.About 1 inch of water per week—through a combination of rainfall and/or irrigation—is entirely sufficient for good plant performance.
Temperature and Humidity
This plant's natural range is the hot, humid Southeastern United States, but it is hardy in zones 4 to 9. In less humid climates, the vine is less vigorous and easier to control.
Because trumpet vines are such aggressive spreaders and can thrive in lean soil, no supplemental fertilization is recommended.
Types of Trumpet Vine
There are several named trumpet vine cultivars, including:
- Campsis radicans 'Apricot' is somewhat more compact and less invasive than the main species plant, and it produces apricot-colored blooms.
- C. radicans 'Flava' has showy golden flowers that stretch around 3 inches long.
- C. radicans 'Indian Summer' is an especially hardy variety and sports yellow-orange blooms.
- C. radicans 'Crimson Trumpet' is an aggressive grower with bright red-orange flowers.
- C. radicans 'Judy' has yellow flowers with orange streaks on the throats. It has excellent frost tolerance.
- C. radicans 'Atropurpurea' is a bright red cultivar, hardy to zone 5.
It is almost impossible to prune this vigorous plant too much. Trumpet vines bloom on new stems, so prune early in the spring before growth starts. Cut the plant back to nearly ground level, leaving only a few buds. It is also okay to cut back in late autumn after the leaves have dried and fallen. This kind of aggressive annual pruning is the best way to keep the plant in check. Vines can also be cut back throughout the season although you may be sacrificing a few blooms. If you want to grow the vine on a structure like a garage or outbuilding, try hanging wire across the surface. This gives the trumpet vine something to attach to and makes it easier for you to take care of necessary pruning throughout the growing season.
Propagating Trumpet Vine
Trumpet vine can be reproduced by many methods, but the easiest way to to simply dig up one of the suckering runners at the point where it emerges from the soil, then transplant it to the desired location. This is best done in the spring as the new growth is just emerging.
How to Grow Trumpet Vine From Seed
This plant readily self-seeds itself, and it is an easy matter to carefully dig up a volunteer seedling and transplant it wherever you want a new plant to grow. Plant the seedling so the crown is right at soil level. It's also easy to collect seeds from the bean-like capsules left behind after the flowers fade, then direct-sow them in the desired location.
Potting and Repotting Trumpet Vine
Trumpet vine makes a surprisingly good container plant, as this method of growing makes it much easier to control its rampant spread. But it will take a very large, heavy container, such as a half-barrel or 20-plus gallon concrete or ceramic planter. Fill the container with general-purpose potting mix, and equip it with a sturdy climbing trellis at the same time you plant the vine.
As with in-ground plants, be sure to dig a hole that's big enough to fit a bottomless bucket container, so it prevents the trumpet vine from spreading its roots and possibly damaging other plants. Gently loosen the roots of plants and place it into the soil, preferably with something that will give it support like a trellis. Be prepared to prune back the vine to just above soil level on a yearly basis in the late fall or early spring. 'Apricot' and 'Indian Summer' are good cultivars for containers, as they are somewhat smaller than other varieties.
When planted within its recognized hardiness zone, this plant requires no winter protection. However, to keep it from overrunning an area, it's best to prune it severely in late fall or early winter—and certainly no later than early spring.
How to Get Trumpet Vine to Bloom
Given full sun, there's almost no way to prevent this plant from blooming robustly through the entire summer. The only hindrance to good blooms is if pruning is done too late in the spring, removing the new growth upon which the flower buds form. Excessive feeding may stimulate extremely aggressive green growth at the expense of flowers. Generally speaking, these plants don't need any feeding at all in order to bloom and they respond better to neglect than to fussy attention.
Common Problems With Trumpet Vine
The most common complaints about trumpet vine don't involve cultural problems, but rather growth that is too vigorous:
The most common complaint about trumpet vine is its rampant growth and habit of damaging foundations and walls, and choking out nearby trees, shrubs, and other plants. For this reason, trumpet vine should be planted at least 6 to 12 feet away from buildings or trees. It is not uncommon for a homeowner to enjoy this plant for a few years, then become disgruntled and begin looking for means of eliminating it (see FAQ).
Trumpet vine is a highly flammable plant, so it is a poor choice for planting next to foundations or building walls in regions where wildfires are a known hazard. A neglected plant that is not pruned back annually can envelop a home or garage in a manner that creates a serious fire risk.
How long does trumpet vine live?
Trumpet vine can live almost indefinitely if the location meets its cultural needs. Unless regularly pruned back, it will develop thick, woody, trunk-like stems that can strangle trees and even crack foundations.
How do I get rid of a trumpet vine?
Like many vines, the oldest part of the trumpet vine plant gradually becomes woody, with a trunk that resembles a small tree. These large, mature plants are likely to send up "baby" plants through underground runners. If discovered when still small, these young plants can sometimes be pulled up and destroyed, but once a good root system is established, the task of eradicating a trumpet vine becomes more difficult.(Video) Trumpet Creeper: Cautions
After cutting away the trunk, the roots should be dug out using a trowel or shovel. Small shoots that pop up in your lawn can usually be kept in check by keeping them mowed down with the grass. As a last resort, an herbicide can be applied. Choose the correct spray by checking the label to make sure trumpet vine is on the list of plants affected. Cut the vine back as close to the ground as possible and spray the stump. Then cover the stump with an old coffee can or something similar. If necessary, protect neighboring plants with a cardboard shield to avoid overspray when applying herbicide.
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Campsis radicans. North Carolina State Extension.(Video) All about Alamanda Golden Yellow Trumpet Vine Grow Care Tips Hindi / Permanent Flower Plant
Campsis Radicans. North Carolina State University Extension.
What are the growing conditions for trumpet vine? ›
The Trumpet Creeper grows in wet to dry soils and sand, loam, or clay soil types with a wide pH range of 3.7 to 6.8. Best flowering occurs when the vine is exposed to full sun, so be sure to keep it out of the shade!What is the best way to grow trumpet vine? ›
Trumpet vine thrives on neglect, preferring poor soil to rich, organic soil. Planting in soil with excess nutrients tends to put on too much green leafy growth, and the vine won't focus on flowering. For the best growth, plant trumpet vine in full sun. This encourages deep green foliage and an abundance of flowers.How do you maintain trumpet vines? ›
Trumpet vines don't need additional fertilizer and actually thrive on only moderately fertile soil. Add a thin layer of compost in spring to keep the vine healthy. Trumpet vine does need moist soil, however, so water well and mulch for bark mulch each spring for moisture retention and weed prevention.Where is the best place to plant a trumpet vine? ›
They grow in part shade to full sun, but you'll get the most blooms in full sun. Don't plant trumpet vines too close to your house, outbuildings or driveways because the vine's creeping roots can damage them. Trumpet vines will need support, so plant them by a fence or trellis.How many years does it take for a trumpet vine to bloom? ›
The trumpet vine (Campsis radicans) is a woody vine that produces orange to reddish, trumpet-shaped flowers. After planting, trumpet vines often don't bloom for 3 to 5 years. The trumpet vine has to grow and mature before it is capable of flowering. There is nothing that can be done to force the vine to flower.What is the best fertilizer for trumpet vines? ›
Start fertilizing trumpet vine by sprinkling 2 tablespoons (30 mL.) of 10-10-10 fertilizer around the root area of the vine. Be careful of over-fertilizing, however. This can prevent flowering and encourage the vines to grow aggressively.Do trumpet vines do well in pots? ›
Potting and Repotting Trumpet Vine
Trumpet vine makes a surprisingly good container plant, as this method of growing makes it much easier to control its rampant spread.
Trumpet vines spread in three ways: by seed, by rooting wherever the plants touch the ground and by underground runners, from which shoots will come up in your garden. To slow down the growth of your plant, remove seed by regular deadheading.Do you cut back trumpet vine every year? ›
Pruning should be done in the late winter or early spring. For mature plants, trumpet creeper tolerates heavy pruning to control its spread and maintain a desired size. Prune annually, spur-pruning lateral shoots back to within two or three buds of the main stems. Remove weak and diseased growth.How do you winterize a trumpet vine? ›
Trumpet vine winter care should include pruning all of the stems and foliage back to within 10 inches (25.5 cm.) from the surface of the soil. Reduce all side shoots so that there are only a few buds on each. As always, remove any dead or diseased stems at the base.
Do trumpet vines need a lot of water? ›
Once it's established, trumpet vine watering needs are minimal to moderate. During the summer, it needs about an inch (2.5 cm.) of water per week, which is often taken care of naturally by the rain. If the weather is especially dry, you may need to water it once per week yourself.How do you winterize a trumpet plant? ›
Before the first frost, move the brugmansia into storage to go dormant. All you need is a cool, dark, frost-free place — 30 to 45 degrees F. is ideal. I keep mine in the cellar. Water it occasionally through the winter to keep the root ball barely moist.Do hummingbirds like trumpet vines? ›
The trumpet vine is a flowering plant known to attract hummingbirds. Learn how to care for this perennial vine without allowing it to overwhelm the thickets of your garden.How fast does trumpet vine spread? ›
This vigorous vine produces clusters of brightly-colored, reddish-orange, trumpet-shaped flowers that bloom from June to August. The Trumpet Vine grows to a height of 10m, with a spread of 2m. It has a fast growth rate, taking six months to one year to reach its mature size.What month do trumpet vines bloom? ›
Clusters of trumpet-shaped yellow, orange, or red flowers up to three inches long appear from June to September.Are coffee grounds good for angel trumpets? ›
Roses, geraniums, angel's trumpets, oleanders, hydrangeas, rhododendrons and azaleas all respond particularly well to coffee grounds as a fertilizer.Are trumpet vines hard to grow? ›
Trumpet vine (Campsis radicans), also known as trumpet creeper, is a fast-growing perennial vine. Growing trumpet vine creepers is really easy and although some gardeners consider the plant invasive, with adequate care and pruning, trumpet vines can be kept under control.Can trumpet vine be grown from a cutting? ›
Propagating trumpet vine cuttings can be done any time of year, as the vines root readily. However, starting trumpet vine cuttings tends to be most effective in spring when stems are tender and flexible.Is Epsom salt good for trumpet plants? ›
Fertilizers poured onto dry soil can cause angel's trumpets' roots to burn from the contact with the fertilizer salts. During the warm months, angel's trumpets benefit from the application of Epsom salts, also known as magnesium sulfate. Use 1 tbsp. per gallon of water and apply it once a month.What kills trumpet vine roots? ›
Liquid glyphosate formulations have been effective on trumpet vine above the water line, but ineffective on plants in the water. They are broad spectrum, systemic herbicides. Systemic herbicides are absorbed and move within the plant to the site of action.
Do trumpet vines have deep roots? ›
It has tremendous drought tolerance, probably because of its ability to root so deeply into the soil. I've heard stories that when the drainage ditches were dug in the Arkansas Delta, trumpet creeper roots were found growing as deep as 20 feet.Is trumpet vine messy? ›
Treat this plant like a specimen rather than a companion to your other plants. Also, the flowers and seed pods can be messy so avoid using this as a cover for pergolas or outdoor entertaining areas.Does trumpet vine attract ants? ›
This is easy to witness in a garden setting as the branches and especially the flowers are frequently crawling with ants. Trumpet creepers trade food for protection via specialized organs called extrafloral nectaries. These structures secrete sugary nectar that is readily sucked up by tenacious ants.Do trumpet vines attract bugs? ›
This spot on my swing set is one of my favorite places because of the trumpet vine. Besides the hummingbirds, the plant attracts much activity. Ants bustle along its long dipping branches down to the blossoms at the ends, where bees and other flying insects also enjoy the nectar all summer long.Can you touch trumpet vine? ›
The fruit, foliage, flowers and sap are toxic and can cause mild to severe skin rashes and irritation if handled, according to North Carolina Extension Gardener. Wear gloves when pruning and wash your hands immediately after handling any portion of the plant.
As the blooms are on the new growth the pruning time for this plant is in the fall or early spring when the plant is dormant. If you prune the plant back you will encourage new growth and increase the potential for flowering.How cold can trumpet vine tolerate? ›
The amount of cold that angel's trumpet can tolerate depends on the variety you have. Some can survive down to as low as 5°F, while others will die if it gets below freezing.Can trumpet plants survive winter? ›
They can be treated as a houseplant in winter if kept in a greenhouse or other sunny spot; otherwise they will lose most of their leaves. They will continue to flower year-round if they get enough light and temperatures are above about 60˚F.What would cause a trumpet vine not to bloom? ›
Too much nitrogen and lack of maturity are the most common causes. This rampant growing vine is a luxury feeder. Its roots seek out and absorb any nitrogen they can find. This results in lots of leaves and stems and no flowers.What should I feed my trumpet plant? ›
During initial growth, use a balanced fertilizer such as a 20-20-20. By the time buds begin to form, alternate with one higher in phosphorus to promote bigger, lustier blooms.
Will trumpet vine come back every year? ›
Trumpet vines don't usually flower until they mature, which takes five to seven years. The vines getting plenty of sunlight tend to produce the most flowers. Trumpet vines are perennial, returning every year.What does trumpet vine look like in the winter? ›
Trumpet vine is woody and attaches to surfaces with suckers similar to those found on ivy plants. During the winter months, the vine loses its leaves and just looks like a jumbled mass of dead twigs; sometime during late spring, it begins showing green sprouts.How do you take care of a trumpet vine in the winter? ›
Trumpet vine winter care should include pruning all of the stems and foliage back to within 10 inches (25.5 cm.) from the surface of the soil. Reduce all side shoots so that there are only a few buds on each. As always, remove any dead or diseased stems at the base.What kills trumpet vine? ›
Liquid glyphosate formulations have been effective on trumpet vine above the water line, but ineffective on plants in the water. They are broad spectrum, systemic herbicides. Systemic herbicides are absorbed and move within the plant to the site of action.How deep do trumpet vine roots go? ›
It has tremendous drought tolerance, probably because of its ability to root so deeply into the soil. I've heard stories that when the drainage ditches were dug in the Arkansas Delta, trumpet creeper roots were found growing as deep as 20 feet.Will trumpet vine grow in pots? ›
Trumpet vine is a huge, prolific vine that produces deep, trumpetshaped flowers in shades of yellow to red. It's a big and fast grower, so growing it in a pot is a good way to keep it somewhat in check.Can you cut a trumpet vine to the ground? ›
Trumpet vines bloom on new stems, so prune early in the spring before growth starts. Cut the plant back to nearly ground level, leaving only a few buds. It is also okay to cut back in late autumn after the leaves have dried and fallen. This kind of aggressive annual pruning is the best way to keep the plant in check.