Trumpet vine is also known as trumpet creeper. It is a native North American plant with glossy dark green elliptical leaves. 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, or pods. It is a fast-growing perennial vine that is invasive, but with adequate care and pruning the trumpet vine can be kept under control. It attracts hummingbirds and other pollinators. A humming bird finally visited our trumpet vine after 20 some years.
It blooms throughout summer and into fall but blooming may be limited for those planted in a shady location. Following its flowering, trumpet vines produce attractive bean-like seedpods. The woody vines are usually strong enough to endure winter and will die back and return in spring. The vines can reach 30 to 40 feet in just one season. Keeping their size under control with pruning is often necessary. If allowed to grow, a trumpet vine can easily take over and is extremely difficult to get rid of. They can grow in sun (6 hours of direct sunlight on most days) and partial shade. It prefers a nice well-drained soil, but is resilient enough to adapt to nearly any soil. Be sure to choose a suitable location and a sturdy support structure prior to planting. It is important that you plant the vine some distance from your home. They can work their way under shingles and even cause damage to foundations. A trellis, fence, or large pole works well as a support structure. Do not allow the vine to climb trees as this can lead to strangulation of the tree.
Trumpet vines require little care once established. Water only as needed and do not fertilize. The only maintenance is pruning to keep it under control. 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. Pruning can be done in the fall after the leaves have dried and fallen. Deadheading trumpet vine flower pods as they appear is a good idea to prevent the plant from reseeding in other areas of the landscape. To keep it from overrunning an area, it’s best to prune it severely in late fall or early winter and no later than spring. 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 is best planted in the spring or early fall. Trumpet vine is mildly toxic to people and animals, causing digestive upset if eaten. It can also cause mild skin irritation when handled. Trumpet vine suffers from no serious pest or disease problems.
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