Trumpet vine can become invasive
Q: I have a trumpet vine, and this is its second year. Some of the vines are thick, and some are thin. Should I cut it back this winter? It has yet to flower.
A: Trumpet vine ( Campsis radicans), also known as trumpet creeper or hummingbird vine, is a woody, perennial vine that produces long, tubular red, orange or yellow flowers favored by hummingbirds. It is a very aggressive grower that can quickly outgrow a trellis or arbor and, because it produces tiny rootlets on its stems, the vine can readily cling to and climb up into trees and even cover houses.
Trumpet creeper is a native of the Eastern and south central United States, and it can grow 30 to 40 feet tall. It has an incredible tendency to become invasive and is listed as an invasive weed in several states. I don't often suggest planting this vine because of its over-rowdy growth habit and its tendency to generate a lot of seed. Plus, it is a real bear to remove should you ever decide you don't want it anymore.
The flowers are indeed very lovely and they do attract and support hummingbirds. However, it can take five to eight years to even see any of those flowers. This plant definitely needs to reach a certain level of maturity in order to produce blooms.
Trumpet vine can be pruned at any time of the year, and don't be afraid to be assertive with it, especially as the plant matures. These vines bloom on new growth, so much like a grape vine that you can remove up to three-quarters of last year's growth each spring. Then, throughout the rest of the growing season, prune off any tendrils that wander off the trellis. Trumpet vine has a tendency to produce lots of suckers at ground level. These should be regularly removed as well to help keep the vine in check.
Horticulturist Jessica Walliser co-hosts “The Organic Gardeners” at 7 a.m. Sundays on KDKA Radio. She is the author of several gardening books, including “Grow Organic” and “Good Bug, Bad Bug.” Her website is www.jessicawalliser.com.
Send your gardening or landscaping questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or The Good Earth, 503 Martindale St., 3rd Floor, D.L. Clark Building, Pittsburgh, PA 15212.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Zimbabwe alleges Murrysville doctor illegally killed lion
- Rossi: Looking at the next great Steeler
- Steelers swap draft pick for Eagles cornerback
- Ability to clog the trenches crucial to Steelers defense
- After early criticism, Haley has Steelers offense poised to be even better
- Penguins not alone in top-heavy approach to salary cap
- EPA diktats: Pushing back
- Shell shovels millions into proposed Beaver County plant site
- Pirates notebook: New acquisition Happ more than happy to fill spot in rotation
- Starting 9: Examining Pirates’ deadline decisions
- Steelers notebook: Injuries finally become issue at training camp