trumpet vine

Trumpet Vine

The trumpet vine is an easy to grow vine which can be considered invasive. It blooms with showy orange, yellow, and even red blooms. Bees and hummingbirds love the nectar the flowers produce. But beware; once you get it going, it may take over the yard if not properly trimmed back. The species we normally see in the middle and eastern US is the American Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans). There is also a variety native to China. In the US, it is also called hummingbird vine or cow itch vine. Read on to find out all about the trumpet vine.

The Trumpet Vine Grows Almost Anywhere

Trumpet vines will grow surprisingly fast in fertile soil with plenty of rain. They will grow almost as well in rocky soil with minimal rain also. Many people grow the trumpet vine in arid places where many other flowers just cannot survive. They can climb up to 30 feet and can smother trees if allowed to climb up them.

They are listed as an invasive weed by the US Department of Agriculture because they can be almost impossible to get rid of once established. It grows along wooded area borders, lakes and riverbanks. They prefer full sun, but will survive in partial shade. And they are surprisingly hardy, enduring harsh winters to come back the following spring. They produce tons of long, trumpet shaped flowers all summer long.

bumblebee on trumpet vinee

Perfect To Attract Pollinators

Butterflies, hummingbirds, and many species of bees are attracted by the showy flowers. Hummingbirds are especially fond of these flowers because the long, trumpet shaped flowers are perfect for the long beaks of the hummingbird. I have seen honeybees, bumblebees, and several species of small metallic bees buzzing around the flowers during the blooming season. If you need to attract pollinators for your garden, these plants are perfect for that purpose.

Be Sure And Prune Trumpet Vine Aggressively

One suggestion I see over and over is to prune them aggressively. The vine grows extremely vigorously. As the weather warms, it puts out tendrils which latch onto anything in range. They grow well on a trellis, fences, posts, utility poles, trees, and really any surface where it can get a grip. It is suggested not to allow it to grow on brick, stucco, and wood surfaces as the roots can damage them. They should be aggressively trimmed in the winter or early spring before new growth is established to keep them in check. If not, they can quickly overrun the garden or yard area where they are planted.

bumblebee approaching trumpet vine flower

Trumpet Vines Are Extremely Hardy

They are resistant to most diseases and pests. This makes them extremely easy to grow, but hard to get rid of. Each flower will produce a seed pod about 6 inches long. These pods are filled with paperlike seeds, which disperse in the wind around the plant when they pop open. These seeds will produce new plants, which can be very hard to get rid of. If you want to prevent them taking over, the best way is to pull the flowers off as they die and begin to set the seed pods. Pull any young seedlings at the first sign of them.

These plants are native to the Ozarks and can be found in the wild all over the Ozarks, especially along fences and roadsides. For more information on them, you can see this article on Wikipedia. You might also like to read about some of the other native Ozarks wildflowers, such as goldenrod, wild bergamot, and plantain.

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