Trumpet vine

mikailApril 24, 2006

Greeting.. Three years ago, I planted campisis radicans,

"trumpet creeper", "hummingbird vine" because it is

supposed a magnet for hummingbirds. Every year it grows

well and is full of green, but has not produced any

flower. Every year, I cut back vines to ground level

in hopes for more prolific growth. Could this be the reason

that it is not bloomed yet? It is plant in a sheltered

and sunny location and get at least 6 hours of full

sun. Can anyone give me information please if you have had

any experience with this plant.

Thank you much,

Mikail Jiri

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My trumpet vine bloomed last year for the first time. I waited many years for this, but can't remember how many for sure. It was easily 6-8 years of nothing but green foliage. It might even have been 10, I just can't remember but it seemed like forever, and I had given up hope of ever seeing any blossoms.

I never pruned it, fertilized it, or did much of anything for it. It is growing up the bricks of the front of my mother's house, and is only in part sun--maybe 2 hours in the early morning, then dappled light for another 3 or so, then perhaps another 2 before the sun disappears behind the house in the mid afternoon. In spite of only partial sun, it always seemed quite healthy and green. I have heard that trumpet vines take a long time to mature, and that other people have had problems, too, with getting them to bloom. Once they do, I've seen specimens just smothered in bloom. Mine bloomed enough to attract the hummers, but not as heavily as others I've seen. I'm sure my partially shady situation hasn't helped. If you have a sunnier site, perhaps you will be luckier.

It has really been a hummingbird magnet. They were absolutely crazy about it last summer. I think mine is the variety called "flava," which has pale orangey yellow blooms, instead of the usual orange to red. It is adapted to be pollinated by hummingbirds, and the stamens are placed so as to deposit pollen on the foreheads of these tiny birds--really cute to see them with the tops of their heads dusted yellow! Once pollinated, it gets huge pods that look like gigantic 10" long beans.

I'm sorry I can't be of more assistance. I don't know if pruning would help, or fertilizing. I'm just afraid that whatever you do, you may be in for a long wait.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 11:17PM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

It usually takes a minimum of 5 yrs. for a trumpet vine to become established and bloom. Coral honeysuckle is a much better option. It also is a native perennial vine in in most cases will bloom the first year it is planted. Unless Trumpet creeper it will bloom all season.


    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 7:05AM
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I had coral honeysuckle at a previous house. The hummers loved it so much, they'd let me stand right next to it when they came to feed. I could get to within 2 or 3 feet of them. It was amazing to have them buzz right up next to me. They'd sip, look at me, sip, look at me, but the lure of the honeysuckle seemed to over ride their concern about my presence.

Deb in PA

    Bookmark   April 27, 2006 at 7:19AM
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I planted a bignonia capreolata or Dragon Lady Crossvine last year, which is the less invasive of the trumpet vines. I planted it late fall last year, and with plans of a trellis for under the deck stairs. This year, I finally bought the trellis which it grabbed onto easily, but showed no growth. I went out of town for a week last week, and it has grown a foot and a half!! It also has blooms on it! Incredible.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2006 at 12:02AM
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crlyn11mfdct(SE CT)

I have had trumpet vine for about 8 years. I do remember it took about 4 years before it bloomed. Once it started it got better each year. I never pruned it - it grew up a tree and the main trunk it very thick - thought it would ruin the tree - but it has not. I need to watch it more closely this year to see if my hummer (if it ever gets here...) uses it. I spend most of my time looking in the back yard near my other flowers and feeders. Good Luck! Carol

    Bookmark   April 30, 2006 at 7:48PM
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Don't cut the Trumpet Vine back down to the ground. It needs to get 2-3 years growth from first planting in order to bloom. By cutting back, you simply keep setting it back more instead of letting it get mature. I planted a small plant I mail ordered when I lived in NY and by the 3 year with no pruning it bloomed and never stopped after that. You can cut it back each year once it reaches the top of the fence or trellis or whatever you are growing it on, but don't cut it back to ground level.


    Bookmark   May 1, 2006 at 6:29PM
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I have ane orangy red trumpet vine. It flowered every single year since I planted it 4 years ago. I have it where it gets full early morning sun, till maybe 10am, then shade the rest of the day. I never cut it back, nor have I fertilized it. It is under the overhang for my patio and the water is limited, too. This year I've had one show of flowers, and a second showing is forming now.

Two other pinkish trumpet vines, planted in full sun,don't do as well, and gets about 6 hours+ sun and all the rain. I normally only get one showing from these vines, and few flowers.
They seem to do better for me in the limited sun. I can't figure it out, but am glad when I get to see the hummers up close near my patio!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2006 at 5:15PM
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flutterbug(NH 5b)

If your 'trumpet vine' is Campsis radicans. Campsis radicans flowers on new wood. However the plant does have to be anywhere from 3 to 5 years old to flower. I would only prune to keep a desired shape, and to get rid of the bulk of old growth. Leave the oldest sturdiest stems for the plant to get new growth and climb on. If need to cut it more, leave about 18" of old growth on the bottom. Never cut below the last set of leaves, unless it is dead.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2006 at 5:11PM
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I bought 4 vines of which my neighbor approved to put on the fence between us. Just yesterday she told me that they have a bad smell to them and I should consider just throwing them away. Is this true? Please let me know.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 6:07PM
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Carolyn, Trumpet creeper have no smell at all. I bet your neighbor did alittle research and found out the bad stuff about it like how it attracts ants and how its suckers all over. She probably regrets the decision and doesnt know how to tell you the right way. I would just remove them and put them elsewhere now before their established. BTW old telephone poles work great for these things.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 12:09AM
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