flowering vine for dead tree - questions

Sancho_Panza_OK(7)April 9, 2012

I'm located in Stillwater and I'm planning on "decorating" the 10' stump of a dead tree with a heat-resistant, colorful flowering vine, in the hope that it will (a) look more attractive and (b) attract hummingbirds. I was thinking of a Dropmore Scarlet honeysuckle, but I'd certainly entertain other suggestions if people have them. Also, on which side of the tree (north, south, etc.) should I plant the vine?

Many thanks!

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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

I think it will be fine for as long as the stump remains standing. You'll need a backup plan for some kind of trellis system for it once the stump falls over or gets blown down (which could be years and years from now).

It will look really nice and will attract both hummingbirds and butterflies. I have a coral honeysuckle "Pink Lemonade" that looks very similar and the hummers adore it.

It will bloom best in full sun, so plant it on whichever side of the stump gives it the most sunlight, taking into consideration other nearby trees or buildings that might shade it.

If for some reason you decide you don't want to use honeysuckle, you also could attract hummingbirds with American Crossvine (I have one called "Tangerine Dream") or with Trumpet Creeper "Flava" or "Madame Galens", both of which are not as invasive as the species trumpet creepers.


    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 11:42PM
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Dawn, don't Crossvines bloom only in spring? I have a friend who has one and that is what she tells me??? I have heard their bloom heralds the arrival of the hummingbirds.

I think Honeysuckle is a great vine for your stump. You may have to do some winding and training of the new shoots, but it's probably worth it. Another fantastic Lonicera for attracting hummers and butterflies is Gold Flame. I'll attach a photo of blooms and info. It does need good air circulation to prevent powdery mildew. But it is gorgeous.

The L. sempervirens species of hybrids like Alabama Crimson, Dropmore Scarlet, or Major Wheeler. These bloom all summer as well.

If you purchase a honeysuckle as a smaller plant (don't worry, it will grow), it may not bloom this year, or perhaps even next, but it will reach blooming size eventually. During the intervening time between growth and bloom, plant some annual seeds of Cardinal Vine or Cypress Vine. They will grow and attract hummers and the larger butterfly species. They may also reseed for you the following year. Moonflower (Ipomoea alba) is a good one for the night flying sphinx moths that love its nectar. They start flying at dusk and are amazing to watch.


Here is a link that might be useful: Lonicera heckrottii 'Gold Flame'

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 8:25AM
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How about hyacinth bean or Joan Lorraine Asarina? Or, maybe clematis?
Honeysuckle or jasmine?
Rose is always nice, there are some very hardy and beautifu climbing roses and they can be mixed with something else.
I have a double of jasmines, not sure if they're hardy in your zone but the fragrance is unbelievable.
I would love to grow clematis but it's "iffy" in Phoenix.
There are a few hardy passion flowers, if this is full sun.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 8:41PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Susan, I have grown crossvine for about 25 years, both here and in Texas, and in both locations it has been a repeat bloomer. It doesn't bloom nonstop, but just cycles in and out of bloom all summer long. It repeat-bloomed better for me in Texas than it does here, but it had much better soil there too.


    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 11:11PM
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Thanks for the info, Dawn. Good to know. I would love a Crossvine, but the Trumpet Vines (already planted here when I moved into house in '98) keep trying to take over and I have nowhere to put one. Drat!


    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 6:55AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Susan, One good thing about Trumpet Vine is that even in the worst of years they are in bloom for the hummers when everything else is struggling. Last year my trumpet creepers didn't miss a beat and flowered even in the driest, hottest weather.

I love American Crossvine, and have grown both the native one and some selected cultivars like 'Tangerine Dream' that flower more often and more heavily.

When I lived in Texas, the hummers followed the bloom period of the native crossvines as they migrated northward. I wonder if that even was possible this year after last year's tremendous drought and wildfire season. My crossvine here gets no irrigation and has been incredibly slow to leaf out this year. I am not sure it is going to survive. Often a drought-damaged plant will put out a lot of energy to leaf out this next year and then will die because it lacks the vigor to survive. If I have to replant crossvine in that area, I'll do some soil improvement because I planted it in just about the worst clay possible with no soil improvement.


    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 11:02AM
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