Trumpet creeper vine, or Campsis radicans, is a tropical flowering vine native to the Gulf Coast. It has been cultivated in North America since colonial times and is prized for its large yellow, orange or red flowers. The flowers attract hummingbirds, bees and insects, and the vine is renowned for how easily and quickly it grows. In many cases, it must be cut back yearly, or it will grow out of control. Trumpet creeper is also known as "cow's-itch": It is a nightshade plant and can cause skin irritation after direct contact.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Trumpet vine seed or cuttings
- Spade or trowel
- Pruning shears or clippers
Choose a sunny spot to plant the vine where it can climb a fence, trellis or pole. Do not plant near the foundation of a house or a fragile structure; trumpet vince can overtake and destroy the structure. Plant in spring, after all danger of frost is gone.
Water the soil well. Dig a 1/4-inch hole with your finger. Place one trumpet vine seed in the hole, then cover it with soil, pressing it gently into place. If planting vine cuttings, place each cutting so at least 1 inch of vine will be underground, with the end of the vine protruding from the soil.
Water again so the soil is very damp. Water the planting area daily, keeping the soil damp but not soggy, until shoots appear from the seeds or the cuttings show new growth.
Irrigate the area as needed to keep the soil moist, but not wet, until the plant has grown two sets of leaves. This means it has established roots and is getting nutrition from the soil.
Water your trumpet vine regularly. Trumpet creeper is drought-tolerant, so you can let soil dry between waterings.
Fertilise your trumpet vine plants every two to three weeks if you have nutrient-poor soil. Apply a general purpose fertiliser in granular, slow-release form. Follow the package direction for proper amounts to avoid overfertilizing.
Weed around the new vine until it is fully established, usually less than a year.
Thin new shoots with pruning shears or clippers during times of heavy growth to encourage root development and control your creeper vine's shape.
Remove all seed pods before they fall, to prevent the vine from spreading.
Cut trumpet vine back significantly in winter. Don't worry about cutting back too much, as trumpet creeper can regrow from its roots.
Tips and warnings
- Always wear gloves and long sleeves when handling trumpet vine to avoid getting an itchy rash.
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