Gardening Articles: Landscaping :: Trees, Shrubs, & Vines
Trumpet Vine (page 2 of 3)
by Alain Charest
Uses of Trumpet Vines
Remove long branches each winter to maximize new flowers.
Trumpet vines are fast growing and are mostly used on walls where, if you let them, they will reach 40 feet. They are self clinging with aerial roots. However, much of the weight is supported by the woody trunk, which gets to be as large as the trunk of an old lilac bush. The exposed large trunk looks very good on the side of pergolas (although on a pergola the blooms are more easily admired from the outside than from the inside). They work particularly well as covering for a dead tree trunk, provided it is in the open and gets plenty of sun.
No One is Perfect
Trumpet vine has one big drawback, which is that it suckers a great deal. New shoots appear all around the plant. I believe this is the key reason the plant is more appreciated in the North, where winter helps keep the plant in check. In my zone 5 garden, it's not a problem, perhaps partly due to my region, but also because lawns mostly surround it. The new shoots that push through the grass are mowed with the grass. However, if, like me, you have a gravel path next to the vine, some shoots will appear in the gravel in July and August and will have to be pulled out. You will also have to rake up the numerous blooms once in a while as they start fading and falling onto the ground.
To give you a lot of bloom, trumpet vine needs to have a very sunny exposure. In the northern part of its range, a southeast facing wall where it gets maximum heat and sunshine is ideal. In more southern climates, it can put up with some shade. In places with less sunny summers, such as Northern Europe, trumpet vine does not bloom as reliably as it does in most of North America. It is very accommodating of soil and pH and has no serious pests. I will sometimes notice a few scales on mine, but they don't seem to do any visible damage and the plant has been growing for over 20 years. Another requirement for good bloom is an annual pruning.