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Mr. Smarty Plants - Trumpet vine care

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Wednesday - October 31, 2007

From: Union Bay, BC
Region: Canada
Topic: Vines
Title: Trumpet vine care
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I planted a trumpet vine in the early summer of this year. It grew about 3-4 ft. and seemed healthy. It is now Oct. 25th, and I just noticed that all the leaves seem to have shrivelled up and gone brown. Hopefully, it's simply gone into dormancy. Should I prune it back yet and, if not, when should I?

ANSWER:

Campsis radicans (trumpet creeper) is a native of North America, although it looks exotic enough and grows fast enough (in the American south) that you might think it a sub-tropical non-native. According to the USDA hardiness map, it is hardy from Zones 4 to 9, and is growing in Washington State. Assuming you are in the more temperate coastal area of British Columbia, you should have no trouble sustaining it. And, you should probably be glad you are there, where colder temperatures will inhibit it somewhat, as it can get out of control, grow 35 to 70 feet, and simply take over (sometimes damaging) buildings, fences and trellises.

The Trumpet creeper is a deciduous plant, and as far north as you are, you should certainly be expecting it to start dropping its leaves by late October. When it has done so, in the fall, is the time to trim it fairly close to the base. If it grows too vigorously during the warm season, you can prune it back just about any time to control growth and open up the foliage. See this Floridata site for more information on the culture of Campsis radicans . One warning: One of the common names for this plant is "cow-itch vine" which refers to the plant's ability to produce a skin irritant.

 


Campsis radicans

 

 

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