En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
2 ratings

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

 

 

More Vines Questions

Patio Privacy Screen Suggestions for Central Texas
March 17, 2013 - I have just built a patio and want to plant some small trees, bushes or shrubs to form a visual barrier (rather than to erect a fence)to the neighbors yard.
view the full question and answer

Vine for arbor in Eugene, OR
May 01, 2009 - We have an arbor that is partial shade and stays fairly wet and want to plant a climbing plant on it with shallow roots, preferably with flowers. We had a wisteria but got roots and shooters everywher...
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for a vine to grow on a fence in Crossville, TN
April 28, 2010 - I would like your suggestions on a vine to grow on a fence in part shade that would look good in winter as well as summer, if possible, for a site in Crossville, TN.
view the full question and answer

Identity of fleshy three-leaved vine in Central Texas
June 20, 2015 - I have a 3 leaved evergreen vine, that I assume is a central Texas native, growing in my yard in a non irrigated mostly shady spot. It has a strong odor when touched and looks and feels like a succule...
view the full question and answer

Grape Vines and spacing for Portland, OR
September 10, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a somewhat small south-facing yard next to my home (less than 8' wide). I would like to build a tall arbor for grapes that runs along the length of my home (about 4...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center