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Wednesday - October 08, 2008

From: Yakima, WA
Region: Northwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Vines
Title: Care for a Campsis radicans in Yakima, WA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a Campsis radicans it is in a 7" pot and the plant is 20" tall. It was a clipping given to me by a lady that is now out of town. My question is: I live in zone 6a so do I leave it in the pot indoors/outdoor or plant it in the ground before the frost/snow comes? Please help, I've looked everywhere online for the answers.

ANSWER:

While our Native Plant Database does not show Campsis radicans (trumpet creeper) as native to Washington, this USDA Plant Profile map shows that it does grow there.  This is definitely not an indoor plant, as it can grow very aggressively and take over an area. You might also want to read this Dave's Garden Forum on Trumpet Vine. There are several negative comments on its growth habits, and from areas just as cold or colder than your Zone 6a. Unless you have a large area you want to cover, we would advise you to get rid of it while you can. And not into a compost pile, it will take that over, too. 

Granted, most of this aggressive behavior is observed in the South, and your colder temperatures and shorter season might help to control it. Another factor you should consider is that it can cause  uncomfortable skin irritation just coming into contact with the sap.

If you are determined to give it a try, plant it in the ground, now. You can mulch it to protect it from frost, if you wish. Be sure and place it in an area where it has a sturdy support, and away from wooden garages, decks, etc. Some of the comments in the Forum mentioned above were that it bloomed poorly for them in the cooler climates. If it's not going to bloom and attract hummingbirds, then it's not worth fooling with.

 

 

 

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