Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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
Not Yet Rated

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.


Campsis radicans

Campsis radicans

Campsis radicans

Campsis radicans

 

 

 

More Vines Questions

Native plants for memorial garden in Michigan
March 04, 2008 - I want to start a memorial garden for my daughter. I live in northern Michigan and the area has very tall white pines we have pruned them up about 15' so the area does get partial sun. Which plants w...
view the full question and answer

Want to identify thorny vines growing in Charlotte Hall, MD
April 25, 2013 - I have vines with thorns growing in my wood, vining around the trees and killing them. It grows and vines go up trees of any height all the way to the top. It has green pointy leaves. If it doesn't...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification--vine with spiny pods in California
July 05, 2010 - I came across a vine while hiking in Orange County, CA. It didn't have flowers on it but has 3 or 4 inch spiny pods. What is it? The vine itself looks similar to a Morning Glory vine.
view the full question and answer

Plant identification of a potted vine in California
October 04, 2011 - Hi, we have a tropical vine growing in a pot on our patio that my wife bought at the county fair. We've had it for a couple of years but I just noticed it now has a sort of pear like fruit on it. It ...
view the full question and answer

Native evergreen vine for St. Paul MN
June 17, 2010 - I am looking for a native vine that will stay green, or at least keep its leaves, throughout the winter. The vine will be grown on a trellis between our house and our neighbor's, and we want to keep...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.