En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - June 09, 2010

From: Hugo , MN
Region: Midwest
Topic: Pruning, Transplants, Vines
Title: Care for large trumpet vine in Hugo MN
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I was recently given a large Trumpet vine that has been growing in the same place for the last 25 years.I have replanted it and given it a large trellis to grow on.I live in central Minnesota. My question is should I cut it back now or just allow it to grow the first year to establish itself. The main stem is about 6 inches around and only has 2 small buds coming on it. The top (about 10 feet high ) has lots of new buds on it. This is my first trumpet vine and I am at a loss .

ANSWER:

We are also at a loss about two things: How on earth did you transplant a vine that size? and (2) What is it doing growing in Minnesota?

The first question has to do with the fact that a plant growing that long in one place must have had one heck of a root. If it is still growing and putting on buds after that kind of move, we have to tip our hat to whoever did it. The second question is that both of the native plant candidates  to be a "trumpet vine," Bignonia capreolata (crossvine) and Campsis radicans (trumpet creeper) are hardy from USDA Hardiness Zones of 6 to 9 or 6 to 10. Hugo, in Washington Co., MN, is in Zone 3b, where annual average minimum temperatures are -35 to -30 deg. The closest that crossvine grows to Minnesota is the very southern edge of Ohio. The nearest the trumpet creeper comes are counties in the very southern corners of Wisconsin and Ohio. 

However, whether it lives through the Winter or not, we think the best possibility is that you have Campsis radicans (trumpet creeper). Probably, that far North its invasive tendencies are not going to have a chance to get going before it starts freezing back. Both vines are considered native to the southeastern United States, and both can become somwhat invasive, climbing up trees or buildings and putting out suckers all over everywhere. While trumpet creeper is beautiful and a prolific bloomer attracting hummingbirds, it can be a pest in the fields and has a sap that can irritate the skin. It is sometimes referred to as "cow itch" or "Hellvine," if that gives you a clue. 

Either plant is going to bloom better if it can get up to the sun, which may be why you have buds up high, but none down low. If the buds are breaking up high, the roots are alive. We would do no trimming unless and until it did start to get invasive, and then only to control its spread beyond where you want it and nipping off suckers if they appear. We would suggest that as soon as the blooms and leaves start to drop that you trim it down fairly close to the root area, and then cover that with mulch. If the roots freeze, the plant is dead, regardless of what it went through to get transplanted.

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Bignonia capreolata

Bignonia capreolata

Campsis radicans

Campsis radicans

 

 

 

More Pruning Questions

Shearing Pink Skullcaps
September 21, 2014 - My pink skullcap plants keep dying. The ones that are still alive are about 3 years old, but have large sections of dry twigs. Do I shear them and hope they come back or are they gone? I live in Helot...
view the full question and answer

Can Monterrey Oak be topped into a bush from Austin TX
June 16, 2013 - I received a suggestion to use Monterey oak as privacy hedge by topping the small tree and letting it bush. I can't find any pictures or info on this being done though.
view the full question and answer

Deadheading Mexican hat to produce more blooms in Austin
July 05, 2010 - I have several Mexican hat (rudbeckia) plants growing wild in my yard. Would deadheading now give them a second flush of bloom in fall?
view the full question and answer

Pruning Bald Cypress in Wylie, TX
January 02, 2010 - I have a 6 year old bald cypress that sustained damage to the upper portion of its trunk a couple of years ago. Since that time it has grown more outward than upward and developed a rounder shape. I...
view the full question and answer

Questions about care and pruning of Mexican Plum and Mountain Laurel in Austin, TX.
January 24, 2012 - I have a couple of questions regarding tree care and pruning. I have a Mexican Plum (Prunus mexicana), about 10 years old or so. I would like to prune it. Is it ok to prune now in late wi...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center