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Thursday - August 19, 2010

From: Dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Vines
Title: Propagation of trumpet vines from Dallas
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Can you tell me about trumpet vines, can they be rooted in water? I heard they reseed at the end of their growing season.


Campsis radicans (trumpet creeper) grows natively in the Dallas area, so they should do well where you are. We don't know if it can be rooted in water, but we do know it propagates itself to the point of madness. If you tried rooting it in water, it might take over your kitchen. Before you make any decisions about using this plant, we suggest you read this Dave's Garden Forum on Campsis radicans, especially the negative comments. 

From our own Native Plant Database page on this plant, here are some more warnings:

"Native to eastern North America as far north as New York and Ontario, this vine is often cultivated for its attractive, reddish orange flowers and can escape cultivation, sometimes colonizing so densely it seems a nuisance, particularly in the southeast, where its invasive qualities have earned it the names Hellvine and Devils Shoestring. Its rapid colonization by suckers and layering makes it useful for erosion control, however, and its magnificent flowers never fail to attract Ruby-throated Hummingbirds within its range. Adapted to eastern forests, Trumpet creeper grows tall with support. It climbs by means of aerial rootlets, which, like English Ivy, can damage wood, stone, and brick. To keep it in check, plant it near concrete or an area that you can mow; mowing down the suckers will discourage them. Fairly drought tolerant within its range. Blooms most in full sun." 

As an alternative, might we suggest Bignonia capreolata (crossvine)? It is more of an East Texas plant, but it grows in your area. The vines are related in that both belong to the Bignoniaceae Family, but while Crossvine also can grow rather vigorously, it is a little more controllable that the trumpet vine. Here are its propagation instructions:

"Propagation Material: Seeds , Softwood Cuttings , Root Cuttings
Seed Collection: Collect the large, woody capsules from late summer through fall when they are light brown and beginning to dry. Seeds remain viable one year in sealed, refrigerated containers.
Seed Treatment: Seed requires no pretreatment.
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: Training to avoid crowding of stems will aid in the formation of flower shoots. Branches can be cut back in the spring to encourage flowering."

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:

Campsis radicans

Campsis radicans

Campsis radicans

Campsis radicans

Bignonia capreolata

Bignonia capreolata

Bignonia capreolata

Bignonia capreolata



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