En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Problems with recently planted trumpet vine from Worcester MA

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

Saturday - October 20, 2012

From: Worcester, MA
Region: Northeast
Topic: Invasive Plants, Diseases and Disorders, Vines
Title: Problems with recently planted trumpet vine from Worcester MA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a question about my recently planted Trumpet Vines. First of all, I live in Massachusetts, zone 6. The soil is perfect for the two vines, which I bought from a local nursery. The vines are small in size, the biggest being 13 inches tall, the smallest under 6 inches. Here is how I planted them. I planted them next to a fence with a metal rod leading up the fence. However, the smallest one is too small to cling to anything, which I think might be one of the problems. I don't know what do you think? By the way on top of the soil is quartz rocks, don't know if that is a problem as well? Water seems to get through easily enough. I have even tried sugar water because I hear that helps with transplant shock, but it's been a week and a half and the leaves on the plants are falling off fast. The biggest one had black leaves the third day we planted it. The small one is just showing signs of failure. We have had plenty of rain too. There has been no frost yet. The plants receive a good amount of sunlight. I forgot to mention that I planted them next to my patio. So here is my real question. Why are my plants dying on me so fast? What can I do to save them before the first frost, which is typically in early October? If you have a any other suggestions that would be great. An email would be the best. I am really concerned right now. Thank you.

ANSWER:

First, we would like to apologize for the delay in replying to your question. It apparently went to some other portion of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center website, sat in an Inbox for several days and then finally made it to the Mr. Smarty Plants question page. In future, you will get faster service (hopefully) if you start with the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants page. Or you can access Mr. Smarty Plants from the wildflower.org home page.

Having said all that, we are not sure we can help you. Campsis radicans (Trumpet creeper) is definitely native to Worcester Co., MA, as you can see from this USDA Plant Profile Map. We try to check on this first thing, because if you wish to plant, for instance, a distinctly tropical or sub-tropical plant in a cold northern area, it probably is not going to work, and sometimes that gives us our answer quickly. However, that is obviously not the case in this situation.

Please follow this plant link ,Campsis radicans (Trumpet creeper) to our webpage on this plant which will tell you everything we know about this plant. You were probably on the right track when you identified the problem as transplant shock, but that may have already been happening before you ever purchased it from the nursery. If it was a leftover at the end of the season, it may already have been suffering from one of several problems, including poor drainage, which would cause the roots to rot, or the wrong soil in the nursery pot, or lack of sunlight while it waited in the nursery. This generally is a very healthy, easy-to-grow plant to the point of being invasive, especially in the Southeast. In Massachusetts, it will definitely be deciduous and by now be already dormant.

So, the next question is: what next? Without knowing which, if any, of our suggestions might be the reason for the deterioration of the plant, we can suggest that you trim it back, leaving enough stem that you can find it again in the Spring. It is very cold tolerant, so we don't think you need worry about cold while the plant is dormant.

Or, after you read some of the 64 negative comments on trumpet creeper on this Dave's Garden forum site, you might count yourself very lucky if the stuff dies. In the future, we would suggest planting perennials in the season opposite to the blooming season for that plant, in this case, July to September, which would mean planting as soon as the soil warms up in the early Spring.

 

From the Image Gallery


Trumpet creeper
Campsis radicans

Trumpet creeper
Campsis radicans

Trumpet creeper
Campsis radicans

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Problems with hibiscus in Florida
November 09, 2008 - Have a hibiscus in Florida. It has always done beautifully planted in the ground. This year, it has developed something where the branches are sort of white, and the buds (and ends of branches) look ...
view the full question and answer

Sap oozing from non-native Chinese pistache in San Antonio
September 07, 2011 - I live in San Antonio, and my chinese pistache is exuding copious amounts of a sticky sap from old trim sites and from the trunk itself. The tree is about 12 years old and has been healthy up until no...
view the full question and answer

Live oak bark splitting in Katy TX
October 03, 2011 - We have a 7 yr old live oak that looks like its bark is splitting open in branches and top leaves look wilted. If that sounds like oak wilt, do we need to have the tree removed? We live in a subdivisi...
view the full question and answer

Identification of worm feeding on chockecheery
August 03, 2007 - I am looking to find out what sort of worm looking insect, is commonly found on chokecherry trees. It has a turquoise appearance with yellow fingerlike projections on the back. It suctions onto the ...
view the full question and answer

Suffering Yaupon in Austin
July 14, 2012 - I am in the Austin area and I planted a Pride of Houston Yaupon in my back yard in March. It is in full sun. Lately the leaves have been turning pale green and now they fall off the tree upon touchi...
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