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 - 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 Vines Questions

Will an ivy vine growing up my maple kill it?
March 23, 2009 - I have a ground cover ivy vine that has grown up my big maple tree. I would like to know if this will kill the tree if left, or will I kill the tree if I take it off? What should I do with it?
view the full question and answer

Need plants to cover a fence and retaining wall combination
January 27, 2010 - Recently we replaced our fence and I need help with plants to mask an 18 foot section of fence/retaining wall. The fence guy set the fence back about 10 inches from the top of the retaining wall which...
view the full question and answer

Pet Friendly Groundcovers for CA
January 23, 2016 - I am looking for pet friendly, groundcover plants in San Jose, CA.
view the full question and answer

Identity of vining plants in yard in Texas
May 08, 2015 - I have vining plants in my back-yard, here when I bought the house, that, from what I have been able to find on-line, look like poison sumac, however, I know they are not. Leaf shape, color, and appe...
view the full question and answer

Flowering shrubs and vines for San Angelo, Texas
May 28, 2015 - Hello What would be the best flowering shrubs and vines to plant here in dry San Angelo?
view the full question and answer

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