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How To Grow Trumpet Vine Without It Taking Over Your Garden

27 de mars de 2024

Native to the eastern United States and now spreading to the West, the trumpet vine (Campsis radicans), also called trumpet creeper, gets its name from clusters of showy, red-orange, trumpet-shaped, three-inch blooms that appear from early summer to fall. Hummingbirds swarm to the tubular blossoms.

It climbs trees quickly and ascends 40 feet or more using aerial rootlets. Its flowers form seeds that drop to the ground, making more vines that do the same thing. Its spreading roots submarine underground far from the original plant and pop up everywhere. Herbicides are necessary to stop the emergence of new trumpet vines. The safest way to grow trumpet vine is on a column or arbor where it can’t reach other plants or structures. The entire trumpet vine is mildly toxic for people and pets, especially the seeds, foliage, and sap.

Plant Attributes

 Common Name: Trumpet Vine, Trumpet Creeper 
 Botanical Name: Campsis radicans
 Family:  Bignoniaceae
 Plant Type:  Perennial, Vine
 Mature Size:  25-40 ft. tall, 20-30 ft. wide
 Sun Exposure:  Full, Partial
 Soil Type:  Loamy, Sandy, Clay, Moist, Well-drained
 Soil pH: Acidic (3.7 to 6.8) 
 Bloom Time:  Summer
 Flower Color:  Red, Orange, Yellow
 Hardiness Zones:  Zones 4-10 (USDA)
 Native Area:  North America
 Toxicity: toxic to dogs, toxic to cats, toxic to pets, toxic to people

Trumpet Vine Care

Trumpet vine is a multi-stemmed, deciduous, woody vine that is easy-to-grow, but more challenging to maintain. Left unchecked, this plant will invade surrounding areas, including house foundations and structural elements. Provide trumpet vine with a trellis structure to climb and attach through aerial rootlets. Native to southeast North America, this vine grows well in most soil conditions, especially in forests or swamp environments. Areas with at least six hours of daily sunlight produce the showiest vines, which bloom on new growth. 

Trumpet vine grows well in pollinator gardens, as it attracts hummingbirds. The self-seeding nature of this plant makes it invasive in most environments.


Trumpet vines grow best in areas with at least six hours of sunlight daily. This vine will grow in partial shade but produce the most blooms in full sun.


Trumpet vines grow in most soil conditions, including clay, loamy, and sandy. Keep vines in moist but well-draining soil similar to their native environments in forests or swamps.


Trumpet vines are relatively drought-tolerant. About one inch of water weekly through rainfall or watering, but this vine will need more in harsh summer heat if the foliage is wilting.

Temperature and Humidity

Trumpet vine grows best in USDA Zones 4-10. It prefers hot, humid climates but will still grow in other areas. Less humidity will produce less vigorous vines, which makes them easier to maintain.


Fertilizer is not necessary to grow trumpet vines. These vines spread quickly without amending the soil with organic matter or soil nutrients. During droughts, some fertilization might help trumpet vines to continue growing.

Types of Trumpet Vines

Trumpet vines are available in several varieties, including named cultivars and species. Here are some trumpet vine types to know:

  • Campsis radicans «Apricot»: A more compact variety, this apricot-hued flowering vine is reportedly less invasive than other species. 
  • Campsis radicans »Flava» (Yellow Trumpet Vine): This species, known for its attractive orange-yellow flowers, produces showy three-inch blooms in early to late summer. 
  • Campsis radicans «Crimson Trumpet»: This hardy species produces bright orange-red flowers that attract hummingbirds.


Prune trumpet vines throughout the year to help control the aggressively growing vine from spreading beyond the area you want it to climb. This vine blooms on new growth, so cut the vine back to the ground in early spring to make space for fresh flowers. Pruning can also occur in late fall to remove spent foliage or wilted blooms. Train trumpet vines to climb a trellis to a vertical structure to help maintain growth and prevent seed pods from taking root in unwanted areas. 

To remove trumpet vine, a herbicide that targets vines and brush should do the trick, and it may take a few applications. Cut vines like these at the roots before spraying with the herbicide.

Propagating Trumpet Vines

Trumpet vines propagate easily and quickly through self-seeding, cuttings, and root division. Here is how to propagate trumpet vines through cuttings: 

  1. In the summer, use a sterile pruning shear to select a cutting from a healthy vine. 
  2. Remove the leaves from the bottom half of the plant and dip the cutting into a rooting hormone if preferred. 
  3. Fill a container with potting soil and plant the cutting directly into the mixture. 
  4. Keep the soil moist and the container in a shaded environment for at least a month or until the cuttings take root. 
  5. Dig up the shoots in late winter or early spring and plant them in a larger container or garden. 

How to Grow Trumpet Vines From Seed

Trumpet vines have a self-seeding nature, but to reproduce these plants in a new location using seeds, here is what you need to know:

  1. Harvest the trumpet vine seed pods before they split open and after they turn brown, typically two to three months after flowering. 
  2. Split the seed pods and gather the seeds. Allow the seeds to air dry on a paper towel before storing them in a sealed container and placing it in the refrigerator.
  3. Trumpet vine seeds need to stratify for 30 to 60 days at 41°F to 50°F. 
  4. Sow seeds in a container or in the garden in the spring—plant seeds in moist, well-draining soil. 

Potting and Repotting Trumpet Vine

Repot trumpet vines easily when propagating new plants—Mature vines with roots can move outside after outgrowing their container. Because of its aggressive growth rate, trumpet vines don’t thrive as container plants because of the extensive pruning needed to maintain the plant’s health. If choosing to use a container, ensure loose, moist soil and space for the vine’s roots to spread. Smaller varieties might be more successful in containers.


Yearly pruning helps protect trumpet vines over the winter. Cut back vines to the ground in early spring—late fall or early winter works also. This pruning includes removing stems, foliage, and side shoots. Remove dead, damaged, or diseased branches to maintain the vine’s health.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases

Trumpet vines are resistant to most pests and diseases. However, powdery mildew and leaf spots might occur when planting vines in areas without proper air circulation.

How to Get Trumpet Vines to Bloom

Trumpet vines growing with full sun and well-draining soil should bloom without many issues. Deadhead blooms to avoid self-seeding and excessive spreading. Seed pods will emerge from flowers left on the vine, so remove the six-inch pods to keep plants healthy unless you want to propagate more vines.

Common Problems With Trumpet Vines

Trumpet vines are easy-to-grow. Some concerns with growing this plant are due to its aggressive growth rate and susceptibility to being invasive in most environments. Here are some issues to know when growing and caring for this vine:

Leaves Turning Black/Brown

Disruptions of water flow cause trumpet vine foliage to wilt and turn brown. Leaf wilt or scorch is also generated from insufficient air circulation around the vine, too densely packed soil, root damage, or bacterial or fungal infection. According to the label, treat fungus with a herbicide designed for vines as directed.

High Flammability Rating

Trumpet vines have an extreme flammability rating. Because of this risk, avoid planting trumpet vines near building structures or in areas where wildfires are common. Keep vines well-pruned to help prevent this fire hazard.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What happens to trumpet vines in winter?

    As a fast-growing perennial vine, the trumpet vine loses its foliage in the winter. In the late spring, green sprouts will emerge, but in the winter, they will have a messy, dead twigs appearance.

  • How many times a year does a trumpet vine bloom?

    Trumpet vines bloom on new growth, so deadheading after the flowers will encourage a second showing. Trumpet-shaped yellow, orange, and red flowers bloom from June to September in the summer.

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  1. North Carolina Extension Services. Campsis radicans (Cow-itch, Cow Vine, Devil’s Shoestring, Foxglove Vine, Hellvine, Trumpet Creeper, Trumpet Vine). North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox.
  2. North Carolina Cooperative Extension. Campsis radicans (Cow-itch, Cow Vine, Devil’s Shoestring, Foxglove Vine, Hellvine, Trumpet Creeper, Trumpet Vine).