Orange Trumpet Vines

    • Roses have more flowers all summer long than any other shrub. Plant them in a sunny location and feed monthly for continuous blooms.
    • Mottled leaves are often a sign of spider mites. Check for them with a hand lens or bring a leaf in to your nursery, in a plastic bag, for identification and treatment options.
    • Sow lettuce seeds now for a fall crop. Set out broccoli and cabbage plants too.
    • Feed fuchsias, begonias, summer annuals and container plants to keep them green and blooming right up until frost.
    • Feed rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias with a “bloom” fertilizer to encourage flowers for next spring.

A Wall of Orange Trumpets
Trumpet vines are beautiful all summer

The orange-flowering trumpet vines on fences around town is beautiful every summer. The trumpet vine, Campsis radicans, native to the eastern United States, is a large, vigorous deciduous vine that will attach itself to almost anything with its aerial rootlets. This easily grown vine has been cultivated in North America since colonial times. The beautiful two-inch orange or yellow blooms which open in summer are loved by people and hummingbirds alike.

Trumpet vines are very hardy and grow rapidly to 30 to 40 feet or more, becoming a large, heavy vine if not thinned. Give them a strong support to grow on, a sunny location and average water. Foliage grows well in shade, but plants need good sun for best flowering.

Easily grown in most soils, they grow best in lean to average soils with regular moisture in full sun.

The strong aerial rootlets cement themselves to supports, making a strong adhesion. Trumpet vine is not recommended for planting near buildings, as their rootlets will ruin painted surfaces.

The leaves of the trumpet vine resemble those of wisteria. Each leaf is divided into 9 to 11 leaflets. The flowers grow in clusters of 6 to 12, and are three inches long, flaring to two inches wide at the mouth of the trumpet. They begin blooming in early July and continue until frost.

‘Madame Galen’ trumpet vine (Campsis x tagliabuana ‘Mme Galen’) has larger, showier flowers than the common trumpet vine. They are a lovely cantaloupe-orange color.

The variety ‘Flava’ has pure yellow flowers that shine in bright contrast to the rich green leaves. Hummingbirds seek it out as much as they do the species.

Trumpet vines are a big favorite with hummingbirds. It is a wonderful nectar source for them, and with so many bright-colored blooms to stick their long beaks into, they will be around your yard for weeks.

Vines soften the hard edges of structures and connect them to other plants in the garden. They can screen unsightly walls or views. Use vines to create green walls that define an outdoor room. Arbors covered with a deciduous vine will give shade in the summer and let in the light in the winter time. A wire or wooden fence can become a showy wall with its brilliant blooms throughout the summer.

Trumpet vines bloom on new growth, so early spring pruning will not affect the flowering. Flowers are followed by long, bean-like seed pods (3-5” long) which split open when ripe releasing numerous 2-winged seeds for dispersal by the wind.

Vines are functional workhorses in the garden. And trumpet vines are hard to beat for fast growth as well as beauty all summer long.

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