How to Grow and Care for Trumpet Flowers
You're growing a fast growing, flowering vine with a trumpet shape that's
attracting hummingbirds in big numbers. Everyone who see it in your yard,
calls it by a different name. Most commonly the word "trumpet" is in the
name. It's understandable if you are a little confused about exactly what
to call it. We will help to take a little of the confusion out....just a
Trumpet flowers are also sometimes called "Cow Itch". As member of the nightshade
family, the leaves have a toxic substance that can cause itching and a
There are two types of Trumpet Flower or Trumpet Flower Vines:
The first is Trumpet Creeper (Campsis Radicans). It can grow 30-40 feet in
a season, with a trunk several inches across. It's three inch blooms appear
in the summer, earlier in the south. Colors range from yellow and yellow
orange to red. This plant is native to the U.S. Gulf Coast and southeastern
A close relative is the Cross Vine (Bignonia Capriolata). Cross Vine is also
commonly called Trumpet Flower, or Trumpet Vine. Cross vines grow shorter
vines. The flowers are smaller, growing two to three inches. It blooms early
in the spring, and helps to attract returning hummingbirds to your yard for
the season. Cross Vines are native to a large area of the U.S. from the mid
atlantic states and south to Florida, and west to mid-western states.
At this point, some of you may be thinking "My Trumpet Flower is a bush or
a tree." In that case, you are growing Angel Trumpet
Flowers, also called Brugmansia.
Hummingbirds are attracted to the
As a flowering vine, they need some type of support to climb. In
the wild, they grow up tree trunks. They will look good growing in this manner
in naturalized settings. A trellis or fence works well, too. Fences are more
popular, as it provides longer length to run the vines. The support should
be big enough to support vine growth of up to 30-40 feet, depending
upon what trumpet flower variety you are growing.
Plants can be invasive. Growing methods are the same for both types of Trumpet
Trumpet Flower Vine are grown from seeds. Sow seeds directly into your flower
garden after all danger of frost has past and the soil has warmed. Plant
seeds 1/4" deep.
Vines can also be propagated by digging up and replanting suckers.
How to Grow:
Trumpet Flower Vine is easy to grow. They prefer full sun, but will tolerate
partial shade. Plants like a rich soil to fuel their fast growth. Mix a healthy
dose of compost into the soil prior to planting.
Plants like a lot of water and nutrients. Keep soil moist. Add general purpose
fertilizer when planting, and every two to three weeks during the season.
Switch to a high phosphorous formula just before the blooming period.
Trumpet Flower Vine needs some form of support to climb up. Trellises or
fences work well.
Keep the areas weeded when plants are young. A layer of mulch will keep weeds
down, and create a neat appearance.
Trumpet Flower Vine can be invasive. They are good "re-seeders". If the pods
are allowed to open and pour out their seeds, you will find many new plants
next year. Do not disturb the soil until seedlings have begun to grow.
Thinning will almost certainly be needed. If you don't want them to spread
too rapidly, pick seed pods as they appear.