Trumpet Vines Not Flowering

Q: I have two rather large trumpet vines. One of them has an abundance of flowers while the other one has never had even one flower on it. The one without "trumpets" on it is also a lot larger. The vine that has the trumpets (flowers) is also the only one that ever has seedpods on it. Is it possible that one is a male plant and the other one is female?



A: Sue,

Trumpet Vines are hermaphrodites (contain both male and female parts) so that isn't the problem. You don't mention whether or not your trumpet vines are planted next to each other so I'm going to assume that they are growing in different spots in your yard. First make sure its basic needs are being met, and if not, move it to a new location. These are beautiful vines that prefer lots of sun and a sheltered (somewhat windless) spot to grow in. They are quite drought tolerant and actually do better in "lean" soil with little or no fertilizer. Many people grow them for years without seeing flowers (they need to be at least 3 years old before they bloom) and eventually lose patience and give up. At times, it seems like some plants need a little "scare" or "kick-in-the-pants" to get going. Consider trying the "hack it, starve it, ignore it" method. Pinching back long stems will encourage flowering because blooms set on new growth. In the spring, cut it well back before new leaves emerge, don't fertilize it and threaten to get the shovel if it doesn't start producing. Now ignore it and see what happens.


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