Growing a Cardinal Climber Vine

I would like information about the cardinal climber flower. It has a red, trumpet-shaped flower on a vine. It is attractive to hummingbirds. Thank you.


Hardiness Zone: 5a

By Makelti from Wichita, KS

November 4, 20090 found this helpful

Few people realize that lobelias come in more than the edging plant with purplish-blue flowers. Actually, there are over 400 species of lobelia. The cardinal flower is one of them. This herbaceous plant can grow upwards to 4 feet tall. It has bright green leaves with sprays of bright red flowers. Cardinal flowers are a favorite of hummingbirds and people alike.

Moderate Instructions Things You'll Need:


Compost or decayed manure

Cardinal flower plant


Complete plant food

Slug pellets or beer traps

Pruning shears


Step 1 Select the site for the cardinal flowers. They grow well in full sunlight to semi-shade. They need rich soil that retains moisture. Dig up the soil. Remove rocks and other garden debris. Mix in compost or decayed manure several weeks before planting the flowers.

Step 2 Plant the cardinal flowers in the spring. Dig a hole that is larger than the container. Carefully remove the plant from the container and gently loosen the roots. Put it in the hole, fill with soil and tamp down gently to remove air bubbles. Water this to settle the soil. Space cardinal flowers 15 to 18 inches apart.

Step 3 Water the cardinal flower regularly and deeply. They are not tolerant of drought. Apply a complete plant food, along with a layer of mulch, in the spring.

Step 4 Watch for the cardinal flower to bloom beginning in the middle of summer and continuing to early fall. Continue to water well, keeping the soil moist, while the flower is actively growing. Do this especially during long periods of drought. Cut off spent flower stems. Add an additional layer of mulch for winter protection.

Step 5 Propagate by dividing every two or three years. Dig up the cardinal flower, divide and replant. Space the new flowers 12 inches apart. Water to settle the soil.

good luck.

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November 5, 20090 found this helpful

Nice information about lobelia cardinal flower, kffrmw88, but I think makelti wants information about Cardinal Climber (Ipomoea multifida).

Here is a link to a site with information on growing the Cardinal Climber:

Cypress vine is similar, but the foliage is more finely cut and the flowers come in pinks and white, too.

Both are annuals in the morning glory family, and culture is similar.

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November 6, 20090 found this helpful

I think the vine you are asking about is one known as trumpet vine.

Trumpet vine

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Trumpet vine

Trumpet vine flowers

Scientific classification

Kingdom: Plantae

(unranked): Angiosperms

(unranked): Eudicots

(unranked): Asterids

Order: Lamiales

Family: Bignoniaceae

Genus: Campsis

Species: C. radicans

Binomial name

Campsis radicans


The Trumpet vine or Trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans), also known as "Cow itch vine," is a large and vigorous woody vine of the family Bignoniaceae, notable for its showy trumpet-shaped flowers. It is native to woodlands of the southeastern United States, but is a popular garden perennial plant across much of the country as some cultivars are hardy to as low as -30°F/-34°C.

The leaves are opposite, ovate, pinnate, 3-10 cm long, and emerald green when new, maturing into a dark green. The flowers come in terminal cymes of 4-12, orange to red in color with a yellowish throat, and generally appear after several months of warm weather. The plant as a whole may grow to 10 meters in height.

The flowers are very attractive to hummingbirds, and many types of birds like to nest in the dense foliage. The flowers are followed by large seed pods. As these mature, they dry and split. Hundreds of thin, brown, paper-like seeds are released. These are easily grown when stratified.

The vigor of the trumpet vine should not be underestimated. In warm weather, it puts out huge numbers of tendrils that grab onto every available surface, and eventually expand into heavy woody stems several centimeters in diameter. It grows well on arbors, fences, telephone poles, and trees, although it may dismember them in the process. Ruthless pruning is recommended. Outside of its native range this species has the potential to be highly invasive, even as far north as New England.The trumpet vine thrives in many places in southern Canada as well.

Alternate scientific names have included Bignonia radicans and Tecoma radicans.

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