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Growing a Trumpet Vine

By Ellen Brown

Growing a Trumpet Vine


How do you grow a trumpet vine?

Hardiness Zone: 5a

Jan from Big Rapids, Michigan



These are wonderful vines for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds (and nectar loving insects of all sorts), but you should be aware that they can be quite invasive in some gardens.


Trumpet Vines can be started from seed, suckers or by purchasing young plants. They will tolerate poor soil, but for the best show of flowers plant them in full sun in soil that is nutrient-rich and drains well. There really isn't much to growing them, with the exception of the need for constant pruning to keep them in check. They require moderate amounts of water and don't require any extra fertilizer to grow well.

The first two or three years of growth they will be putting all of their energy into getting established so don't expect to see any flowers. To keep growth in check, you can prune the vine in the late fall or early spring. Trumpet vines also send forth lots and lots of suckers. These can be managed with a shears (or a lawn mower), but don't dig them out or you'll end up with twice as many as you started with. Gathering seedpods before they pop and regular pruning will also help keep these vines in bounds and prevent them from taking over your garden.


You'll need to provide it with a sturdy support almost immediately after planting.


About The Author: Ellen Brown is our Green Living and Gardening Expert. Click here to ask Ellen a question! Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at


Growing a Trumpet Vine

Jan, I've read and agree that it takes 3 years to grow a trumpet vine. I've transplanted mine twice so I've had the experience. The first year it won't flower, and will only grow about 3 feet. The second year it will grow tall and produce a few flowers. The third year it will grow great. New shoots will develop quickly so keep trimming them off. I've had mine in full sun, but I've seen them in lots of directions so put yours anywhere. They are so easy to take care of. I also had 4 trellises put in a square with the trumpet vine growing up on them all. I've heard if they are planted too close to a house, they will grow into the siding. Be creative. But be careful because they will take over if you let them. They are beautiful and will bring hummingbirds. (08/24/2006)


By Kim, SE WI

Growing a Trumpet Vine

We live south of Grand Rapids, MI and there is plenty of trumpet vine in this area. And it is true, they are very aggressive. A few years ago, we had them growing on the side of wood-sided house, and they actually got underneath the wood siding and eventually ended up in the house. So plant them accordingly. Give them plenty of room and support and in a couple of years they will bloom. (11/04/2006)

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