How To Grow And Care For Trumpet Vine

Also known as the trumpet creeper, here's how to keep it from taking over your garden.

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Native to the eastern United States and now spreading to the West, the trumpet vine (Campsis radicans), also called trumpet creeper, gets its name from clusters of showy, red-orange, trumpet-shaped, 3-inch blooms that appear from early summer to fall. Hummingbirds swarm to the tubular blossoms.

Some consider it an invasive weed as trumpet vine climbs trees quickly and ascends 40 feet or more using aerial rootlets. Its flowers form seeds that drop to the ground, making more vines that do the same thing. Its spreading roots submarine underground far from the original plant and pop up everywhere. Herbicides are necessary to stop the emergence of new trumpet vines. The safest way to grow the vine is on a column or arbor where it can't reach other plants or structures. Plant it in spring or early fall. Note that the entire trumpet vine is mildly toxic for people, especially the seeds, foliage, and sap.

Plant Attributes

Common Name

Trumpet vine, trumpet creeper

Botanical Name

Campsis radicans



Plant Type

Perennial, vine

Mature Size

25-40 ft. tall, 4-10 ft. wide

Sun Exposure

Full, partial

Soil Type

Average, moist soils

Soil pH

Acidic (3.7 to 6.8)

Bloom Time


Flower Color

Red, orange, yellow

Hardiness Zones

Zones 4-10 (USDA)

Native Area

North America


Toxic to people

Trumpet Vine Care

Trumpet vine is a multi-stemmed, deciduous, woody vine that is easy to grow but more challenging to maintain. Left unchecked, this plant will invade surrounding areas, including house foundations and structural elements. Provide trumpet vine with a trellis structure to climb and attach through aerial rootlets. Native to southeast North America, this vine grows well in most soil conditions, especially in forests or swamp environments. Areas with at least six hours of daily sunlight produce the showiest vines, which bloom on new growth. 

Trumpet vine grows well in pollinator gardens, as it attracts hummingbirds. The self-seeding nature of this plant makes it invasive in most environments.

Steve Bender
Steve Bender


Trumpet vines bloom best in areas with several hours of direct sunlight. Plant it in full sun (at least six hours of sunlight daily) or in partial sun (at least two hours of direct sunlight). The foliage will grow in shade but produces few blooms in shady conditions.


Trumpet vines grow in most average soil conditions, including clay, loamy, and sandy soils. Keep vines in moist but well-draining soil similar to their native environments in forests or swamps.


Trumpet vines are relatively drought-tolerant. About 1 inch of water weekly through rainfall or watering suffices, but this vine will need more water in harsh summer heat if the foliage is wilting.

Temperature and Humidity

Trumpet vine grows best in USDA Zones 4-10. It prefers hot, humid climates but will still grow in other areas. Less humidity will produce less vigorous vines, which makes them easier to keep in check.


Fertilizer is not necessary to grow trumpet vines. These vines spread quickly without amending the soil with organic matter or adding nutrients. Excess nitrogen can interfere with blooming.

Types Of Trumpet Vines

Trumpet vines are available in several varieties, including named cultivars and the straight species. Here are some trumpet vine types:

  • 'Crimson Delight': Bright red-orange flowers appear in summer.

  • 'Flava': This buttery yellow trumpet vine blooms in summer and fall.

  • 'Flamenco': Vibrant red-orange blooms appear from mid-summer until frost.

  • 'Snazzy Brass': This golden-yellow variety is ever-blooming, with profuse blooms appearing from late spring to fall.


Prune trumpet vines throughout the year to help control the aggressively growing vine from spreading beyond the area you want it to climb. This vine blooms on new growth, so cut the vine back to the ground in early spring to make space for fresh flowers. Pruning can also occur in late fall to remove spent foliage or wilted blooms. Train trumpet vines to climb a trellis or a vertical structure to help maintain growth and prevent seed pods from taking root in unwanted areas.

Deadhead blooms to avoid self-seeding and excessive spreading. Seed pods will emerge from flowers left on the vine, so remove the 6-inch pods unless you want to see more vines appear in your garden.

To remove trumpet vine, an herbicide that targets vines and brush should do the trick, and it may take a few applications. Cut vines like these at the roots before spraying with the herbicide.

Propagating Trumpet Vines

Trumpet vines propagate easily and quickly through self-seeding, cuttings, and root division. Here is how to propagate trumpet vines through cuttings:

  1. In the summer, use a sterile pruning shear to select a cutting from a healthy vine.

  2. Remove the leaves from the bottom half of the plant and dip the cutting into a rooting hormone if preferred.

  3. Fill a container with potting soil and plant the cutting directly into the mixture.

  4. Keep the soil moist and the container in a shaded environment for at least a month or until the cuttings take root.

  5. Dig up the shoots in late winter or early spring and plant them in a larger container or garden.

How To Grow Trumpet Vines From Seed

Trumpet vines have a self-seeding nature, but to reproduce these plants in a new location using seeds, here is what you need to know:

  1. Harvest the trumpet vine seed pods before they split open and after they turn brown, typically two to three months after flowering.

  2. Split the seed pods and gather the seeds. Allow the seeds to air dry on a paper towel before storing them in a sealed container and placing them in the refrigerator.

  3. Trumpet vine seeds need to stratify for 30 to 60 days at 41°F to 50°F.

  4. Sow seeds in a container or in the garden in the spring; plant seeds in moist, well-draining soil.


Yearly pruning helps protect trumpet vines over the winter. Cut back vines to the ground in early spring—late fall or early winter works also. This pruning includes removing stems, foliage, and side shoots. Remove dead, damaged, or diseased branches to maintain the vine's health.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases

Trumpet vines are resistant to most pests and diseases. However, powdery mildew and leaf spots might occur when planting vines in areas without proper air circulation.

How To Get Trumpet Vines To Bloom

Trumpet vines growing with full sun and well-draining soil should bloom without many issues. Fertilizing the plant is unlikely to be helpful as excess nitrogen interferes with blooming. Newly seeded plants may take as long as five years to start blooming. Newly planted trumpet vines can take three years to produce flowers.

Common Problems With Trumpet Vines

Trumpet vines are easy to grow. Some concerns with growing this plant are due to its aggressive growth rate and susceptibility to being invasive in most environments. Here are some issues to know when growing and caring for this vine:

Leaves Turning Black/Brown

Disruptions of water flow cause trumpet vine foliage to wilt and turn brown. Leaf wilt or scorch is also generated from insufficient air circulation around the vine, too densely packed soil, root damage, or bacterial or fungal infection. According to the label, treat fungus with a herbicide designed for vines as directed.

Vines Overgrowing House Or Trees

Trumpet vines have an extreme flammability rating. Because of this risk, avoid planting trumpet vines near building structures or in areas where wildfires are common and keep vines well-pruned. The aerial rootlets can also damage paint or siding.

Trumpet vine will scramble up trees if allowed, so it's best to plant it far from any trees and prune regularly to keep it in check.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens to trumpet vines in winter?

As a fast-growing perennial vine, the trumpet vine loses its foliage in the winter. In the late spring, green sprouts will emerge, but in the winter, they will have a messy, dead twig appearance.

How many times a year does a trumpet vine bloom?

Trumpet vines bloom on new growth, so deadheading after the flowers will encourage a second showing. Trumpet-shaped yellow, orange, and red flowers bloom from June to September in the summer.

What is a less invasive alternative to trumpet vine?

Coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) is a native, twining vine with red, trumpet-shaped flowers that attract hummingbirds. The vines are much less aggressive and evergreen in much of the South.

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