Hummingbirds love trumpet vine, but is it invasive?

Hummingbirds love trumpet vine, but is it invasive?

Trumpet vine is a hummingbird magnet, but it’s not right for every garden. Learn where and how to plant this favorite pollinator, and when you should avoid planting it.

Check out the 10 best red hummingbird flowers to grow.

Trumpet vine care and growing tips

Images from Japan, Asia and other countries of the world / Getty Images
Campsis Radicalscommonly called trumpet vine or trumpet creeper
  • Zoya life can be appreciated: Campsis Radicals
  • Other common names: trumpetcreeper, devil’s lace, cow vine
  • Growing zones: 4 to 9
  • Size: Vine plant up to 40 feet tall
  • Light Needs: Full sun to partial shade
  • Water requirements: average

This fast-growing vine climbs high fences, trees or other supports using its aerial roots. The glossy, serrated leaves grow in pairs of three to six leaflets, and the 3- to 4-inch-long waxy, trumpet-shaped flowers that give it its name are red to reddish-orange in color. Varieties like ‘Flava’ have yellow flowers instead. All parts of the trumpet vine are poisonous to some degree, so wear gloves when handling the plants and keep them away from pets and children.

“Trumpet vines require patience,” says gardening expert Melinda Myers. “First and foremost, they must reach maturity before they begin to bloom. This may take several years after planting. It is important to avoid high-nitrogen fertilizers, as they promote the growth of leaves and stems while It also prevents flowering.

Here are the 10 best vines to grow for hummingbirds.

Does trumpet vine attract hummingbirds?

253817007 1 Eric Auer BNP Bypc2020
Ruby-throated hummingbird on trumpet vine

Those deep flowers hold sweet nectar at their base, attracting hummingbirds to feast. These birds pollinate the plant with bees, butterflies, ants, and others. The leaves also serve as a host plant for the generalist sphinx moth larvae (Vernacular appearance), also. This makes this flowering vine an all-around winner in a wildlife garden that has the space for it.

Did you know: Trumpet vine can provide hummingbirds with up to 10 times more nectar than most plants.

Look for more tubular-shaped flowers that attract hummingbirds.

Where does trumpet vine grow?

Trumpet vineCourtesy Larry Keller
The tube-shaped flowers are filled with nectar.

Like most vines, this plant does best in a place where it can climb. At ground level, it tends to outrun everything around it, so give it a fence, trellis, or even a tall tree to climb instead. It can also make a great container plant, especially in hanging baskets where the blooming vines come into their own.

Trumpet creepers grow well in many types of soil, as long as they are well-drained. They are even drought tolerant once established. Give it plenty of sun to maximize flowering. Individual vines can grow up to 40 feet long, so give them plenty of room to spread out and flourish.

One of the real advantages of this flowering vine is its resistance to deer. It is rarely exposed to serious pests and diseases, although powdery mildew and leaf spots can be occasional problems. Remove affected leaves as soon as you see them, and remove leaf litter in the fall to reduce the problem the following season.

Note: Hummingbirds will also flock to your hummingbird mint plant.

Is trumpet vine invasive?

Campsis radicans flowersBy Eve Livesey/Getty Images
Make sure to plant trumpet vine in an area that has room to roam.

This widespread plant is native or naturalized throughout most of the United States: north into New England and south all the way to Florida, and across the Central Plains into Kansas and Texas. It has been grown as an ornamental hummingbird plant in many other places around the country.

Even in its native areas, trumpet creepers can quickly become unruly in small gardens or landscapes, taking up space. Aerial roots can damage wood and stone, including buildings. It may need regular pruning to keep it in check in many landscapes. Cut them back to the ground in early spring to encourage fresh, healthy growth. Then prune throughout the growing season as needed, wearing gloves to avoid the mildly toxic sap produced by the vines.

This vine also travels via underground roots, emerging several feet from the original planting. They can be difficult to eradicate, so be sure to plant them first. If you have concerns about whether trumpet vine is suitable for your landscape, consult your local county extension office or master gardener for advice.

“Although a real hummingbird magnet, the sucking property is a major downside to this vine,” says Melinda. “Trumpet vine sends up runners that can be difficult to manage. Constantly trimming the shoots to the ground as they appear will eventually starve the plant, but You must remove all the shoots. As you have discovered, it can take a lot of time and effort. Another option is that you can paint the leaves with a complete plant killer. If you do this, be careful not to touch the desired plants nearby and be aware that repeat applications will be needed. As always, be sure to read and follow label directions.

Next, learn how to grow nectar-rich native plants for hummingbirds across the country.

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