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Trumpet Vine


Trumpet Vine Campsis radicans (KAMP-sis RAD-ee-kans)


Deciduous vine – Sun to part shade – High Climbing – Spacing 5-8 feet




HABIT: Large sprawling vine with showy orange and red trumpet like flowers that bloom all summer. Climbs by aerial roots. Bare in winter. Native to the easy coast, Florida and Texas. ‘Madame Galen’ introduced by French nurseries doesn’t spread as much as the native plant. C. radicans ‘Flava’ has pure yellow flowers. C. x ‘Crimson Trumpet’ is a pure red.


CULTURE: Easy to grow in any soil, drought tolerant. Prune back to the main trunk after leaves fall in the spring. Does best in full sun.



USES: Climbing vine for fence, arbor, screens or poles. Summer flower color. The pink variety is not hardy and should be used as an annual.


PROBLEMS:  Native plant spreads badly to become a huge pest causing a severe maintenance problem.


This vine is horribly invasive and difficult to get rid of. The only solution short of a concrete wall in the ground is to remove the mother plant and spot spray the small shoots that return with the vinegar herbicides.




Pink Trumpet Vine


QUESTION: How can I remove the roots of a trumpet vine? It has taken over a lot of my garden, and I don’t know how to get it out without ruining other plants and shrubs. E.B., Dallas

ANSWER: There is only one solution: Dig it out. Neither organic sprays nor chemicals will kill the trumpet vine without hurting other plants.

TRUMPETVINE STORY FROM A LISTENER: His email included the following quote from this topic—Trumpetvine (Campsis radicans) High climbing deciduous vine. Showy orange and red trumpet-like summer flowers. Mother plant and all the hybrids spread badly to become severe pests causing major maintenance problems. This vine is horribly invasive and difficult to get rid of.


One day last June I was fixing lunch and noticed the AC was blowing warmer and warmer air. Went out and found the AC compressor not running. Uh oh! After checking several things I noticed the Smart meter was dead and so was my neighbors. I felt relieved because it wasn't me, but was it strange because I had some power in my house but some outlets were dead.


After ONCOR showed up and turned off all power I went out and observed the transformer that supplies our houses was covered with Trumpetvine.Seems it wrapped around one of the secondary terminals and burned through, cutting off one half of the power or one phase to about 10 houses on my block. 13 hours later ONCOR got the transformer replaced. But they left all that Trumpetvine as-is growing up the pole! So went out with shears and cut the vines at ground level that were growing up the pole. It was starting to grow up and over my 8' cedar fence so I cut that back too. The vine emanates from an empty lot where a house used to be, across the alley behind my next-door neighbor's house so it's growing freely.


Yep a maintenance problem! — Ed in FB


Ed sent these photos: 


Transformer fail #1 


Transformer fail #2


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