Pruning Trumpet Vines: Learn When And How To Prune A Trumpet Vine

By: Teo Spengler

Tough and beautiful, woody trumpet vines (Campsis radicans) rise to 13 feet (4 m.), scaling trellises or walls using their aerial roots. This North American native produces 3-inch (7.5 cm.) long, bright orange flowers in the shape of trumpets. Read on to learn how to prune a trumpet vine.

How to Prune a Trumpet Vine

It takes two or three years for a trumpet vine to develop a strong framework of branches. To accomplish this, you’ll want to start pruning trumpet vines the year after you plant them.

Since trumpet vine blooms in midsummer on current year’s growth, severe fall pruning won’t limit the vine’s flowers the next summer. In fact, pruning trumpet vines properly encourages the plants to produce more flowers every summer.

The plant is prolific and sends up multiple basal shoots. It’s a gardener’s job to reduce that number to begin building a long-term framework for the flowering shoots.

This process requires cutting trumpet vine plants back in the fall. The following spring, it’s time to select the best and the strongest vine shoots and prune back the rest. This pruning procedure is appropriate for newly planted trumpet vines and also for mature trumpet vines that need renovation.

When to Prune Trumpet Vines

Your first job is to harden your heart to cutting trumpet vine plants in autumn. When you are cutting trumpet vine plants back, you can prune them off at ground level or leave up to 8 inches (20 cm.) of vine.

This type of trumpet vine pruning encourages vigorous basal shoot development in spring. When new growth begins, you select several of the strongest shoots and train them to the supporting trellis. The rest must be cut to the ground.

Once a framework of several strong shoots extends over the trellis or allotted space – a process that may take several growing seasons – trumpet vine pruning becomes an annual affair. In spring, after all danger of frost is past, you prune off all lateral shoots to within three buds of the framework vines.

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Do I cut back trumpet vines?

A bit more information: Trumpet vines bloom on new growth and can be pruned late winter or early spring. Prune established plants yearly to control the rampant growth. Remove weak and damaged stems back to the main framework. Cut the side shoots back to two or three buds from the main stems that form the framework.

why is my trumpet vine not blooming? Too much fertilizer or soil that is too rich can cause trumpet vines that do not bloom. Fertilizer that is high in phosphorus, or even bone meal, may encourage trumpet vine blooming. Pruning at the wrong time can lead to trumpet vine, no blooms. Trumpet vine blooming occurs on new growth of the current year.

Subsequently, one may also ask, how do you winterize a trumpet vine?

However, experts advise gardeners overwintering trumpet vines to cut them back severely in winter. Trumpet vine winter care should include pruning all of the stems and foliage back to within 10 inches from the surface of the soil. Reduce all side shoots so that there are only a few buds on each.

How deep do trumpet vine roots go?

of an inch can form roots and grow into its own vine. These segments will sprout as deep as 9 inches below ground, so tilling them won't help.

Trumpet Vine Pruning

Q. How and when should I prune my trumpet vine (Campsis radicans)?

A. Trumpet vine (Campsis radicans) is a vigorous, deciduous, woody vine. Pruning should be done in the late winter or early spring. For mature plants, trumpet creeper tolerates heavy pruning to control its spread and maintain a desired size. Prune annually, spur-pruning lateral shoots back to within two or three buds of the main stems. Remove weak and diseased growth. Renovate by cutting back all growth to within 12 inches of the ground to encourage strong new shoots to break from the base.

Please contact Plant Information at (847) 835-0972 or [email protected] for more information.

Take and Process Cuttings

Stand the pruners, with the blades open, in a jar or large glass with enough household disinfectant in it to cover the blades and sterilize them. Let them soak for two to five minutes. Rinse the disinfectant off with clear water and dry them before using them. This helps prevent diseases on the cuttings, which can cause them to fail.

Cut 4- to 6-inch-long pieces of stem from the trumpet vine, making the cut just below a set of leaves. Each cutting should have three or four sets of leaves. Wrap the cuttings in moist paper towel and put the towel a plastic bag as soon as you take them. This helps prevent moisture loss.

  • Make planting holes in the moist sand for the trumpet vine cuttings with a pencil.
  • Stand the pruners, with the blades open, in a jar or large glass with enough household disinfectant in it to cover the blades and sterilize them.

Snip off the leaves on the lower one-half to two-thirds of each cutting and cut the remaining leaves back to a length of 2 inches. Remove any flowers and flower buds.

Pour rooting hormone into a small container or onto a piece of paper. Dip the bottom end of each cutting in rooting hormone and stick it in a planting hole. Firm the sand around the base of the cutting.

Mist the cuttings with a gentle mist from a spray bottle. The water should be room temperature. Slide the entire container into a clear plastic bag and seal it shut. Set the cuttings in a bright room where temperatures remain between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not set them in direct sunlight.

  • Snip off the leaves on the lower one-half to two-thirds of each cutting and cut the remaining leaves back to a length of 2 inches.
  • Mist the cuttings with a gentle mist from a spray bottle.

Mist the cuttings each morning and water them if the sand begins to dry. Check for roots after a few weeks. To do this, tug gently on each cutting. You will feel resistance when they have formed roots.

Leave the plastic bag open and stop misting after the trumpet vine cuttings form roots to reduce the humidity level. Continue to keep the sand moist. Remove the plastic bag after a few days.

Trumpet vine is mildly toxic if eaten.

Plant the trumpet vine cuttings in individual containers one week after they develop roots. Use houseplant potting soil and make sure the container has drainage holes. Continue to keep them in bright, indirect light and water them when the top of the potting soil begins to dry.

Place the plants outside for a few hours each day in a shady spot that is protected from drying wind for two to three days. Start this hardening off process two months before the ground normally freezes in the fall. Allow the top 1 to 2 inches of potting soil to dry before watering.

Place the plants in direct morning sunlight for an hour, increasing the length of time by 30 minutes each day. After two weeks they should be used to four to six hours of direct sunlight and ready to be planted in the garden.

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