Tropical vines with huge, brilliantly colored flowers don’t normally grow in Colorado, but Trumpet Vine is an enjoyable exception. A vigorous grower, Trumpet Vine can reach 30 feet, with dark green compound leaves that drop in fall to reveal the vine’s light brown papery bark. From mid-summer to frost, three-inch long vase-shaped flowers of fiery orange-red grow in clusters of four or more. In fall, hundreds of papery seeds develop in five-inch long capsules.
Locate Trumpet Vine in full sun in well-drained, amended soil, and water just enough to keep ground slightly moist. Be sure to provide a sturdy support and plenty of room. The vine spreads by underground runners and can become invasive. (This is more of a problem in warmer climates.) Bloom is on new growth; prune while dormant to keep vine manageable. The plants are hardy to -30 degrees.
Use this southeast native as a patio cover or to screen an unappealing view. The flowers attract hummingbirds. While not completely deer resistant, Trumpet Vine is not their favorite food.
Contributed by Leslie Holzmann, Colorado Master Gardener. For answers to your horticultural questions, contact the Master Gardener Help Desk at 520-7684 or CSUmg2@elpasoco.com
Photo courtesy of Leslie Holzmann.