Perennial sweetpea is a lovely, old-fashioned flower—one that grandmother might have grown. The keeled pea blossoms, ranging from a blushed white to a deep rose pink, form a clump atop long stems. Lanky vines sport sparse foliage, but plenty of coiling tendrils with which they cling to any support. Bloom will continue from now until early fall if spent flowers are removed. If left to mature, the round, spiral pods will suddenly twist open, flinging their seeds several feet into the air, and sowing plenty of new vines in your garden.


Q: What type of vines do well in the Pikes Peak Region?

A: Perennial vines and trailing plants can be an interesting addition to your landscape. Though we may not have much success with vines like wisteria here (some white flowering varieties do okay), we do have many other choices.

Most vines need some kind of support, whether it is a trellis, fence, or wall. But many vines are equally appealing when allowed to cascade down a slope or trail over a retaining wall. They can lend a different look as a ground cover, and many do quite well in containers.

Several vine varieties have adapted well to Colorado’s temperamental climate. Here are a few: (more…)

Campsis radicans - Trumpet Vine @DBG 19sept05 LAH 215-1APPEARANCE

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

Photo courtesy of Leslie Holzmann.