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General Information on the Trumpet Creeper Vine

Trumpet creeper vines are often used for facade greening due to their vigour, health and their exotic flowers as a way to conceal down pipes or to cover pergolas. Trumpet vines need space (a certain distance from a facade), strong climbing trellises and regular intensive pruning. Trumpet flowers are loved by bees! >>> List of available varieties.

(Trumpet creeper, trumpet vine. Latin: Campsis)

Campsis, from left to right: "Flamenco," "Stromboli," and "Indian Summer"

Requirements / Price

Plant in a warm, sunny, wind-protected location. The soil should be deep, humus-rich, with a good water supply. Shade at the base of the plant is beneficial. Distance between individual plants: 3 to 6 metres. Trumpet flowers need a lot of space outwards when cultivated on a facade, because of their long overhanging shoots. Chose from our available varieties in the overview.

Characteristics and Pruning

A self-climber, usually cultivated on facades as a shapeable espalier, (only the Chinese grandiflora variety has almost no adhesive roots). A climbing aid is strongly recommended. On pergolas and the like you'll have  overhanging/cascading shoots. We've included two botanical species (wild forms) in our assortment: Campsis radicans is originally from North America and was introduced in Europe in 1622 (frost resistant). Campsis grandiflora is originally from China. There are many crosses and varieties which differ in flower density, climbing behaviour, and winter hardiness.

 

All trumpet flowers have pinnate (feathered) leaves that last from May to October with a beautiful yellow autumn colour. Most varieties show red, sometimes also orange and yellow flower umbels from July to September. The flowers are "rainproof" and fall off by themselves. Some inexpensive untreated plants will only bloom after several years. The fruits are pod-like capsules. No pruning in summer as the flowers appear at the extremities of the young shoots! "Winter" pruning is done in March, with all (side) shoots cut down to approx. 4 -10 cm long spurs, similar to the grapevine pruning technique.

Climbing Supports for the Facade

Trumpet flowers need a trellis to train them and to shape a trunk. Most can grow as self-climbers, but they can fall of the wall as the plant gets heavier. Below is a table with suitable trellis shapes for the trumpet vine. Formation and trunk development are similar to grapevine pruning techniques. Choose a trellis in the medium or Easy basic range, or even in the heavy / massive range.

Suitable wire rope trellis

Click on the image to see which designs are compatible as a climbing aid for climbing trumpet.

Ancient massive climbing trumpet on a wooden trellis, probably campsis radicans
Flowering campsis "Madame Galen" with aerial roots
Climbing trumpet on three wire ropes, probably C. radicans "Flamenco"
Trumpet flower campsis tagliabuana "Madame Galen" on a trellis

Trumpet creeper as a woody liana

All campsis can develop woody trunks - but they need a lot of space.

Woody climbing plant campsis, early spring
Two young trumpet vines
Flowering campsis tagliabuana "Madame Galen" on a high trellis
Flowers of climbing trumpet Mme. Galen next to a downpipes; the campsis is attached to two wire ropes, right and left to the downpipe.
Climbing trumpet campsis radicans
Trellis with climbing trumpet on a house
American climbing trumpet C. radicans "Flamenco" on a glass facade, climbing on wire ropes
Campsis for balcony greening
House greening with climbing trumpet next to a wisteria (left), early summer before the blooming
Climbing trumpet "Madame Galen" on a terrace pillar
Wall with campsis radicans
Massive yellow trumpet vien campsis radicans "Flava" (Yellow Trumpet) on a wooden trellis
Trumpet vine campsis radicans "Flamenco"
 
 
 
 
 

Trumpet vine as self-climbers

If trumpet vines climb only with their adhesive rootlets (i.e. without climbing aids), they grow vigorously, and can quickly become uncontrollable.

Young yellow climbing trumpet on a wall
Wall with campsis tagliabuana "Madame Galen"
Campsis radicans in pots as street greening in a small town
Facade greening with campsis tagliabuana "Mme. Galen"
Climbin trumpet Campsis tagliabuana "Madame Galen" as an auto-climber (aerial roots)
Trumpet vine "Madame Galen" next to an entry
Campsis radicans won't damage buildings if pruned regularly.
Trumpet vine C. radicans
Campsis "Flava" as a self-climber
Campsis radicans is extremely vigorous and must be thorougly pruned regularly.
This massive, never-pruned trumpet creeper has left its trellis and is out of control!
Self-clinging campsis with autumnal foliage

Botanical Features

Here you can see campsis flowers, adhesive roots, autumnal foliage, and pruning

Campuses radicans is distinguished by its long yellow-orange flower trumpet.
"Flamenco," with a darker flower neck, produces more flowers than Campsis radicans.
*Campsis grandiflora is a variety for experienced growers or enthusiasts, as it is not completely frost-resistant; it is the 2nd parent of all Campsis x tagliabuana.
Campsis tagliabuana "Madame Galen" is a bit lighter and salmon red.
"Flava" is the most common yellow climbing trumpet in the campuses radicals family.
Campsis tagliabuana has good flower density (produces many flowers).
Campsis radicans develops large flower shoots that need space and hang down.
With enough warmth, campsis radicans will develop capsule fruits.
Adhesive roots of Campsis radicans
Autumnal colours of Campsis radicans
Campsis tagliabuana in winter before pruning, with vertical ropes to secure and bind the shoots
Small climbing trumpet after winter pruning
Very old climbing trumpet after pruning, Dornburg Castles / Thuringia
Intensive pruning similar to grapevine pruning
New shoots in spring
 
 
 

Suitable cable systems for trumpet vine

Please click on the graphics to see a detailed view of each design!

 = suitable         = sometimes suitable       = not suitable