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General Info on Trumpet Vine

The vigour, health, and exotic flowers of the trumpet creeper make it a favourite in facade greening, offering beautiful coverage for downpipes or pergolas. For optimal growth, trumpet vines need plenty of space (a certain distance from a facade as well as space in front), stable climbing support, proper pruning, and regular maintenance. Trumpet flowers are loved by bees! >>> List of available varieties.

Trumpet creeper, trumpet vine, climbing trumpet, trumpet flower, trumpet jasmine. Latin: Campsis

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

To Thrive...

Plant trumpet creeper 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 in front 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 rootlets). 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 to Europe in 1622 (frost resistant). Campsis grandiflora is originally from China. There are many cross breeds and varieties which differ in flower density, climbing behaviour, and winter hardiness.

 

All trumpet flowers have pinnate 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 way one prunes a grapevine.

Climbing Supports for the Facade

Trumpet flowers generally need a trellis for training and shaping the trunk. Most can climb a wall on their own with their adherent organs, but they can fall of the wall as the plant gets heavier, and really benefit from wire rope support which will sescure them to the wall and keep them up in strong winds. See the table at the bottom of the page for trellis shapes that are compatible with 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.

Very old 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 vine as espalier shrub

All varieites of campsis can develop woody trunks and be trained as an espalier- but they need a lot of space, especially towards the front!

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 on a downpipe; the vine climbs wire ropes flanking the downpipe (cable system 1040).
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
Facade greened with campsis radicans
Massive yellow trumpet vine campsis radicans "Flava" (Yellow Trumpet) on a wooden trellis
Trumpet vine campsis radicans "Flamenco"
 
 
 
 
 

Trumpet vine as a self-climber

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

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"
Climbing trumpet Campsis tagliabuana "Madame Galen" as an auto-climber (aerial roots)
Trumpet vine "Madame Galen" next to an entryway
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 pruned regularly.
This massive, never-pruned trumpet creeper has left its wooden trellis and continues to proliferate unchecked!
Self-clinging campsis with autumnal foliage

Botanical Features

Here you can see different varieties of trumpet vine flowers, their adhesive roots, autumnal foliage, and examples of pruning

Campuses radicans is distinguished by its long yellow-orange flower trumpets.
"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 campsis radicans family.
This is what the average flower 'density' of Campsis tagliabuana looks like.
Campsis radicans in particular forms very long flower shoots that need space and room, or even overhang.
With enough warmth, Campsis radicans will develop fruit pods.
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 graphic illustrations for details!

   = suitable              = of limited suitability              = unsuitable