Picture Perfect Monday: Trouble With Trumpets

Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans)
Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans)

Here is a photo of a Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans) twined around the utility pole at the back of our neighbor’s yard. This is why I don’t particularly care for them. The flowers can be beautiful and they certainly attract butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. Unfortunately, the vine itself can form a stranglehold on trees and inanimate objects. The utility pole around which this plant is wrapped is probably 30 feet tall and has been almost completely enveloped by this plant. Shoots of Trumpet Vines pop up everywhere and are almost impossible to eradicate. They have traveled underground from the neighbor’s yard to the opposite side of our property, coming up along the foundation of the house and growing through the flooring of the deck. Beware Campsis radicans! It is unbelievably invasive. If you find one in a garden center, run away from it as fast as you can!

Negative Image of Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans)
Negative Image of Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans)
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14 thoughts on “Picture Perfect Monday: Trouble With Trumpets

  1. It is intensely difficult to remove! I long ago added it to my (very, very) extensive list of twiners and climbers that are more trouble than they are worth and should not be planted in standard sized gardens. Hopefully it won’t do too much damage to your yard

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    • The shoots get plucked out of the ground as soon as they’re seen. Some crawl through the privacy fence. They get pulled through the fence and cut off. I haven’t seen as many the past two summers, so perhaps the neighbors have noticed me hacking at them!

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    • It does have beautiful flowers and I’ve seen a number of them growing in my neighborhood. I do think that if they aregrown, though, it needs to be in very large areas where they won’t become overly-invasive, such as on acreage areas. Having them growing on residential-sized lots is just asking for trouble in the future. Most I see are twining through and ruining privacy fences, etc.

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  2. I am that neighbor…the one who mistakenly (nobody warned me) bought and planted a trumpet vine, which I am now battling week in and week out, nearly all year long. So far it seems to be keeping out of the neighbor’s trees but it is truly a bit of a monster once established. Digging it out of paths and beds has become part of what it means to “go out and work in the garden” here.

    Trumpet vine plant and horsetail fern are the two biggest mistakes I ever made at the nursery. The horsetail fern escaped its bounds and took years but has finally been eradicated. The trumpet vine? I’m not sure we’ll ever be rid of it entirely, but we are trying!

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    • Ooops! They are a battle. Our neighbors seem to like the one they have, though. It was there already when they moved in. And they enjoy the “native” look. And maybe they even realize that the plant does cause problems (I think maybe the phone company or electric company people have hinted to them in the past because they tend to have line problems!). But I don’t think they’re going to take a hacksaw to it unless they’re ordered to! I don’t know anything about horsetail fern, but I’ll be sure to keep away from it!

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  3. Those trumpets have a bad and deservedly so, reputation. A better behaved alternative is the Bignonia capreolata, Crossvine. It has simlar trumpet flowers, but isn’t such an aggressive vine. Love that second photos, btw.

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  4. Good blogg- thank you!I have one. My plant is not invasive (we have in Italy +104°F in summer and sometimes -5°C in winter), it lives in poor soil with many stones. I have a couple of plant which we potting in the spring. I will be honest-it would be too good to have more plants.

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