Hummingbird vine (Campsis radicans), also known as the trumpet vine, is a fast-growing, deciduous vine. In late summer, 3- to 4-inch-long, orange-red flowers appear, and these showy flowers are attractive to hummingbirds. Seed pods appear after the flowers and remain through the winter. Hummingbird vine is suitable for use in zones 6 through 10 and grows best in full sun.
Porches and Posts
Grow hummingbird vine up a porch post to bring hummingbirds closer to your sitting area. If you don't have a traditional porch post available, train the vine up your gutter downspout or a light post. If you grow the vine up a lamp post, be sure to trim it regularly to keep this fast-growing climber from interfering with the light fixture.
Any kind of sturdy fence will accommodate a hummingbird vine. Be sure sections are firmly set in the ground; a full-grown hummingbird vine in full leaf will be heavy. The vines can be trained to grow in a traditional espalier pattern, trimmed to a full, bushy mass or trained to follow a specific path, such as up the posts and across the top rail. Hummingbird vines can be trimmed severely without ill effect.
Use hummingbird vines to block unsightly views. Let the vine sprawl and grow up and over stumps or dead trees. To screen garbage cans or gas tanks, install a section of lattice or chain link fence. Plant hummingbird vines around the base of the fence sections. By the end of the summer, you will be looking at bright orange flowers rather than your recycling bins and oil tank.
A hummingbird vine-covered arbor makes a dramatic focal point in the garden. Traditionally, hummingbird vines are trimmed to follow the lines of the arbor but it can be allowed to run more freely, creating a more informal, floriferous statement. Hummingbird vines are densely leaved, creating a shady and cool seating area within the arbor's confines.
Plant hummingbird vines on a large trellis or frame. Use tall copper or iron obelisks for a traditional look, or be inventive with funky flea market finds like sections of old fencing or metal grating. Be sure your trellis is sturdily built and securely situated to accommodate a mature vine.