Dutch trumpet vine, also known as hummingbird vine, cow itch vine and trumpet creeper, makes a great addition to any garden thanks to its profusion of attractive tubular-shaped flowers. This native plant thrives in the southeastern United States, where it grows very quickly in hot, dry gardens or in woods where it climbs trees. But the plant can easily be grown in a number of other states.
A fast-growing plant with trumpet-shaped flowers in shades of red, orange or yellow, this perennial plant makes a great screen for walls or fence lines. Growing up to 40 feet long, the plant sports attractive green foliage with small tentacles that help it grasp trellises and fences so it can climb and spread. The abundant flowers in clusters of two to nine blossoms give the plant an extra-long blooming season. In late summer or early fall, seed pods form.
Trumpet vine plants grow well in USDA hardiness zones 4 through 10. The plants may be planted from seeds in full sun in almost any soil-type as long as it is well-drained. The plant may take several years to flower since most of its energy gets put into growing its lengthy vines during the first few years.
Care and Pruning
Trumpet vine may be easily trained to grow on a trellis or fence. It may also be grown on an arbor, where it can provide shade to the plants below or in rock gardens where it can cascade over the rocks. Water the plants until they are established; after that, they require water only when drought or dry conditions occur. Established plants may require pruning in the winter to keep them looking healthy and to control their growth. Even when the plant seems to be cut back too much, it grows again vigorously the next summer.
Some gardeners find trumpet vine rather invasive. Since the plant propagates on its own, small plants may start growing up to 20 feet from the original plant. Remove these plants promptly, as they can quickly grow and take over other vegetation.
Trumpet vine works well to attract hummingbirds as they find the flowers of this plant absolutely irresistible. Other birds like to nest in the dense foliage. Bees and butterflies also find trumpet vine to be a great food source.