Growing Trumpet Vine in Containers

Campsis is great climbers in the garden
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In this article, we will be discussing how to grow trumpet vine in containers to give beauty in the garden. Trumpet vine or Campsis radicans to give its Latin name is a plant that is worth growing in the container garden because of what beauty and joy it will bring. This is provided that you keep its rampant growth in check.

Campsis is great climbers in the garden
Campsis is a great climber in the garden

In its native America, it is known as a Hummingbird plant, where the 5-7.5cm long, red-orange to yellow, trumpet-shape flowers, attract these birds to pollinate them. The flowers often appear in early to midsummer, where its attractiveness can be admired.

WHAT IS TRUMPET VINES?

It is a huge and vigorous climber that often grows rampant in people’s garden, where it is often considered an invasive weed. Here in the UK, you often do not hear or see this plant being grown but hopefully, this will change in the near future.

One way to keep the growth in check is to grow the trumpet vine in a suitable sized container. This article addresses how to grow Campsis radicans and other cultivars of the trumpet vine in containers.

The vine clings to trellises, pergolas or arbours via aerial roots the plant produces.  As it is a large and heavy plant, any support that you grow up must be strong. If you are growing against a house wall, you might need to add wire across it to provide additional support.

You have to make sure the aerial roots do not cling to the wall, as this can cause damage to the infrastructure. A plant that is great for covering vast areas on walls and fences.

It is an easy plant to look after, where they can grow up to 13m high.

 VARIETIES TO GROW IN CONTAINERS

Campsis x tambuagna
Campsis x tambuagna

Campsis radicans x tagliabuana ‘Madame Galen’ is a cross between two cultivars vines; Campsis radicans (American Trumpet Vine) and Campsis grandiflora (Chinese Trumpet vine). It produces orange-red, trumpet-shape flowers that appear in clusters, where each flower can grow up to 8cm in length. Other varieties  include ‘Indian Summer’ and ‘Trumpet Fire’

Campsis radicans
Campsis radicans

The leaves themselves are very attractive and can be large themselves, growing up to 30cm in length. It is a hardy plant but it can only take a temperature of -10 degree Celsius, so in cooler climates, it will need a shelter of a wall that is south-facing to produce an abundance of blooms.

Campsis grandiflora
Campsis grandiflora

Campsis radicans (American Trumpet Vine) is native to the eastern United States of America. It grows up to 12m in height, where this vigorous, woody vine, which is famous for its orange-red, trumpet-shaped flowers. The leaves are not as large only growing to 10cm in length. Varieties include ‘Flamenco‘ and ‘Stromboli’.

A less hardy variety is Campsis grandiflora (Chinese Trumpet Vine) that is a deciduous climber with large, orange, trumpet-shaped flowers. It is native to East Asia, where it can grow up to 10m in height. The flowers can be said to be larger and showier than its American cousin.

 GROWING VINES IN CONTAINERS

If you want to grow this vigorous vine, it is best to grow as a climber rather than a trailer over the edge of a container. It will simply lose its charms if it is allowed to trail.

As its root structure are large then you will need a large container to grow it in, at least 20 to 30 litres in volume, where a half-barrel will make an ideal choice.

You will need to use a large container with sufficient drainage holes. Ideally, trumpet vines should be planted in spring, where it is allowed to establish over the growing season. Place the container 15cm away from the structure you wish the vine to grow up and do not move it, as it will get to heavy to move.

Fill a container with multipurpose compost with John Innes no 3 that is well-draining, but at the same tome moisture-retentive.  Make a hole in the centre of the compost about the same size as the root ball the plant came when you bought it, gently remove the vine from its original container and then place it in the planting hole and firm the plant in.

Make sure it is planted at the original growth depth, no shallower or deeper.  Backfill any gaps so that the roots are well covered. After planting, you will need to water well and continue to do so until the plant is well established.

 MAKE SURE IT IS FROST HARDY

As most trumpet vines are hardy to -5 degree Celsius, there is a good chance you can leave your plants outside in winter. It is advised before you purchase a plant that it can survive a UK winter.

This is because it is difficult to move and cover a plant that is twining around a structure and is so large. If you live in a cool region, you will need to grow this plant inside a heated greenhouse, where the hard frosts can be kept at bay.

The structure must be strong and be able to support the full weight of the vine.

DO NOT FORGET TO PRUNE

Trumpet vines need to be pruned on the top in winter or early spring to thin out the growth and to improve its appearance. This is especially true, if it is very heavy on top, as this can damage the support structure and it will place the flower at the right height for you to observe them. Top pruning will also encourage the vine to form new shoots and growth from the bottom, a win-win situation.

You can get new plants from either propagating from stem cuttings or seeds. It will take a few years for a seed sown specimens to produce a good show of flowers. It is generally easy to grow from cuttings and that is usually the preferred propagation method.

Trumpet vines like most vines take time to establish a good root structure and pruning will help with the roots to develop and also will keep the vines from becoming excessively entangled.

Make sure that any roots that emerge from the container have not rooted down into any soil the container may be placed on, as this can add vigour to the plant, causing it to spread everywhere. This is why it is best to grow it on concrete, patio or paving stones, as this will curtail the spread of this rampant vine.

Occasional feed will not go amiss during the growing season, but not too much as this will cause the plant to grow more vigorously.

 CONCLUSIONS

In this article, we have discussed how to grow trumpet vines in containers. As you can see it is not a difficult plant to grow, as long as it does not receive excessive cold in winter.

Apart from that, the only major concern is its rampant growth, which can take over a garden. Remember to prune in late winter to keep growth in check and to make sure that flowers can be observed at eye level.

A climbing plant that is worth the investment. If you have any question or comments that you wish to make, please do so in the comment box below.

Be triumphant today and grow a trumpet vine.


8 thoughts on “Growing Trumpet Vine in Containers”

  1. Hello there! This is yet another very interesting article on growing trumpet vines in containers. I had no idea that trumpet vines could be grown in containers and this is because I do not a wide range of knowledge in gardening. However, coming through your website has been really helpful as I am now informed of things I should know as a gardener. Thank you very much. 

    1. Hi Sophie

      I am glad you enjoyed the article, as I try to give as much help to novices and experts that I can. I try to give as much information from getting the planting right to what varieties to grow. Come back for more advice.

      Thanks

      Antonio

  2. Having a container garden can be really organised as you can move some of these plants to various space in the garden for favourable conditions either for you or for the plant. Still, I pay attention to the nature /type of plant I am planting and because of the study I’ve gotten about the Trumpet Vine, I have stayed clear. Its actually a great plant, and if I’m assured to keep getting better guides from you, I wouldn’t mine planting it

    1. Hi Reece 

      I always say it is good to go for it. as you will never know how much joy these plants can bring if you incorporate them into your design scheme, I hope you do try.

      Thanks

      Antonio

  3. Hello there, thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful content here with us. I must say i really did enjoyed going through your review. I know a lot of people will find it strange that trumpet vines can be grown from containers and that it could be this easy to grow it, thanks for sharing this detailed info

    1. Hi Philebur

      I am glad that you thought about this article and found it to be very useful, as I try to come up with ideas that will help gardeners to brighten up their growing space. They bring so much colour and height that you wonder what you did before.

      Thanks

      Antonio

  4. Thanks for sharing this enlightening and informative article about trumpet vine. This is my first time hearing of the plant but from what I’ve read about it in your article, it is a great addition to have in your garden. I also appreciate that you gave tips on how to cultivate and easily grow the plant. 

    1. Hi Sean

      Trumpet vibes are a great addition to any garden, as they bring colour and height to the garden that usually relies on clematises and roses. Trumpet vine brings another dimension. I am glad to be of service.

      Thanks

      Antonio

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