How to Care for a Trumpet Vine


Trumpet vines (Distictis and Bignonia buccintoria) reach heights of up to 30 feet, with each vine adorned with an abundance of trumpet-shaped flowers. They range in color from yellow to red, with white and purple flowering types also available. A climbing vine, they are well suited to planting along fences and trellises where they quickly cover the structure with a cascade of blooms. The plant requires maintenance to thrive, so some care of the trumpet vine is necessary to ensure they continue to flourish for many years.

Things You'll Need

  • Mulch
  • Fertilizer
  • Pruning shears
  • Plant ties
  • Choose a planting area with partial to full sun and well-draining soil. The more sunlight trumpet vines receive the more they flower. Choose an area near an existing fence or erect a trellis at planting.

  • Water as needed to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Provide approximately 1 inch of water in a single weekly watering as opposed to frequent, shallow irrigation. Lay a 1- to 2-inch layer of mulch around the plants to help preserve soil moisture.

  • Fertilize vines in the spring as they begin growing again. Use 1 cup per plant of a 5-10-5 fertilizer or one formulated for flowering vines. Fertilize a second time at mid-summer.

  • Pinch off the tip of each vine as it begins growing each spring to encourage branching and full plants. Prune away old, dead vines to the base of the plant.

  • Tie heavy vines or those that pull away from the fence or trellis to the support structure. Tie loosely with cloth or plastic plant ties as necessary.

Tips & Warnings

  • Pinch off the top of the vines if they are becoming too tall. This limits upward growth and encourages more lateral branching.
  • Trumpet vines have evergreen leaves, adding color to the garden year-around.
  • Trumpet vines produce abundant seed pods which may cause quite a bit of garden debris. Remove the pods often to prevent self-seeding.

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  • Photo Credit Trellis Trumpet Vines image by phipix from
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