How to Plant & Grow Hummingbird Vines


Gardeners commonly call two different plants hummingbird vines. This includes the cypress vine or Ipomoea quamoclit and the trumpet creeper (trumpet vine) or Campsis radicans. Both of these vines produce showy blossoms and naturalize in many areas. Choose the hummingbird vine best suited for your location, or based on specific plant features, such as the vine length, blooming period and flower colors. Planting and caring for either of the hummingbird vines is basically the same.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Seeds or transplant
  • Support
  • Hand shears
  • Wait until the last chance of frost has passed to clear a planting site with well-drained soil and full sun. The trumpet vine will grow in shady sites, but the plant produces more flowers in locations with full sun.

  • Install some type of sturdy support, like an arbor or trellis or plant the hummingbird vine next to a fence or other structure you want to cover. Stay clear of your house, but choose a site that you can see easily so you can watch the hummingbirds feeding.

  • Sow seeds for hummingbird vines at the depth and spacing on the seed packets and then keep the area moist until seedlings appear. Dig holes to plant hummingbird vine transplants equal to the depth of the containers and at the spacing suggested on the plant's marker and then saturate the plant with water to settle the soil.

  • Supply 1 inch of water weekly to the vines from spring to fall through supplemental watering or rainfall.

  • Deadhead the flowers on the hummingbird vine and prune as needed to maintain size through the growing season.

  • Prune the vines yearly either in the beginning of spring or during fall to control the overall size of the plants. Cut any of the vines to the ground that die in the winter.

  • Control the spread of the hummingbird vine through removing any unwanted vines appearing in other areas of the landscape in the spring.

Tips & Warnings

  • The trumpet vine is a perennial that quickly reaches 30 to 40 feet, grows best in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 4 through 9 and requires high maintenance because this vine spreads from underground runners and self-seeds. The trumpet creeper produces blossoms in oranges and reds during July.
  • The cypress vine is an annual warm weather vine that usually grows from 6 to 10 feet, grows best in USDA zones 11 through 12 and requires little maintenance because even though this plant self-seeds in warm regions, it is not considered aggressive in most regions. The cypress vine produces tubular flowers ranging from dark reds to nearly white hues that bloom from summer through fall and this vine attracts butterflies as well as hummingbirds.

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