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The trumpet flower vine, with its showy, brilliant orange-red blossoms, is a herald of summer. Named for the shape of those same flowers, it is beloved of hummingbirds, whose bills and tongues are exactly the length and shape needed to sip their nectar. When the vine is well established, other birds love to build nests in its heavy foliage, which is made out of deep green, oval leaves.
Besides its flamboyant beauty, the perennial trumpet vine is easy to grow. Indeed, it's so easy that a well cared for a plant can grow up to 40 feet in a single year. It's not particularly fussy about soil even though it does best in rich loam that's well-drained. But once a plant is established, it doesn't even need fertilizer. All it needs is a trellis or a long, sturdy fence to grow on and some judicious pruning early in the spring and in the fall. The vine can also tolerate some drought and is deer resistant.
Trumpet flower vines can be raised from seeds or from suckers that are dug up and replanted. The plant is an abundant reseeder and will produce long seed pods after the blooming season is over. These pods split open and spill out many winged seeds. Because of their wings, the seeds can take root a considerable distance away from the parent plant.
Seeds can be bought from a local nursery, purchased online or through a catalog. They should be planted about one-quarter inch deep after all danger of frost is over. The plant prefers full sunlight but can also do well in partial shade. However, a vine planted in partial shade won't produce as many blossoms.
While the plant is young, the soil should be kept moist. The seedling should be given an all-purpose fertilizer for the first few months. Just before it blooms, it should be fed with a mix high in phosphorous.
The trumpet flower vine, whose botanical name is campsis radicans, is native to the southeastern United States, where it can be seen clinging to tall pine trees. Now, it is a garden favorite all over the country as well as in Canada, Europe, and Latin America.
Flower vines are beautiful around trellaces or when planted to climb a home's exterior. They also have very decorative uses as providing a carpet like beauty as ground covers. The look best when displayed on a fence or some type pole upright.