Monday, August 29, 2011

FAQ: How can I grow trumpet creeper vine, without it growing on the house?

Q. I want to grow trumpet creeper, but don't want it climbing on the house. Do you have any suggestions?

Trumpet Creeper (Campsis radicans) is a useful vine with many admirable characteristics. It is a native plant, grows quickly, controls erosion, is insect and disease resistant, produces stunning flowers and attracts hummingbirds. But it can be a nuisance when grown on the house.

Aerial roots that help it climb can stick to the building and cause damage. The sheer weight of a mature vine can cause structural problems. Humidity that builds up under the vine can damage the walls. I recommend you grow it as a standard tree form. Choose a site where you can view it and enjoy the hummingbirds. Build a durable support. A steel pole with welded steel arms at the top and set in concrete isn't out of the question. Plant the vine next to the support. Attach it to the support with plastic tape. When the vine reaches the top of the support, pinch out the tip of the vine to stimulate lateral growth along the trunk, but retain only the young vines emerging from the top. Within two or three years, you will have a small tree that is easily maintained by occasional pruning.

This same method can be used for growing wisteria.

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Marna Towne said...

Love this look, but wondering what you did for root control on this.

GoGardenNow said...

The main thing is to remove young sprouts that emerge near the base. As the plant ages, fewer will appear. You shouldn't let them mature and begin growing along the ground.

Anonymous said...

I have 4x8 coming out of my ears would that work set in concrete?

GoGardenNow said...

4x8s? Sure. Why not. Best if they're pressure-treated. Slope the concrete downward and away from the wood so water doesn't gather around the posts.