My Trumpet Vine!!!!

Trumpet Vines are also called hummingbird vines. In some parts of the country they are considered and well known as invasive pests. As a gardener in the dry desert southwest I search out these invasive plants in my local nurseries because they have genes fit for survival in the hot dry desert.

I saw a picture of an amazing trumpet vine online that had engulfed a light pole. I saw images of the gorgeous trumpet flowers and its quick growth inspired me to have one. It can be grown over arbors and even as ground cover.


I bought mine last year at Lowe’s and I have been so happy with it. In just one year it has wrapped itself (with help) around a square column in the front of my home. It grew the fastest on days where El Paso registered over 100 degrees. This year not only do I have amazing green compound leaves as foliage, but the trumpet flowers have also bloomed. (Last year I only had one cluster of blooms.) They are a very vibrant melony red color. I saw a humming bird come for a visit two days ago and a brilliant orange butterfly this morning!

I hope that it grows over my tile roof this year. I have a pigeon problem and since they do not like plants but love manmade structures, maybe this vine will choke them out. I do have to routinely tie the vine back and secure it here and there to help it out. It grows super fast. I will warn you that you should wear longer sleeves and gloves if you are a very sensitive person. Trumpet vines can cause a mild irritation which is why they are also known as the cow itch vine. (I hope pigeons can feel it.) I always feel a very mild irritation after working with it. I would also like to warn you that sometimes it shoots out. I nearly got poked in the eye going to work this past week.

Here is a photo of my trumpet vine, please excuse the crazy long piece of white rope, I am attempting to train it unto my roof.

I have gifted my mom with a trumpet vine who like how fast it grew. I have since purchased three more for my own garden. Now there are two trumpet vines in my courtyard and two in my backyard. One is in the ground, I am still trying to figure out where to place the last one. I hope they cover my rock walls. I can appreciate the rock wall versus other options but I do not like feeling squared in by them and the heat they give off at night is unpleasant.

Here is a May 2015 updated photo of my monster trumpet vine. 



7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. whyilovewesttexas
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 14:14:17

    If you want that vine to really go wild just prune it back heavily after the first year it is established. I don’t believe you could ever kill it.
    John Tucker


  2. Gary R
    Jul 06, 2014 @ 06:30:25

    If I were to give any advice to you it would be: Don’t let this vine get onto your tile roof. That will cost you big money to fix in the next few years.


    • elpasonovicegardener
      Jan 08, 2015 @ 14:05:56

      Thank you very much Gary for the advice. I have noticed that although my vine is robust, it does not attach itself well to anything. I have to tie it around my column. Those little air roots slip off the stucco and tiles constantly. I think my tiles have some heavy decorative paint on them which is rather slick. I am keeping it cut back and I will go up there now that it is winter to make sure that none of the vines are slipping under the tiles. I will update with a winter picture. It is certainly a monster. My youngest child told me it would have been nice to have it look like that for Halloween, however in October it still had most of its leaves.


  3. Urban Hum Gardener
    Jan 10, 2015 @ 06:48:23

    I’d be more worried about the roots interfering with pipes underground but I don’t know your set up, maybe it’s safe for you. I’m glad you mentioned the inability of climbing slick surfaces. I’m dealing with that challenge on a vinyl fence.


  4. Andrew Atkinson
    Jun 14, 2015 @ 06:38:10

    Hola ElPaso! have you taken cuttings from the Turmpet Vine that have rooted successfully? ‘El Paso’ – is that near to Los Montesinos, Alicante, Spain? As we have a property there.


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