Planting trumpet vine (Campsis radicans) in containers helps control this vigorous plant. Hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9, trumpet vine is also called trumpetcreeper, and is named for its trumpet-shaped blooms. Growing 25 to 40 feet tall and 5 to 10 feet wide, trumpet vine spreads through suckers and self-seeding. In some areas of the United States, the vine is invasive. Wear gloves and a long-sleeved shirt when planting trumpet vine, as some people are allergic to its leaves.
Potting Soil and Containers
Trumpet vine grows well in commercial light, freely draining potting soil, and large, heavy containers with drainage holes. You can also make your own potting soil. Mix 1 part soil, 1 part peat moss, leaf mold or compost, and 1 part vermiculite or perlite. For each 6-inch pot of mixture, add 1 teaspoon of 5-10-10 fertilizer and 1 tablespoon of limestone.
Trumpet vine needs plenty of growing room and grows best in large containers, such as half whiskey barrels or other 15- to 20-gallon containers. Heavy containers help keep trumpet vine in place in strong winds, and help prevent the vine from pulling containers down from balconies and other high structures.
Planting Trumpet Vine
Planting trumpet vine in spring allows the plant to establish in containers over the growing season. In USDA zones 4 through 9, trumpet vine can grow outdoors year round. Place the containers in their final positions before filling them with potting soil and planting trumpet vine. In colder zones, placing the containers on boards with wheels helps with moving them indoors over winter.
Fill a container with potting soil, and make a hole in the center about the same size as the root ball of the trumpet vine. Gently remove the trumpet vine from its pot, and place it in the container at its original growing depth. Firm the plant in the potting soil with flat hands.
Containers for trumpet vine need careful watering to moisten all the potting soil. Use a garden hose with a soft spray attachment. Evenly spray the potting soil surface until water flows through the drainage holes.
Water trumpet vine when the potting soil surface is dry. Newly planted containers contain large amounts of potting soil and few roots, so it may take a week or longer for the potting soil surface to dry. Over time, trumpet vine roots fill the containers and the plant needs water more often, up to once or twice a day in hot, windy weather.
Trumpet Vine Varieties
Compact varieties of trumpet vine grow best in containers. Trumpet vine "Apricot" (Campsis radicans "Apricot") is named for its apricot-colored blooms, and is less invasive than other varieties of this vine. Trumpet vine "Indian Summer" (Campsis radicans "Indian Summer") features reddish-throated, yellowish-orange flowers 3 inches long, which appear late spring through early summer. Both "Apricot" and "Indian Summer" grow 12 to 15 feet tall and 3 to 5 feet wide, and are hardy in USDA zones 4 through 9.
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Campsis Radicans
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: Campsis Radicans Trumpetcreeper
- National Gardening Association: Overwintering A Trumpet Vine?
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Campsis Radicans "Apricot"
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Campsis Radicans "Indian Summer"
- University of Connecticut: Container Gardening
- Fairfax County Public Schools: Trumpet Creeper
A graduate of Leeds University, Jenny Green completed Master of Arts in English literature in 1998 and has been writing about travel, gardening, science and pets since 2007. Green's work appears in Diva, Whole Life Times, Listverse, Earthtimes, Lamplight, Stupefying Stories and other websites and magazines.