Tropical vines with huge, brilliantly colored flowers don’t normally grow in Colorado, but Trumpet Vine is an enjoyable exception. A vigorous grower, Trumpet Vine can reach 30 feet, with dark green compound leaves that drop in fall to reveal the vine’s light brown papery bark. From mid-summer to frost, three-inch long vase-shaped flowers of fiery orange-red grow in clusters of four or more. In fall, hundreds of papery seeds develop in five-inch long capsules.
Locate Trumpet Vine in full sun in well-drained, amended soil, and water just enough to keep ground slightly moist. Be sure to provide a sturdy support and plenty of room. The vine spreads by underground runners and can become invasive. (This is more of a problem in warmer climates.) Bloom is on new growth; prune while dormant to keep vine manageable. The plants are hardy to -30 degrees.
Use this southeast native as a patio cover or to screen an unappealing view. Here you can see it growing on a trellis that shades an outdoor seating area at the Colorado Springs Utility Xeriscape Demonstration Garden on Mesa Road. As you might guess from their red color and trumpet shape, the flowers attract hummingbirds. While not completely deer resistant, Trumpet Vine is not their favorite food.