7.18.2011

Trumpet Vines and Penstemon

One of my former co-workers gave me this yellow trumpet vine as a house warming gift many years ago. Every spring I would prune it, as part of my garden clean up. For years, nary a bloom – then I read somewhere that it grows on old wood. Eureka, so my spring pruning was inhibiting its flowering. I subsequently read that it blooms on new wood. I'm still not sure.
Undeterred, I asked one of the staff at a local nursery if he knew why my trumpet vine wouldn't bloom. He asked me if I fertilized it and I nodded yes.
I was about to give up and dig it up, but decided to put up some lattice for it to climb up. My friend Bev came over and gave me a lesson in using a circular saw and suggested using deck screws that wouldn't rust. I'm not mechanically inclined, but if you show me how to do something I can manage. Up went the lattice and the next year I got flowers for the first time. The trumpet vine didn't bloom as a direct result of putting up the lattice, but I now know how to use a circular saw. 
Fortunately, the Bridges penstemon are not so complicated.

24 comments:

  1. Very pretty blooms. The Trumpet Vine looks beautiful and so does the lattice.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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  2. Wow. Great story of gardening perseverance! The penstemon with the yarrow are just lovely, too.

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  3. Trumpet vine (Campsis radicans) definitely blooms on new wood - I spur prune ours annually in Spring.

    Beautiful pics!

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  4. I love trumpet vines, especially the bright red ones.

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  5. I wonder if your vine just needed a few years to reach maturity? That penstemon is beautiful, one of my favorite perennials...

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  6. @Sunray - Cher, the lattice came out better than I expected. I forgot to post the photo of the entire trellis.

    @Patricia - The vine was almost a goner, but I'm glad I persevered.

    @TSW - Thanks for sharing. I'm glad I finally know. I've been pruning every other year because I wasn't quite sure.

    @Owen - The reds ones are pretty. I've started seeing more colors recently than just the orange ones.

    @Masha - I think you're right about the plant taking a while to mature. The Bridges penstemon is my last one to bloom and then no more until next year.

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  7. What gorgeous flowers, worth waiting for I think.

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  8. @Bridget - They were worth the wait! They've even gotten better in the last few days, more blooms than ever.

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  9. The trumpet vines are quite stunning. And I am definitely going to get some Penstemon next year.

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  10. @amanda - the penstemon do well here. They don't require much attention. Different cultivars will bloom from mid-Spring to mid-Summer in Santa Fe. Some of them will have a second bloom cycle if I dead head early enough.

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  11. I love the pictures. The yellow-ish-orange flower on the trumpet vines is such a pretty color.

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  12. I have the yellow Trumpet Vine too and the hummingbirds love it. I cut it back to the ground almost last year, and new flowers are forming. But my plant is fifteen years old. They do need to mature for good bloom.

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  13. Don't you hate it when you get conflicting "expert" advice on plants? Love the gaura in the previous post -- it is sort of a secret plant, really terrific and not many people seem to realize it.

    Be careful with that circular saw, but I am so impressed you can use it. I think the vine bloomed in appreciation...

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  14. hahaha, it's a vine so it needs to climb! I am trying to put 5 picks but it suddenly registered as just 1. Your photos are nice.

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  15. @BL - I love the golden color, too. I look forward to seeing how they will do every year.

    @GWGT - Donna, it seems like mine took forever to mature. It's only been blooming for the last three years. But it looks great now.

    @linniew - For a few years, I only saw gaura at nurseries, but now the big box stores are carrying it, too. I agree; I think it's a gem.

    @Andrea - I've been having problems with the picks, too. Thanks for stopping by.

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  16. So its not the pruning, nor the fertiliser...just a simple lattice to make it feel at home and nestle! Great tip and such beautiful blooms as a reward!

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  17. Good work and I love the photos!

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  18. Twój milin ma prześliczny kolor. Ja mam jasno czerwonego, w zeszłym roku kwitł, a w tym nie :-(. Pozdrawiam

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  19. @Giga - I like trumpet vines in all colors

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  20. My trumpet creeper bloomed once it reached the top of the garage. Hummingbirds love it, as well as my penstemons!

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  21. @Anne - Thanks for stopping by. It's nice to meet you!

    It's so strange, I see them growing on telephone poles on the side of road, but mine took a while.

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    Replies
    1. Maybe to much water,

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  22. They do need to mature a bit, but they also seem do better when they are properly supported. Ours is blooming enthusiastically - and it blooms on both old and new wood. But it bloomed much more profusely once we tied it up and guided it on the fence.

    Around here, the red ones are most common, the yellow ones less so. We've had a red one that hasn't bloomed yet -- go figure, but our yellow one, which we've only had for 4 years I think, has bloomed every year.

    As for that circular saw..Good For You!! You Go Girl! There is no stopping you now!

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  23. @Cathy and Steve - My yellow one bloomed first this year and I have a red one that started blooming about a month later.

    I have a friend who has also had trouble with hers. I wonder if she needs to give her trumpet vine adequate support as you mentioned.

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