Trumpet Vine Winter Care: Caring For Trumpet Vine In Winter

Red Flowering Trumpet Vines
(Image credit: Artur Henryk Bialosiewicz)

The trumpet vine really knows how to climb. This deciduous, clinging vine can climb to heights of 30 feet (9 m.) during the growing season. The bright scarlet, trumpet-shaped blossoms are beloved by both gardeners and hummingbirds. The vines die back in winter to grow again the next spring. Read on for information on trumpet vine care in winter, including how to winterize a trumpet vine.

Overwintering Trumpet Vines

Trumpet vines are hardy in a wide range, growing happily in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 10, so they do not need winter protection in most regions. Trumpet vine care in winter is minimal. As cold weather arrives, they will wilt and die; in spring they start again from zero to reach the same, startling heights. For that reason, trumpet vine winter care is very easy. You do not have to provide much trumpet vine care in winter to protect the plant. Caring for trumpet vine in winter is simply a matter of layering some organic mulch over the vine’s roots. In fact, the plant is so hardy, rampant, and invasive in the Southeastern part of the country that it is called hell vine or devil's shoestring.

How to Winterize a Trumpet Vine

However, experts advise gardeners who are overwintering trumpet vines to cut them back severely in winter. Trumpet vine winter care should include pruning all of the stems and foliage back to within 10 inches (25.5 cm.) from the surface of the soil. Reduce all side shoots so that there are only a few buds on each. As always, remove any dead or diseased stems at the base. If you want to know how to winterize a trumpet vine, pruning is the simple answer. Do this pruning in late fall as part of your preparation for overwintering trumpet vines. The reason for this close haircut is to prevent the vine’s rampant growth the following spring. Don’t forget to sterilize the pruning tool before you begin by wiping the blades with one part denatured alcohol, one part water. If you include severe pruning as part of your plan for caring for trumpet vine in winter, you get the added advantage of additional flowers the following spring. The trumpet vine blooms on new wood of the season, so a hard trim will stimulate additional flowers.

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.