If you’re growing a trumpet vine (Campsis radicans), you might already know that it’s a fast-growing plant that thrives easily to an assistance using aerial roots on its own stems. Its vines may be 40 feet tall, with showy clusters of yellow or red flowers in summer. The ideal time to transplant an present vine depends a bit on the climate in which you live, but you can dig up the plant at any time to control its growth or remove it completely.
Transplanting in Spring
The trumpet vine grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 through 10. It drops its leaves and becomes dormant in late autumn in cold-winter places, but might continue growing year where winters are frost-free. If you’d like to transplant your trumpet vine along with your area has cold winters, early spring is the ideal time for this, just prior to the plant sets its fresh flush of growth. The trumpet vine attaches tightly to constructions, so cut the vines back by up to 50 percent just before you transplant, gently pulling them free from their support as you work. Clean your blades by wiping them with rubbing alcohol between cuts, to prevent spread of plant infection, and dig the plant when soil is moist, keeping as much dirt on the root ball as you can.
If you live where winters are mild and frost-free, you could also transplant a trumpet vine in autumn or early winter, because the origins continue growing even if top growth slows during the cool months. Wherever you live, avoid moving the plant during the warm summer months, because heat may raise the transplant shock that the plant encounters after it’s transplanted. If digging a trumpet vine in summer is the sole option, keep it well-watered for many weeks after the move, aiming for 1 or 2 inches of water every week, including rain. Supply the plant using some shade in its new spot for a few weeks, to prevent leaf scorch, and add a 3-inch layer of mulch to help conserve soil moisture and keep down weeds.
Digging for Control
A trumpet vine can be a rampant grower, especially in areas where it rises year-round. It also spreads by suckers that develop out of the origins or by spontaneous layering, rooting wherever vines touch the ground. If you would like to dig a trumpet vine to eliminate it completely from the lawn, check all of the vines for rooted places and eliminate those origins together with the most important root ball. Trumpet vines also spread by putting out underground runnersthat can sprout by creating shoots some distance from the main plant. Assess for them in all directions around your plant, then removing them with the neighboring roots. After you dig the plant up, continue monitoring the area for a few seasons, searching for shoots or suckers that grow from remaining roots; eliminate these as they appear.
Managing the Vines
Although the trumpet vine is a plant that is attractive, it may be an aggressive grower that may need regular trimming or pruning to keep it under control. You can trim it at any given time of year, cutting vines back by up to 95 percent to control their growth. However, this sort of drastic reconstruction can interfere with flowering, as the vine flowers on new side shoots that appear each spring from old, principal stems. To maintain next summer’s blossoms, leave several well-spaced vines unpruned, cutting others back; repeat this every couple of years to control the vine’s dimension.