The Q&A Archives: Yellow Trumpet Vine Questions

Question: I have just planted several of your Yellow Trumpet Vines, intended as full decorative screening of a block wall. Each plant is three feet from the main root system of a mature Bougainvillea (that is cut very narrow at bottom and full up top).
1.) Is the proximity of these plants too close? 2.) I have found lifespan references from three to ten years; what is the general life expectancy? 3.) Is this a thorny vine?

Answer: This vine (Macfadyena unguis-cati) is also called "cat's claw" because it has three-pronged "feelers" that cling to any surface, and they can be a bit scratchy (only if you are trying to tear down a vine) but it does not have thorns. I have a yellow trumpet vine that has been growing since 1989 and I am aware of many other mature vines. As long as it has plenty of sun and sufficient water (it doesn't need alot of water), it can live a long time. As for the proximity, both bougainvillea and the vine can grow prolifically, so that is a bit close as they may spread into each other. However, they are both so vigorous, that it is unlikely to be detrimental to their health.

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