The Q&A Archives: Struggling Trumpet Vine

Question: Hello,
I live right outside Tucson and purchased one of your Tangerine Beauty Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata) in Jan and planted it the corner of my back yard against a light brick red masonry wall the left inside corner faces NE and the other SE. When I first planted it, it bloomed and put out new growth, but with long term drought and as temps rose (90 and up to 108) end of May and all of June it has been struggling wilting unless I water daily 2gal. It also isn't putting out tendrils as it's description said it would. My Nursery says I need to put 5-6 gal about 2x/wk and fertilize with 7-3-4 fertilizer. However another nursery person said fertilizing could stress it even more. I considered moving it but told worst time have had a very long term drought. So would appreciate any suggestions. BTW, I have Royal Trumpet Vine Distictis x riversii on a west facing wall of my front court yard which is doing beautifully.
Thank you,
CP Hiller

Answer: I think this particular trumpet vine is in the wrong place, or the soil isn't of the same quality as that for your royal trumpet vine. When plants are stressed by the heat it's usually because they haven't fully established, or because they cannot fully establish because of soil conditions. Fertilizing will encourage new growth and if your plant is puny, fertilizer will stress it even further - perhaps to the point of death. I'd nurse it along with ample water until the weather cools in October, then dig it up and make sure the soil is draining freely. Amend as necessary and replant, then prune it back. It should respond with healthy new growth. If not, it just isn't happy with the site (reflected heat perhaps?) and you may want to consider moving it to a spot that provides some protection from hot afternoon sun (and no reflected heat). Best wishes with your trumpet vine!

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