The Q&A Archives: Flowering

Question: I have a trumpet creeper into it's 3rd summer. It has never flowered. What might I do to get this plant to flower?

Answer: Trumpet creepers flower on new wood so you'll want to prune yours back each winter or early spring to encourage lots of healthy new growth. It's also important to withhold fertilizer - too much nitrogen will result in lush, green growth at the expense of flowers. Vines in their first or second year tend to sprout and elongate stems more than produce leaves and flowers. Pinching back shoot ends helps balance their growth. Also, woody vines tend to flower more generously on shoots that are horizontal rather than vertical, so keep that in mind as you direct and shape your climber. Twining vines especially grow from upper buds and tend to lose their lower leaves. They may need severe heading back to promote foliage near the ground. I would cut the entire plant back to about 12" above the ground in late winter or early spring (before or just as new growth is starting) to encourage lots of new (and hopefully flowering) shoots. Best wishes with your landscape!

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