Madame Galen / Trumpet Vine - Knowledgebase Question

Lake in the Hills, Il
Avatar for h2olillies
Question by h2olillies
April 11, 2010
I have a Madame Galen now for 7yrs & split & replanted, but it has NEVER bloomed. Can someone give me any advise???

Answer from NGA
April 11, 2010
Trumpet vines can be finicky about blooming, especially for the first time. Like wisteria and climbing hydrangea vines, it's not unusual for trumpet vines to go seven years before their maiden bloom.

Part of the reason is that woody vines like these tend to want to extend their arms sufficiently before thinking about reproduction. You may be able to speed up the first bloom a little by pruning back the leaders to encourage more side shoots, where the flowers are going to occur. Otherwise, it's a matter of waiting. I've even heard of people waiting for up to 10 years before they got their first trumpet vine flowers.

Two other possibilities. Don't fertilize. Trumpet vines will get everything they need out of the soil, and adding nitrogen can sometimes encourage even more foliage growth at the expense of flower production. (This often happens when trumpet vines are planted near lawns, which are getting regular high-nitrogen feedings.) And if you've planted in deep shade, that'll also discourage flowering.

Once trumpet vines get going, they usually flower pretty well and are good hummingbird attractors. Beware, though, that this is a big and, some would say, invasive vine. Figure on an annual late-winter pruning (it blooms on new wood) and also be aware that some people get a skin rash and even blisters from rubbing against trumpet vine leaves.

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