The Q&A Archives: Pruning a perennial vine

Questioner's Location: Leslie, AR
Date: April 1, 2007

Question: I have a Bignonia capreolata 'Tangerine Beauty' that I purchased a year ago. Should they be trimmed at all or do I leave all the old growth?

Answer: Generally, this vine is not pruned unless necessary and the pruning would be done right after it blooms. This is a semi-deciduous plant meaning it may hold some of its leaves in a mild winter. It may also die back somewhat during a severe winter, especially while it is young and not yet fully established. If this happened, you can trim off any winterkilled, dead portions now. Live wood will be flexible and have green inside the bark. Dead wood will be dull brown or gray, brittle, and snap off in your fingers. Go ahead and trim off dead portions, beginning at the tips and working your way back toward the ground until you reach live wood. If it has died back substantially, it should still recover and come back from the roots later this spring. Enjoy your vine!

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