How to Winterize Trumpet Vine

by Annabelle Lee
Trumpet vines attranct hummingbirds and butterflies.

Trumpet vines attranct hummingbirds and butterflies.

Hemera Technologies/ Images

The trumpet vine, trumpet creeper or cow vine is a woody vine that can grow up to 35 feet tall and have a main stalk about 7 inches wide. It produces bright yellow, orange or red flowers. An extremely hardy plant, it grows so rampantly and invasively in the Southeast United States that residents refer to it as hellvine or devil's shoestring. Often planted to attract hummingbirds, trumpet vine is classified as an invasive weed by the U.S. Department of Natural Resources. Winterization is unnecessary for the health of the plant but necessary to control spreading the following spring.

Items you will need

  • Pruning shears
Step 1

Prune everything back to within 12 inches of the ground to control the growth of the vines.

Step 2

Prune the trumpet vine in the late fall to prepare it for winter. Cutting them back as a part of winterization will prevent aggressive spreading in the spring.

Step 3

Remove any weak or damaged stalks back to the base of the plant. Remove any dead stalks at this time.

Step 4

Cut back the side shoots. Leave only two or three buds on each vine. Prune heavily when preparing the plant for winter because it will grow rapidly in the spring.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be careful where you choose to grow trumpet vine as it can cause itching in some animals, especially cows.

About the Author

Annabelle Lee has been working in the journalism field since 1990. She was a teacher and yearbook adviser for four years and holds two associate degrees from her local community college where she currently teaches computer classes. Lee also writes for a local newspaper and was a proofreader for McGraw-Hill.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/ Images