July Blooms in my Georgia Garden: Campsis Radicans, Trumpet Vine

Hummingbirds love the trumpet shaped bright orange blooms of Trumpet Vine. Campsis Radicans, known as Trumpet Vine, Trumpet Creeper, or as my parents call it, Cow Itch, is a beautiful native plant common in the Eastern United States.

Trumpet Vine blooms with large orange/red trumpet flowers that are a favorite nectar source for hummingbirds and other pollinators. It is for this reason that most gardeners grow Trumpet Vine.

This native vine makes a showy focal point on an arbor, fence, or in a tree. It climbs by attaching itself to masonry and wood, but doesn’t do the damage that some other vines will.

Trumpet Vine looks like a tropical plant but is very easy to grow. It thrives with little care and has low water requirements. It will grow in shade, but blooms better with full sun. It isn't picky about water either. It tolerates wet or dry sites and is very drought tolerant. This plant is not bothered by insect pests or disease.

Trumpet Vine can be grown in most of the United States as it is hardy in USDA Zones 4 or 5 through 10.

Campsis radicans is a very rampant and aggressive vine. If you decide you have time to keep this vine contained, I recommend you grow it in a tree form, as my neighbor does. This makes a beautiful specimen that is easier to maintain. If you prefer to grow it on an arbor, make it a very strong and sturdy one, and let it grow in solitary. It will require some pruning to keep it in check, and having other vines growing with it will make pruning almost impossible. 

Immediately after flowering, remove spent blooms before seed pods develop, or you will have Trumpet Vine popping up in other areas of your garden, probably in the very spot you do not want it.

If you can maintain it and keep it in bounds, you won't regret planting Trumpet Vine when you see all the hummingbirds flocking to your garden.

June Blooms in my Georgia Garden: Hibiscus moscheutos

Annabelle Hydrangea isn't the only Southern native shrub with voluptuous blooms. Just take a look at this native Hibiscus! Hibiscus moscheutos displays blooms up to 12 inches across. The blooms on her remind me of the huge dresses worn by Southern Belles on the movie Gone with the Wind.

Hibiscus moscheutos Lord Baltimore

Also known as Swamp Mallow, Dinner Plate Hibiscus (for obvious reasons), and Rose Mallow, Hibiscus moscheutos is native to marshes in the Southeastern United States. 

Many new varieties of this hibiscus have been developed, resulting in a wide range of bloom colors and interesting foliage.

The huge blooms begin opening in late June or early July in our Georgia garden and keep coming until cool weather arrives in the Fall. Although each bloom lasts just one day, a large plant can sport several blooms at one time. Flowers come in many different shades of pink, red, or white. They might be a solid color or have a red eye or some type of variegation in the bloom.

Like Hibiscus coccineus, this plant will grow very fast if it is happy in the spot where it grows. Give it plenty of room, because by mid-summer, it can be 5 feet tall and just as wide. Rose Mallow, like other perennial hibiscus, will die to the ground in Winter and regrow from the base in late Spring.

This fabulous Hibiscus is as easy to grow as Hibiscus coccineus, as long as you have a spot in full sun and can reach it with a hose.  In my garden, this hibiscus has proved to be quite drought tolerant, as long as I give it a drink of water when I notice the leaves drooping from thirst.

Hibiscus moscheutos has a larger hardiness range than coccineus, so it can be grown in gardens further north. According to the USDA Hardiness Zone Map, Hibiscus moscheutos can be grown in zones 5-10.