Some plants are easy to grow and care for that can serve multiple roles in the landscape. An example of this is the orange trumpet vine, which is often used due to its cascading trumpet-shaped orange flowers.
Laborious maintenance is needed for specific landscape functions, but its beauty makes it all worth it. Keep reading to know more about this beautiful vine and how to incorporate it into a landscape theme.
The Pyrostegia venusta goes by varieties of common names such as flame vine, golden shower, orange trumpet creeper, flame flower, and flaming trumpet. It is also synonymous with Bignonia ignea and Bignonia venusta. This plant belongs under the Bignoniaceae family, a family of many famous flowering vines including the Campsis radicans.
As native plants of Paraguay and Brazil, these orange trumpet vines are prolific in the tropics and subtropics. In the US, it is suitable to grow in areas belonging to USDA zones 9 through 11. There are some areas under zone 8b wherein this vine was seen flowering.
The orange trumpet creepers are fast-growing woody vines that spread through different areas. In a span of 2 to 5 years after establishment, the vine extends from 8 to 12 meters high and 1.5 to 2.5 meters wide. Aside from its vast growth, it has tendrils that help it reach places and expand horizons with the assistance of supporting structures. Moreover, it is an evergreen plant which makes it a great addition to vertical landscapes and other landscape functions.
The foliage of this flamevine consists of 2 to 3 ovate leaflets, which grow from 4 to 8 cm long and 2 to 4.5 cm wide. They are waxy, oval, and pointed leaflets attached to a slender stem. Also, the leaves change their colors from green to reddish-orange when winter comes.
The orange trumpet vine is a common name derived from this vine’s red-orange tubular flowers. It is grown in masses of 15 to 20 florets, with each typically 6 cm long. The best time to see these beautiful orange trumpet vine flowers is during winter and early spring, its blooming season.
Fruit and Seeds
After the flowers have been pollinated, fruits start to develop. Its fruits are flat and extend for 16 to 33 cm long and 1.2 to 1.6 cm wide. Inside it is the brown winged seeds that are approximately less than 1 cm in diameter.
Growing and Caring Tips
As a tropical plant, the flame flower prefers to grow in places where full exposure to the sun is available. However, it also tolerates areas with partial shade. Moreover, remember to give this vine ample amounts of sunlight, which is 6 hours of uninterrupted exposure to the full sun, to help in flower production.
Frequent application of average amounts of water is enough to sustain this vine’s growth. This is achieved by supplying water at least three times a week. This schedule will depend on the weather wherein frequency is increased as the temperature gets hotter and vice versa.
Temperature and Humidity
The orange trumpet vine flourishes in warm temperatures, which is why USDA zone 11 is the coldest it can handle where the plant is still hardy.
The flame vine prefers being planted in soil that is well-drained, moist, and high in organic matter. Also, loam and sand soils are highly favored. For the soil pH, they are not that picky as they grow in either acidic, basic, or neutral soils.
Supplying slow-release complete fertilizers at recommended rates will replenish the nutrients in the soil. Other than that, the flame vine does not necessarily need any special fertilizer. Although, applying phosphorus fertilizers or blooming fertilizers will help the vine develop more flowers when the time comes. It is also important to remember to avoid the application of nitrogen fertilizers before flowering because it will inhibit flower production and induce foliage growth instead.
As a fast-grower, this vine will need space and support to optimize its potential in any landscape. Naturally, the orange trumpet vine will crawl and climb wherever it can. This growth habit is the reason behind giving the plant structures for anchorages such as stakes, trellises, arbors, fences, and walls.
Aside from providing sturdy infrastructures, pruning is a major maintenance activity for it. They might become unruly so removal of plant parts exceeding its boundaries will help it keep its form. In doing so, the flame vine will keep its aesthetic qualities and accidental competition with other plants in the landscape will be avoided.
Furthermore, pruning it after flowering and during the first few weeks of November will rejuvenate it. In return, the production of flowers will be dispersed to other parts aside from the terminal shoots. Also, this will give a better aesthetic for the landscape once the vine enters its flowering stage.
There are three ways to reproduce the flame flower. The first is by sowing its seeds. These may be harvested, air-dried for a few hours, then planted in a seedbed or a container.
The second one is with the use of stem cuttings. The process is almost the same as planting seeds. But gathering the needed plant materials may be a bit of a challenge for beginners. In choosing the suitable stems, pick the ones that are not too mature nor too immature. This process will need a keen eye for detail and practice.
Lastly, the layering of suckers is one of the fastest ways to reproduce a new flamin. It takes up less time because most suckers develop their root system while attached to the mother plant. The only thing to do is separate it and plant it in another pot or area, which would require a steady and light hand to prevent damage to the root system.
In all of these methods, the main requirements would be having a good and viable plant material, a well-drained, moist, and porous soil, and an irrigation system for uniform application of water. In cases wherein they are mass-produced, misting or automatic watering systems are in place.
Function In The Landscape
Although an extra effort will be required for upkeep, it still is worth it for the beauty it brings. The flame vine is utilized as a foundation, screen, shade, specimen, and accent in different gardens. To serve as a foundation, shade, or screen plant, support should be supplied to it. For example, they are incorporated with fences, stakes, trellises, and arbors to provide screens and shade in some gardens.
Furthermore, they are also used for vertical landscapes to impart a roughly textured and colorful backdrop that is perfect for photo ops. They are also grown in pots and containers to give color and soften the concrete of homes and buildings, providing a more natural feel.
The orange trumpet vine is rarely infested by insects, but the most common insect pests are spider mites and scale insects. In terms of plant diseases, the occurrence is extremely low.
On the other hand, the potential harm these native vines may bring to the landscape is solely dependent on the planning and upkeep of the area. When not given enough space and support, the flame vine may take over and disrupt plants nearby just like other vine types.
See more: Plants with orange flowers
*image by Wirestock/depositphotos