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Humming Birds Love Trumpet Creeper

Making It Grow Radio Minute
SC Public Radio

Campsis radicans, the nicest common name for which is trumpet creeper, is flowering now and will continue for several months. With its long orange trumpet-shaped flowers, it’s a hummingbird magnet. If you search "THIS WEEK at HILTON POND, 1-21 June," hummingbird expert Bill Hilton explains why he thinks this deciduous vine is the most important hummingbird plant you can grow – it’s shaped perfectly for them to pollinate and get nectar from its deep tubular flowers. He does join with others in warning that it is a rampant grower and suggests planting it at the base of large tree you can mow around and cutting it back to the ground each year after flowering. It’s close relative, the evergreen crossvine, Bignonia capreolata, is also pollinated by hummingbirds and is easier for homeowner to keep under control, but keep an eye on it, too.

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Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.