Pruning Vines

Q. What would be the correct length, if any, to cut back Madam Galen Trumpetvines and Coral Honeysuckle? The Honeysuckle still has some leaves, but the Trumpetvine is leafless and brown.

Depending on how long you have been growing the Madam Galen Trumpet Creeper, you will find it to be a rampant grower which, if given free run, will cover over trees, houses and small, slow-moving children. A certain amount of tip growth naturally dies back each winter on a trumpet creeper. This will go virtually unnoticed in the faster growing types but is a concern if you grow the newly released "Dwarf Chinese Trumpet Creeper" from Lone Star Growers of San Antonio. As for how much to prune the Madam Galen, just prune it to the shape and form you desire. Trumpet Creepers can be pruned like grape vines from which 95 percent of the wood is removed. Trumpet creepers bloom on new growth so severe cutback can stimulate bloom. If covering a trellis, choose several evenly spaced runners(vines) and trim off everything else.

The honeysuckle is a different matter. I would wait until after spring bloom to prune it back too much or you will not get as much of the beautiful bloom and fragrance honeysuckle is grown for. Also, waiting until spring will avoid a prolonged period of bear plants resulting from pruning. The regrowth will be faster in warm spring conditions.

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