Garden Oracle / Drought and Heat Tolerant Gardening / Tucson - Phoenix - Arizona - California

Growing Bignonia capreolata:

social icons Facebook Pinterest Instagram

Form: A climbing vine.
Lifespan: Perennial.
Leaf retention: Evergreen in frost-free regions, deciduous in hard freezes.
Growth rate: Rapid.
Mature Size: 30-50' long.
Flowers: Large, bell-shaped, showy, clustered, fragrant. 'Tangerine Beauty' is orange outside, yellow inside. Other colors, including yellow and red, are available.
Bloom: Late winter to late spring. It may bloom sporadically summer to early fall, depending on the local climate.
Fruit: Dark brown, woody seedpods.
Leaves: Paired leaflets, lance-shaped, smooth edges, glossy green, turning to dark red in winter.
Stems: A square cross-section having a cross-shaped pith inside, resembling a Greek cross, which gives the vine its name. The stems are dark green, turn reddish-purple in cold climates, and lack thorns. Slender tendrils, tipped with adhesive disks, assist climbing.
Roots: It forms underground tubers and spreads by stolons, above ground roots which form new plants where they take root. In moist, fertile soils it becomes highly invasive.
Wildlife: Attracts hummingbirds, birds, butterflies and bees. Browsed by mammals.
Toxic / Danger: No.
Origin: Eastern United States, south of the Great Lakes to Texas.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 5-9. This plant will die to the ground in very cold regions and come back from its roots in the spring.
Heat tolerant: Yes.
Drought tolerant: Yes, once established.
Sun: Full sun to open shade. Full sun produces the most flowers.
Water after becoming established: Once a month or more often depending on appearance.
Soil: Well drained, dry, soil type tolerant, pH 6.1-7.8 (slightly acidic to slightly alkaline). It thrives in soil with a high organic content.
Mulch: No.
First Year Care: Water frequently to establish until summer rains.
Planting: Can be grown in containers but will need more frequent watering.
Prune: After flowering, cut back to keep it in bounds. It flowers on old wood, so do not prune in winter.
Litter: Low.
Propagation: Seed and cuttings. Seeds have long germination time.
Uses: Ornamental, used on fences and trellises as a screen.

This plant is a member of the Trumpet Creeper family (Bignoniaceae). Crossvine is related to Campsis Radicans: Trumpet Vine, and is sometimes mistaken for it. While this plant is usually described as having medium water needs, it will tolerate much less once established.

Do you have additional information or a different experience for these plants that you would like to share? Email All contributions are welcome and appreciated.

Bignonia capreolata: Crossvine - flowers

Bignonia capreolata: Crossvine - leaves

Bignonia capreolata: Crossvine - seed pods

Latest update: February, 2019
© 2008-2024 by