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Bignonia - Care Guide

Bignonia Capreolata - Care Guide

Over the years there has been much debate as to whether this plant, which is of Canadian origin, should be classified as a species of Campsis or as a genus on its own with just the one species – B. capreolata. Botanists have now decided that it is indeed a separate genus in its own right.

That is not to say that it does not have many of the same characteristics and attributes of Campsis. It is also a vigorous climbing plant with leaf tendrils that help it to climb supports. It can also grow 20-30ft up a trellis, wall, pergola or tree and it also has orange-red tubular flowers in late summer in groups or cymes of two to five individual flowers.

The difference is that it is not as hardy as Campsis and is semi-evergreen in milder areas. It will survive some frost if grown on a sheltered wall but, perhaps, with some dieback. It is a pretty vigorous plant to try to grow well and flower in the greenhouse but can be kept under control with frequent chopping back. As it flowers on the new growth, rather than the old wood, this will have to be done with care to ensure some flowers.

We have seen this plant thriving in a number of locations in the south of England. Since it clings from its leaf tendrils rather than growing aerial roots (as Campsis do) it needs a bit more help to get established and needs proper supports.


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