Honeysuckle, trumpet vine will thrive
 in our area

I want to plant a climbing fragrant vine. The area receives morning sun until noon, then it is shaded. Would a star jasmine work well there? Could I get one locally?

— Donna

I’m afraid star jasmine won’t work for us here. We’re just too cold over the winter and it will freeze and die off. The best fragrant vine I can recommend is Hall’s honeysuckle. It has creamy white to yellow trumpet-shaped flowers during the late spring and early summer that are delightfully fragrant. It has medium green leaves that turn purplish-green and remain on the vine most winters (they’ll brown and fall off in especially cold winters). There are other vines out there that are lightly fragrant, but nothing that compares to Hall’s honeysuckle.


We have a new small deck on the south side of our house that includes two planters and trellising for a vine of some kind and are planning ahead (it gets us through the winter months!). What would work best on this south side that gets a lot of direct sun during the day? I would like a flowering vine for hummingbirds and butterflies if possible — have seen a honeysuckle with large blooms but don’t know what this is or if it would work well for this site. Also, when would be a good time to plant them?

— Bev


I’d probably recommend either a honeysuckle or a trumpet vine. Both are visited by hummingbirds especially. Honeysuckles tend to be a bit slower-growing but easier to contain, while trumpet vine is fast growing and somewhat aggressive. Honeysuckle climbs by twining its stems around a support like your trellis while trumpet vine has tendrils like a grape which grab and cling. Here’s a brief description of some of the choices you have:

Honeysuckle, dropmore scarlet — Bright orange-scarlet tubular flowers from late spring into midsummer. Bright bluish-green foliage. Grows on 12- to 15-foot stems. Needs support. Sun or shade. Hardy to minus 35.

Honeysuckle, goldflame — 12 to 15 feet long. Woody vine valued for cherry red flowers with a showy yellow throat from late spring into midsummer. Attractive blue-green foliage. Needs support. Sun or shade. Hardy to minus 15.

Honeysuckle, Hall’s — Light green, evergreen foliage that turns bronze in winter. Twining, vine-like stems grow 15 to 20 feet long. Very fragrant, ivory to yellow flowers. Needs support. Sun or shade. Hardy to minus 15.

Honeysuckle, major wheeler — Grows to 8 feet tall by 8 feet wide. A prolific and long bloomer with blazing reddish-orange blooms all summer and into fall. Nectar-rich flowers are adored by hummingbirds, and late-season berries attract finches and robins. Blue-green foliage is powdery mildew-resistant and deer-resistant. This selection is non-invasive. Sun or shade. Hardy to minus 25.

Trumpet vine, balboa sunset — Grows to 30 feet tall. Vigorous climbing vine with lush, dark green foliage. Spectacular clusters of orangey-red flowers bloom from mid- to late-summer. Irresistible to hummingbirds. Needs strong support. Sun to part shade. Hardy to minus 25.

Trumpet vine, madame galen — Grows to 15 to 30 feet tall. Fast growing, clinging vine with abundant sprays of salmon orange trumpet clusters in summer. Excellent for fences or arbors. Sun. Hardy to minus 25.

I’ve heard people argue about spring being a better time to plant, or that fall is the only time. I suppose that there could be small differences, but I think any advantage or disadvantage one way or the other is really insignificant. Personally, I plant in my yard when two things are present: The plant I’m looking for and the energy and enthusiasm to stick it in the ground.


Dennis Hill is the nursery manager at Bookcliff Gardens, bookcliffgardens.com. Send questions to Bookcliff Gardens, 755 26 Road, Grand Junction 81506; or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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