"Until I read your article on campsis (Independent, 12 August) I had been feeling optimistic, looking for flower buds on my plant every day," writes Pauline Roberts of Long Ashton, Bristol. "It is growing in a barrel against a south wall. About this severe cutting back. How far? What is the advantage of pruning a campsis drastically if it hasn't flowered? How will it have benefited from its summer growth? I have been hoping that the hot summer might have initiated flower buds in the shoots for next summer."
Campsis flowers on new wood, so the hot summer will not, as Mrs Roberts hoped, have coaxed flower buds for next year out of this year's growth. If you want the campsis to fill more space, you can cut the new growth back by just a third in late winter or early spring. When it has filled all the space that you can let it have, prune the new growth harder, taking it back to within two or three buds of the older wood. This should also be done in late winter or early spring. If the campsis had only one shoot, I would be inclined to cut it down to within six inches of the base this winter, to encourage it to throw more shoots.Reuse content