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Allamanda, the Golden Trumpet

Allamanda, the golden trumpet

Even though it doesn’t hold very well to the cold, allamanda is a plant that perfectly decorates Mediterranean-type gardens.

Key Allamanda facts

NameAllamanda cathartica
Type – climbing vine

Exposure – full sun
Soil – rather light

Foliage: evergreen  –  Flowering: July to November

This spectacular trumpet vine bestows us with sumptuous yellow blooming all summer long.

How to plant allamanda

The planting of an allamanda is an important step, even though it cannot be planted outdoors everywhere. Planting in a pot is an option in some cases.

Allamanda directly in the ground

Planting allamanda directly in the ground, here without stakeAllamanda can survive outdoors year-round only in mild-wintered areas. It cannot withstand temperatures below freezing.

If you live in mild climates, plant it in spring in light soil.

  • It needs a lot of sun to develop well.
  • It loves soil that drains particularly well. It’ll thus feel right at home with a mix of one part garden soil, one part soil mix and one part sand.
  • Allamanda must be planted in a warm spot and should be brought indoors in winter if temperatures drop below 40°F (5°C).
  • Choose a place that is sheltered from wind and preferably along a lattice that it can climb along.

Indeed, wind tends to dry plants out, and Allamanda is vulnerable to air that is too dry.

Additionally, as a precaution against transplant shock, cover it with a shade veil for 2-3 weeks just after planting, if the weather is very hot. Later on, this isn’t necessary.

Planting allamanda in pots

Allamanda planting in a potGrowing allamanda in pots is recommended everywhere temperatures drop below 40°F (5°C) during winter.

To winterize your allamanda, simply bring your potted vine in a well-lit place where it doesn’t freeze over winter.

  • Good examples of this are a garden shed, garage or basement (near a window!), a non-heated greenhouse, or a lean-in that doesn’t get too warm.

You can prune it beforehand to make it easier to handle and move around. As you’ll see right below, Allamanda will survive all the pruning woes you subject it to, so don’t hold back!

Pruning allamanda

Allamanda takes pruning well, it even helps it grow stronger.

Pruned allamanda stemsIndeed, this is a vigorous climbing vine we’re dealing with, sometimes even invasive. Pruning it is the way to set boundaries to its growth.

  • Pruning doesn’t impact the blooming, nor does it slow the allamanda’s growth.
  • Severe pruning can also be performed several times a year, or once every couple years.
  • Pruning before spring growth renews is best, at the end of winter.

Caring for your allamanda

Allamanda is an easy plant to grow when in the proper environment.

  • It is a plant that abhors shade, and needs as much sun as it can get to bloom.

Watering allamanda

Allamanda cherishes moisture and needs watering in case of heat waves. But don’t forget that the root area must drain well or the roots will rot!

Watering allamanda is crucial the first year, and when in potsThe allamanda vine has particularly high water needs during the 1st year after planting.

  • Water preferably in the evening. If you can water twice a day, dawn and dusk is ideal.
  • Best use rain water because allamanda is sensitive to calcium-loaded water.
  • Regularly spraying the leaves with soft water helps keep the high moisture levels it needs.
  • Add flower plant fertilizer once or twice a month, especially for allamanda grown in pots.
  • In winter, reduce watering as much as you can. About once a month is enough.

In particularly dry areas, find ways to increase air moisture in the vicinity of the plant. A nearby fountain or bird bath could do the trick outdoors.

Diseases and parasites that frequently attack allamanda

Pollinators love allamanda for its nectar and pollenAllamanda is a plant that resists most parasites and diseases.

If leaves turn brown and curl, most probably aphids are colonizing the plant.

This vine is also vulnerable to red spider mite attacks.

Luckily, it’s also a favorite of pollinators, attracting bees, butterflies and even birds to the garden.

All there is to know about the allamanda

Allamanda is rightly called the 'Golden Trumpet'Also called golden trumpet, allamanda grows fast and offers spectacular blooming in summer.

It illuminates the garden with its bright yellow flowers.

  • Another species, Allamanda blanchetti, produces pastel purple flowers

When placed in full sun, for instance on the edge of a deck, it spreads a delicate fruity fragrance.

All the parts of the plant induce skin photosensitivity. This means they make skin more vulnerable to irritation due to ultra-violet rays. Handle it with gloves to avoid this toxicity.

Furthermore, ingesting the plant causes nausea and vomiting.

Landscaping with allamanda

Landscaping with allamandaAllamanda is most wonderful when permitted to climb up and around arbors and fences.

Nonetheless, even simply to decorate a mound of dirt, the golden trumpet vine produces beautiful results.

Judge for yourself, here with a beautiful red Dracaena marginata!

Smart tip about allamanda

To produce spectacular blooms, add special organic flower plant fertilizer from spring to summer.

Images: CC BY 2.0: Mark Morgan, Kim & Forest Starr, CC BY-SA 2.0: Alejandro Bayer Tamayo, Wendy Cutler; Pixabay: elbrusto, Fátima Leite, Anita
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  • Michana wrote on 24 September 2022 at 19 h 53 min

    I planted my allamanda in a pot (first year planting them). I live in Ohio and I know I have to bring them in for the winter. Do I cut them back to a certain height? I was planning on bringing them into my basement near a window, is that the right thing to do?

    • Gaspard wrote on 27 September 2022 at 9 h 18 min

      Hi Michana, yes that is exactly what you need to do. Go ahead and cut it back to a manageable height. I added a few sentences describing how to winterize the plant, in the section on potted alamanda.

  • Rosy wrote on 1 July 2022 at 13 h 26 min

    I bought allamanda seven days ago and now it is in bloom. The first day I bought it, I sprayed it with fertilizer, and then I watered it once a day with clean water. Recently, there are more rainy days than sunny days. Its leaves are rolled up and flowers dropped. No aphids and red spider pests. I wonder what I need to do now to save it?

    • Gaspard wrote on 8 August 2022 at 8 h 32 min

      Hi Rosy, sorry it took a while to answer. It seems to me that the plant is simply undergoing transplant shock. It’s normal for it to adjust when moving. It doesn’t get that perfect light as it did in the nursery anymore, perhaps they even had supplemental lighting set up.

      Flower drop is normal in this case. Leaves rolling up a little less common but still understandable. What it loves above all is well-draining soil. If you feel the soil is always soggy, it won’t help the plant settle in. Only water when it feels dry, or when it’s been 5-6 days since the last rain/watering.

  • Janet Edwards wrote on 4 June 2021 at 19 h 36 min

    I inherited a beautiful purple allamanda from the last owner of our house. It was planted next to our screen on our lanai and it is so vigorous I have had to cut it. Any ideas how I can support it so close to the house?

    • Gaspard wrote on 23 June 2021 at 8 h 35 min

      Hi Janet, it definitely needs a strong, sturdy lattice. Also possible is a stainless-steel wire set, with studs that you bolt into the wall.

  • Carol Jo Martin wrote on 27 October 2020 at 19 h 11 min

    I have 2 allamandas planted in my backyard. They have grown so much and have been so beautiful all spring, summer and early fall. I am in the Houston, Texas area and I’m not sure what to do with them in the winter. If we get temps below 40 can I cover them so they won’t freeze. I might need to trim then back some before covering them due to the size. Is this going to be ok.

    • Gaspard wrote on 28 October 2020 at 11 h 15 min

      Hello Carol, for sure it’s possible to trim them now, especially since necessity calls. Recommendations of pruning late in winter are mostly to guide the plant along for it to grow in desired directions before the growth spurt starts. It’s a good idea to protect them with some cover when temps near freezing to give them a strong chance. Monitor weather forecasts so you can anticipate a bit, and practice at least once beforehand so you’re quick at it and don’t suffer in the cold weather yourself. Lastly, consider adding some mulch around the base, extending it to cover the root areas, this’ll help, too.

  • Pragya wrote on 15 July 2020 at 13 h 06 min

    Thank you Gaspard for the reply. I did not repot the plant, I kept it in the same pot. Initially the leaves started turning yellow and droopy so I started giving less water but after that the leaves just dried and become crisp. Slowly all leaves fell off. Now its just stems in the pot. I plan to keep the plant in the pot itself.

    • Gaspard wrote on 15 July 2020 at 14 h 09 min

      Ok then! I’m sure if you follow these tips you’ll be giving your plant good survival chances. Check if there’s still life in it by breaking off a twig or side stem and looking for a fresh green color under the bark.

  • Pragya wrote on 14 July 2020 at 7 h 19 min

    I purchased fullly grown allamanda in 10 inch pot a month back, kept it in sun and regularly watered. Temperature has been around 30-40 degree C but all the leaves have dried and plants seems to not reviving. Please help what should I do to revive it?

    • Gaspard wrote on 15 July 2020 at 12 h 50 min

      Hmmm, it sounds a lot like transplant shock to me. What I suspect is that in the nursery, the plants were very well watered, in normal amounts but possibly up to three times a day (especially in hot weather). Their 10-inch pot is a good size, but it won’t keep much water if the plant is thirsty. To have a chance of saving your allamanda, try the following:

      – if you plant to transfer it to the ground, do it quickly so that roots can start spreading to look for more water. Check out our tips on planting shrubs.
      – if your goal is to keep them in pots, then repot into a larger-sized pot, 12″ or 14″ (30 to 35 cm). In the soil mix, add hydrogel crystals to serve as a water reserve.

      In both cases, if possible, water twice or thrice a day for at least a month, to give the plant time to grow new roots. Follow a few of these ideas to minimize transplant shock, such as extending a shade veil to block out most of the sun, or using mulch to reduce water evaporation.

      At this stage, don’t remove leaves or dead twigs yet. Not only might some of them revive, but having the leaves and twigs up there will help retain some air moisture for the season. Later on, you’ll prune what definitely looks dead away.