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The trumpet vines that belong to the genus Distictis are highly colorful evergreen flowering vines with lush, glossy foliage and large, trumpet-shaped flowers. Varieties grown in the Inland Empire are fast growing, have tendrils and dark glossy green leaflets. Tubular flowers grow to 4 in. long and are brightly colored red or blue. These vines come from subtropical climates where they are adapted to summer heat, but not extreme winter cold. They grow fastest when planted in loamy soils, sun to partial shade, and sustained with regular water. Species and cultivars found in nurseries can grow to 30 ft. and longer over time; pruning can keep them smaller in size.

The common Blood-red trumpet vine, D. buccinatoria, is the most common choice found in cultivation. It is well suited to growing on fences, large trellises and for cascading over large slopes. This is the most cold tolerant species, surviving temperatures below 25° F. The Royal trumpet vine, D. 'Rivers', produces attractive purple-blue to lavender colored flowers. These vines are grown on walls along freeways and in residential landscapes throughout the Inland Empire.

Water Needs

The Blood-red trumpet vine and Royal trumpet vine grow best in full sun to partial shade and without moisture stress. Regular irrigation is recommended throughout the year. The chart shown below provides a baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth throughout the average year. The high and low range of moisture indicates it can grow with varying amounts of water; higher amounts of water will result in stronger springtime flowering performance and better summer foliage character.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Moderate Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 4

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 3x 0x to 3x 0x to 3x 2x to 3x 2x to 3x 3x to 4x 3x to 4x 3x to 4x 2x to 3x 2x to 3x 0x to 3x 0x to 3x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
Inches per Month 0" to 3" 0" to 3" 0" to 3" 2" to 3" 2" to 3" 3" to 4" 3" to 4" 3" to 4" 2" to 3" 2" to 3" 0" to 3" 0" to 3"

Range of supplemental summer water: 17"-24"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-15"

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Vine
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Trailing, Climbing
Growth Rate: Fast
Height: 30 ft. - 50 ft.
Width: 30 ft. - 50 ft.
Water Needs: Moderate 4
Foliage Color: Dark green
Flower Color: Red
Flower Season: Spring
Soil Adaptations: Loam, Clay
Exposure Adaptations: Heat, All day sun
Function: Specimen, Slopes, Screening, Overhead structures, Hummingbird plant, Flowering accent plant, Espalier, Commercial spaces, Background plant


Prune as needed to keep the rampant vine at an appropriate size for the space it has to grow on. It's not one to try to grow in a small space or on a small trellis, but good to swallow a large chain link fence (which it could damage over time). Prune as needed through out the year, but it is best to avoid pruning during flowering, or right before winter, as new growth will be sensitive to frost. If growing on a fence or trellis with similar or small size openings, make sure that the main trunk of the vine does not wrap through any initial small openings. it will widen into a trunk over time and if it is caught through a small opening it can both strangle the plant and damage the structure (D,S).



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