How to Grow Tecomaria — Cape Honeysuckle

Cape honeysuckle, Tecomaria
Cape honeysuckle, Tecomaria capnesis

Tecomaria–commonly called cape honeysuckle–is a large evergreen vine or many-branched shrub that bears showy clusters of bright orange to red, trumpet-shaped flowers from summer through early winter. Tecomaria grows as a climbing shrub that sometimes in frost-free regions can become the size of a small tree.

Tecomaria is native to South Africa where it grows in frost-free coastal regions. It is also found from southern California to Argentina. It is often used as a clipped or sprawling shrub on slopes. It can be trained onto a trellis or espaliered.

Tecomaria grows 6 to 22 feet (2-7m) tall or more. It will become well-established quickly when given regular deep watering.

Tecomaria is a genus of 12 species of evergreen climbers or scrambling shrubs. Tecomaria is synonymous with the genus Tecoma.

Get to Know Tecomaria

  • Plant type: Evergreen climber, scrambling shrub
  • Growing zones and range: Zones 10-15
  • Hardiness: Hardy to Zone 10
  • Height and width: 6 to 22 feet (2-7m) tall, 3 to 10 feet (1-3m) wide
  • Foliage: Ovate-oblong to rounded leaves
  • Flowers: Narrowly bell- to funnel-shaped, 5-lobed, yellow, orange, or red flowers in dense terminal racemes
  • Bloom time: Summer
  • Uses: Scrambling plant, specimen
  • Common name: Cape honeysuckle
  • Botanical name: Tecomaria, syn. Tecoma
  • Family name: Bignoniaceae
  • Origin: South Africa, southern United States to Argentina
Cape Honeysuckle, Tecomaria capensis
Cape Honeysuckle, Tecomaria capensis

Where to Plant Tecomaria

  • Plant Tecomaria in full sun.
  • Plant Tecomaria in humus-rich, moist, but well-drained soil.

When to Plant Tecomaria

  • Set container-grown Tecomaria in the garden in spring or autumn.

Planting and Spacing Tecomaria

  • Space Tecomaria 10 to 15 feet apart.

How to Water and Feed Tecomaria

  • Water Tecomaria to keep the soil just moist during the growing season; water sparingly in winter.
  • Fertilize Tecomaria with a half-strength balanced liquid fertilizer monthly.

Tecomaria Care

  • Scrambling species can be trained over an arbor.

Growing Tecomaria as a Houseplant

  • Tecomaria can be grown in a large pot in a cool or temperate greenhouse.

Tecomaria Pests and Diseases

  • Spider mites can attack Tecomaria.
Yellow Elder, Trumpet bush, Tecoma stans
Yellow Elder, Trumpet bush, Tecoma stans

Tecomaria Propagation

  • Sow Tecomaria seed in spring.
  • Root semi-ripe cuttings with bottom heat in summer.
  • Layer Tecomaria in spring or autumn.

Tecomaria Varieties to Grow

  • Tecomaria capensis, Cape honeysuckle. Erect, scrambling evergreen shrub; bears slender, tubular orange to scarlet flowers; elliptic-ovate mid to dark green lustrous leaves; grows 6 to 22 feet tall.
  • T. stans, trumpet bush, yellow bells, yellow elder. Ascending, large shrub; grows 15 to 28 feet long; funnel-shaped, bright yellow flowers in terminal racemes from late winter to summer; pinnate leaves are bright green.


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