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Tecoma capensis - Care Guide

Caring for Tecoma capensis

Cape Honeysuckle

This vigorous evergreen South African climber is generally regarded as a tender greenhouse plant. However, such is its growth rate in a single season, particularly when combined with its ability to produce aerial roots and self-cling to a wall, that it is increasingly commonly being used in National Trust gardens and by parks departments as part of their annual summer bedding programmes. In reality it will comfortably survive a mild winter more or less unscathed. In the Burncoose tunnels, with no heat at all, tecoma kept its foliage through The Beast of March 2018 and was in flower indoors only four months later. In the west of England it is therefore worth taking a risk outside with tecoma on a hot south facing wall with moist and fertile soil conditions. If it survives, as it may well most winters, you will have a spectacular wall covering. At Osborne House in the Isle of Wight a plant on a north facing wall was recently looking good despite some serious wind damage to the foliage.

In the greenhouse or outside, a light pruning of the top shoots in spring will encourage flowering new growth. Some pruning of this vigorous climber will usually be necessary under glass. Watering should be generous with a liquid feed at least once a month in the growing season. Keep the greenhouse well aired to reduce the risks of a red spider mite infestation.

Burncoose offers forms of Tecoma capensis with yellow and orange flowers. Both are quick to flower in pots and are straightforward from cuttings with bottom heat in mid to late summer.


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