Tecoma capensis ‘Coccinea’ bears deep orange, almost tomato-red flowers. Plant size about 3 x 3 m.
Aside from its potential as a fast-growing hedge plant, T. capensis and its different varieties can serve other landscaping purposes too. Use it as a framework plant in the background of large shrubberies or flower beds, with other food plants in gardens planted primarily as pantries for birds and, if there is enough space, in relaxed groups that quickly cover large areas.
When do they bloom?
Without a doubt, autumn is the best flowering time, but these plants also provide bright colour during spring.
Most suitable climate
T. capensis is found growing at the edges of evergreen forests, bush and other sheltered scrubland in the warmer coastal regions of the Western Cape and along the southern and eastern coastlines, all the way to Tanzania. It is wind-resistant and tolerates salty sea breezes and periods of drought, but it does not endure heavy frost or icy weather.
What it needs
Location: full sun ensures the most flowers, but it will also do well in the dappled shade of surrounding shrubs and trees, although in these conditions it will clamber up their branches to get to the sunlight.
Soil: any soil type is suitable, but enrich it with compost when you are planting to ensure lush growth.
Water: Cape honeysuckles can survive for long periods of time without a lot of water. If you give it a regular (once a week) deep watering you will be rewarded with luxuriant growth.
Fertilization and Pruning: plants that have been left to grow informally can quickly outgrow a limited space – control them by pruning between the flower flushes. Formal hedges will need to be trimmed more sharply, for shaping and to promote dense growth. A dose of slow-release 3:1:5 fertilizer, or its organic equivalent, applied after each pruning session during the summer months will encourage lush, green foliage and masses of flowers.
Get more value
Tecoma capensis can be easily propagated from cuttings during spring and summer, but it is quicker to collect rooted suckers (look around under the adult plants) and grow them in pots before transplanting them into your garden.
In a nutshell
* Highly recommended hedging plant.
* Water-wise and easy to propagate.
* Willing bloomer.
* Suitable for large gardens.