Garden Talk

with Rebecca Jordi

Q: What can you tell me about cape honeysuckle?

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 Tecoma capensis

Tecoma capensis

A:  Cape honeysuckle, Tecoma capensis, originates from the Cape of Good Hope region of South Africa.  This plant might be a little tender here as it prefers cold hardiness zones 9b – 11.  Remember, Nassau County Florida is generally classified as being in zones 8b – 9a.  This means, if we get typically cold temperatures in the winter – this plant might not survive. Cape honeysuckle shrub puts out a cluster of deep orange flowers in the spring through the fall. Treat as vine with support but it can be pruned into shrub form. This plant can attract hummingbirds and butterflies. The cultivar, ‘Apricot’ is smaller and more compact with orange flowers. ‘Aurea’ has yellow flowers.  You might consider planting a trumpet vine, Campsis radicans, instead of the cape honeysuckle as trumpet vine plant can be grown in zones 4b -10a. Trumpet vine is also a Florida native and it also attracts hummingbirds. Like many vines, trumpet vine flowers best in a full sun location. It grows but flowers poorly in a shaded location. It will do fine in any soil except those kept continually wet and flooded.There are several cultivars: ‘Atropurpurea’ – large, dark red flowers; ‘Speciosa’ – bushy growth habit; ‘Flava’ – yellow flowers; ‘Praecox’ – blooms earlier.

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