Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Cape Honeysuckle
Tecoma capensis

Family: Bignoniaceae (big-no-nih-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Tecoma (tek-OH-muh) (Info)
Species: capensis (ka-PEN-sis) (Info)

Synonym:Tecomaria capensis
Synonym:Bignonia capensis

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

41 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Vines and Climbers

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall
Late Fall/Early Winter
Mid Winter


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From semi-hardwood cuttings
Direct sow as soon as the ground can be worked
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost
By simple layering
By air layering
By tip layering

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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There are a total of 56 photos.
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22 positives
3 neutrals
4 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive SouthAfricaFan On Nov 5, 2013, SouthAfricaFan from Johannesburg
South Africa wrote:

This is a very versatile plant. The yellow variety is neater, it forms more of a shrub and also flowers profusely. It admittedly gets less attention from sunbirds and the like than the red and orange varieties but the display compensates for that especially if combined with a similar growing shrub with purple flowers.

The orange variety (which is the wild form) is a vigorous grower which tends to scramble on open ground, if planted under trees it scrambles to the top to get the sun it so deperately needs.

For a real treat, plant a Red or Yellow tecomaria with multiple basal stems and train it into a shrub.
Prune lightly between flowerings and feed with a balanced fertilizer and the reward will be well worth it.

It can become untidy if the wild form is planted but cultivars are generally not. Remember it flowers best in full sun.

Lastly shrubs and plants from South Africa and Africa in general are kept in check by veld fires and the browsing of wild animals. It is essential to emulate this with a good maintenance program.

The plants full genetic potential can be realised by planting it in the correct spot and provifding it with a balanced fertilser.

In closing all I have left to say is enjoy the plants from our beautiful country.

Neutral bluesox On Sep 9, 2013, bluesox from Humble, TX wrote:

I put one of these in a flower bed designed to attract hummingbirds. It had beautiful flowers and was very popular with the hummingbirds. After about two weeks, the flowers, then the leaves, started to wilt.

When I first noticed the flowers wilting, I gave it a lot of water (probably way too much), which helped the leaves for about a day or two, but not the flowers. Then the leaves started to shrivel. Within a few days, every leaf was brown and dry as a bone. Once the leaves started to shrivel, the whole plant went very quickly (2 to 3 days at the most).

Any idea what went wrong? My soil has a pH of about 8.

Positive RosinaBloom On May 1, 2013, RosinaBloom from Waihi
New Zealand (Zone 1) wrote:

The Cape Honeysuckle conjures up childhood memories for grandparents had grown a wind shelter hedge of it, and I always associate it with nana.

Positive TLeaves On Jan 26, 2013, TLeaves from Ramona, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

This plant is great in the right situations. Drought tolerant. Lush green all year with beautiful blooms for several months. Easy to propagate. Dies back a little in temps below 25. It can be easily contained if you do so early on.

I used this as a very effective screen from the neighbor. It was in a bed about 2.5' x 15' with a block wall on one side and sidewalk on the other. Trimmed it back & shaped about twice a year. Roots did not invade sidewalk or go into neighbor's yard. This is one way to keep it contained.

Rooted a small cutting on a southwestern hot dry slope and it survived successfully with very little water for 3-4 years, then irrigation was added. It grew to about 15' tall and 3-4' wide in 6-7 years. Space / containment was not an issue in that situation. In the proper place, this can be a great plant.

Positive Bakersfield On Aug 13, 2012, Bakersfield from Bakersfield, CA wrote:

This versative, flowering plant grows as a lush 18" groundcover in the south-west side of my property (blistering-hot desert sun) and it grows as 7' tall hedge in the well-shaded north side. Despite it's dainty looks, the Cape Honeysuckle thrives here in the central California valley area (zones 8-9), despite some light die-back during particularly cold weather. Best of all, it's been totally pest-free. In fact, the bright orange blooms, which give you a non-stop show for months on end, hold no attraction whatsoever to my neighbors' voracious snails.

Negative luvsandeigo On Jun 11, 2012, luvsandeigo from LA JOLLA, CA wrote:

I hate this plant and would do ANYTHING to avoid it. It is invasive, aggressive and almost impossible to kill. Spreading 15' or more into the surrounding territory. It's a nightmare. It's NOT the plant you want to use unless you have a lot of time to dig and cut to control it. TOO much work. I put this plant next to Bamboo and Horsetails .... a nightmare.

Positive faithiep On Jul 2, 2011, faithiep from Oldsmar, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

Love love love this plant in clearwater fl. True, it is a little wild and will require pruning and watching. But if you're going for the tropical look, all your plants are pretty much like that. Made it through our Feb frosts fine. OK with minimal water, takes punishing sun. Nice in those parts of my yard that don't get much love and are away from the house. I think it should probably be the main specimen in a planting, not a supporting cast member.

Positive ransom3 On Mar 19, 2011, ransom3 from Zephyrhills, FL wrote:

Very showy in autumn. I recommend it be planted as a free-standing shrub in the lawn so that as you mow any unwanted suckers of the Tecoma will be cut down.

Positive dvangogh On Jan 22, 2011, dvangogh from Los Angeles, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

We purchased a house with Tecomaria capensis lining a fence bordering our property in 2010. It makes a great privacy screen, though during the winter most of the plants (we have about 12 individual speciments) lost their leaves, leaving our house visible to the street (which wasn't so bad). Some of the plants kept their leaves - I'm not sure if it was because of the lack of water (I watered all of the plants very infrequently over the summer) or the cold (it never got below 35F). I suspect it was the watering, since several other plants in the area have kept their leaves, and the ones on our property that kept our leaves were near a patio covered in flagstone.

One negative is that it can be invasive, but so far it hasn't been a problem.

The flowers are beautiful and attract hummingbirds. I love this plant.

Positive 4Rose On Jan 17, 2011, 4Rose from Perris, CA wrote:

We are lining our property on 2 sides with this plant as they grow to about 12 feet high. They are very hearty in the heat, but occasionly freeze back a little with a heavy frost.
It is easy to start new plants. We haven't had any trouble controling them as others seem to have had.

Positive terrora On Aug 12, 2009, terrora wrote:

I now have two of these and both in pots (big ones!), with trellis to train them to. Although I may shape them into small trees. It gets up to 110 here and they have done well, the first one did well during our mild winter frost. They are a lovely addition to my collection of hummingbirds plants....they both have excellent drainage, but I have them on large saucers with lots of rounded stones to keep it from sitting in water. I have over 150 potted plants of all varieties, most can handle being in one spot. I do have to switch several to better spots according to the season. The Cape Honeysuckles remain in their spots and doing fine. This is how I deal with plants that tend to be invasive. In time I will redress them with fresh soil and trim their roots. So you may consider doing the same....they are worth the flowers and "hummers" love them.

Negative plantladylin On Oct 17, 2008, plantladylin from South Daytona, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Lovely blooms but this plant is very invasive! We spent weeks trying to eradicate it from our backyard. It was climbing high into the trees and traveling along the ground and taking over everything in sight! We thought we got it all but it is back and growing everywhere once again.

Southern Gardeners ... beware of this one!

Positive agentdonny007 On Oct 8, 2008, agentdonny007 from Las Vegas, NV (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant grows well in Las Vegas! Provides good color for desert landscape. May need protection from frost. Usually will grow back from roots if damaged by cold. Would recommend:)

Positive RichNV On Sep 5, 2008, RichNV from Henderson, NV wrote:

Great plant for winter color here in Nevada. It starts to bloom right now in early September and continues through March. It may freeze back in winter. I have about 10 of these planted, and last winter some died back and some didn't. With an eastern exposure catching the early morning sun, they will survive the cold better, also helps if they are planted close to the house. With the eastern exposure they will also avoid the hot pm sun in summer which can burn the leaves here.

Neutral GoLonnyCA On Apr 1, 2008, GoLonnyCA from Rancho Mirage, CA wrote:

I love this plant but have no luck with it. I can't tell if I'm over or under watering it - if I need a different fertilizer...please see my plants photo under "GoLonnyCA"...HELP!

Negative aquaticnut On Nov 13, 2007, aquaticnut from Henderson, NV wrote:

This is a beautiful plant and grows extremely well, however the roots are extremely invasive. Give it lots of room and don't allow any valuable deep rooting plants or trees near it. I had to remove one that was planted approximately five feet from a young but tall Ash tree because it was choking it out.
I live in Henderson, NV, and this shrub, if left unchecked, will grow 6 to 8 feet tall and 5 feet wide... however mine was not that big. I pruned it on a regular basis, and kept it at a stable 3 feet. The roots, however, were uncontrollable.

Positive SoCal78 On Oct 15, 2007, SoCal78 from San Diego, CA wrote:

One beautiful plant that help creates an exotic landscape, when mixed with various drought tolerant species. A good portion of San Diego is decorated with these. Grows extremely fast and needs pruning to gain spread control. Will spread like wild fire If not.

Positive srkrause On Sep 11, 2007, srkrause from Boulder Creek, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

It did great in a very big container, but when put in the ground has been hard to get it to bloom. A nursery person told me to not water it much because it blooms when stressed.

Negative griffhoel On Jul 20, 2007, griffhoel from Gibsonton, FL wrote:

You will need an entire yard for this plant in Gibsonton, FL!
I let it just grow for about a year without pruning and it had claimed it's own large area of the backyard. It sends out runners underground that will pop up with more sections of the plant far away from the main plant. The flowers are beautiful though and they were attracting alot of different butterflies. I painstakingly removed mine and hope I got it all.
In my opinion, it would require too much management to keep under control in my area.

Positive Ellens_Garden On Jun 26, 2007, Ellens_Garden from Aptos, CA wrote:

This dark green with bright orange flowers looks terrific around the koi fish pond. We enclosed 10 of the 1 gallon plants within a root barrier because of the invasive root system and am glad we did so. After fertilizing with fish emulsion to encourage growth, they took off! Alternating the Cape Honeysuckle with the 10 Mexican Marigolds creates a colorful and cheerful area.

Positive JaxFlaGardener On Mar 28, 2006, JaxFlaGardener from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant roots freely at any point where the cascading limbs touch the soil, but I would not call it "invasive." The new plants can be easily dug up and transplanted (or traded in plant swaps!)

It is a mistake, I think, to believe that this plant (Tecomaria sp.) is truly a honeysuckle (Lonicera sp.). It has the common name of Cape Honeysuckle only because the flowers somewhat resemble a honeysuckle blossom, but the Cape Honesuckle is more of a hard stemmed, non-twining shrub. It can be pruned to a tree-like shape as it matures.

In my Zone 8b/9a garden, it has survived winter temperatures as low as 28 F on a few nights with no freeze damage. It begins blooming around November and continues flowering through about March. I have it interplanted with Winter Cassia (Senna bicapsularis) because the Winter Cassia blooms about the same time as the Cape Honeysuckle and I enjoy the interplay of cadmium orange flowers of the Cape Honeysuckle with the cadmium yellow of the Cassia.


Positive almcfarla On Dec 28, 2005, almcfarla from Baytown, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

So far its doing well. Its a rampant bloomer through my Houston winters when not much else is blooming. It has a beautiful color.

Positive jkom51 On Sep 7, 2004, jkom51 from Oakland, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Although the foliage is very beautiful and useful in flower arrangements, note that the flowers themselves do not seem to do well in floral arrangements. Once cut, the flowers fall off the spikes very quickly (within a few days). This is a very aggressive, fast growing plant in warmer areas.

Positive Bairie On Jun 5, 2004, Bairie from Corpus Christi, TX (Zone 10a) wrote:

They are very popular in Corpus Christi, TX, and south to the border. Solid blooms right now and all summer. Blooms all year. Not invasive here. Beautiful foliage for cut flower arrangements!

Positive jjergins On Jun 4, 2004, jjergins from Abilene, TX (Zone 7a) wrote:

This grows in Zone 7b, in West Texas heat and blooms in mid summer to late autumn. It dies back each year and reemerges in late spring. It is not invasive here.

Positive nanette0269 On May 22, 2004, nanette0269 from Bradenton, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I've just planted two 3-gallon plants in two different in full sun against a wood fence, and the other in part sun against the same wood fence, but surrounding by more foliage (full sun for 11a-2pm only). The one in full sun is doing significantly better. Its already grown about 8-10" tall and about the same wide, while the other has grown 2". I'm still optimistic for the second one, as its planted near some other bushes that were recently transplanted and havent been doing too well so maybe there is just more transplant shock as a result of this area's dirt (there was more milorganite in the soil there as well, so maybe it was over fertilized?) maybe its just the soil, but at least its holding its own. Maybe by fall, I'll have a picture of them both up on the site!

Also, about 1 month after planting, seed pods were evident, which I collected. I was able to germinate half of them quite successfully.

Positive GBusard On Oct 21, 2003, GBusard wrote:

This plant is a lovely addition to a hedge line between neighbors on Longboat Key, Florida. It does get a bit woody as it ages, and needs to be pruned semi-annually so that it does not overtake the area.

Beautiful blooms arrive in summer and continue throughout the fall. It makes a lovely carpet as the blooms fall to the ground.

Positive CoyoteSpirit On Oct 28, 2002, CoyoteSpirit from Citrus Heights, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

It blooms in fall and winter for me...humming birds love it and it is drought and poor soil tollorent. Will die if frezes so it needs protection.

Neutral smiln32 On Aug 29, 2002, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This honeysuckle is an evergreen and grows moderately fast. It prefers well-drained soil. Prune after flowering is done.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (2 reports)
Anthem, Arizona
Buckeye, Arizona
Glendale, Arizona
Goodyear, Arizona
Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Maricopa, Arizona
Mesa, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Queen Creek, Arizona
Surprise, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Bakersfield, California
Bloomington, California
Borrego Springs, California
Boulder Creek, California
Canoga Park, California
Carlsbad, California
Casa De Oro-mount Helix, California
Chowchilla, California
Citrus Heights, California
Clayton, California
Fairfield, California
Irvine, California
Long Beach, California
Los Angeles, California (2 reports)
Malibu, California
Manteca, California
Menifee, California
Norwalk, California
Oakland, California
Oceanside, California
Ontario, California
Pasadena, California
Perris, California (2 reports)
Ramona, California
Rancho Mirage, California (2 reports)
Redwood City, California
Rosedale, California
Roseville, California
San Diego, California (4 reports)
San Francisco, California
Spring Valley, California
Stockton, California
Vacaville, California
Van Nuys, California
Wildomar, California
Apopka, Florida
Bartow, Florida (2 reports)
Big Pine Key, Florida
Boca Raton, Florida
Bradenton, Florida
Brooker, Florida
Brooksville, Florida
Cape Coral, Florida
Casselberry, Florida
Daytona Beach, Florida
Deland, Florida (2 reports)
Deltona, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida (2 reports)
Fort Myers, Florida
Fountain, Florida
Gibsonton, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Inverness, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida (2 reports)
Keystone Heights, Florida
Lakeland, Florida
Largo, Florida
Lynn Haven, Florida
Mc Intosh, Florida
Melbourne, Florida
Miami, Florida
Oldsmar, Florida (2 reports)
Opa Locka, Florida
Palm Coast, Florida
Palm Harbor, Florida
Pensacola, Florida (2 reports)
Punta Gorda, Florida
Riverview, Florida
Safety Harbor, Florida
Saint Cloud, Florida
Spring Hill, Florida
Tallahassee, Florida
Titusville, Florida
Trenton, Florida
Venice, Florida
Wauchula, Florida
Wellborn, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Winter Springs, Florida
Zephyrhills, Florida (2 reports)
Hawi, Hawaii
Zachary, Louisiana
Henderson, Nevada
Las Vegas, Nevada (3 reports)
Laughlin, Nevada
Abilene, Texas
Alice, Texas
Alvin, Texas (2 reports)
Anahuac, Texas
Austin, Texas (2 reports)
Baytown, Texas
Beaumont, Texas
Boerne, Texas
Broaddus, Texas
Brownsville, Texas
Cibolo, Texas
Corpus Christi, Texas
Eagle Lake, Texas
El Paso, Texas
Georgetown, Texas
Hallettsville, Texas
Houston, Texas
Humble, Texas
Katy, Texas (3 reports)
La Vernia, Texas
Lampasas, Texas
Lubbock, Texas
Mont Belvieu, Texas
San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)
Santa Fe, Texas
Sour Lake, Texas
Spring Branch, Texas
Zapata, Texas
Gloucester, Virginia

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