The tecomaria or orange bignonia (Tecoma capensis)

The tecomaria or orange bignonia is a plant whose flowers are excellent for ornamentation. Its scientific name is Tecoma capensis and it belongs to the Bignoniaceae. Its flowers are beautiful and stand out for that powerful orange color. In this article we are going to show you the main characteristics and the main care it needs.

Do you want to have the tecomaría in your garden and take care of it correctly? Keep reading because we tell you everything.

Main characteristics of the orange bignonia

It is a shrub with some tendencies to be a climber. Its orange flowers sometimes resemble red. It grows from early fall to late winter. It is perfect for attracting fauna to your garden, since many birds, including the hummingbird, feed on its delicious nectar.

Its leaves are oval and small in size. However, having climbing tendencies, they are shrubs that spread a lot and can give us some leafiness to our garden in the middle of winter. In general, all plants bloom during the spring and this makes the garden quite sad and dull during the winter months. Thanks to the orange bignonia, you can have not only leafiness, but also a wonderful color in these cold and desolate times.

The leaves are green and its branches climb. So that they go in the right place, we must guide them as they grow. If we want, we can also anchor them to the wall with wires and spikes. Sometimes you can also see it climbing and spreading through other plants that are nearby, over walls or even a rock.

The organs used to climb are the tendrils, uncines and adventitious roots. Thanks to these organs, they are able to curl around the place they have at hand to extend their useful surface to carry out photosynthesis. You have to be careful with this vine because it is capable of drying out other plants or trees if it is not pruned or redirected properly. This is because they block other plants and do not allow them to photosynthesize well. This does not mean that they are parasitic plants far from it.

Distribution area

The tecomaría can be found naturally in South Africa, Swaziland and southern Mozambique. It is cultivated in many areas around the world and, due to its ability to spread, it is considered an invasive species on some islands such as the Azores.

The areas where they are most cultivated are in Asia, Hawaii and South America.

Tecoma capensis culture requirements

If we want to grow the tecomaría in our garden to have this beautiful winter color, we will need to meet some requirements. The first is light. As expected, this plant usually moves and grows in those directions where it finds a greater amount of sunlight to perform photosynthesis. Therefore, it requires a location in direct sunlight. It can also survive in semi-shade, but ideally it grows in direct sunlight.

As for temperatures, being a winter plant, it is able to withstand low temperatures and some frosts. It can live well even in temperatures of -8 degrees, so I don’t think there are many problems with the temperature regime. The soil where we grow it must have good aeration and drainage. We must not forget that the vast majority of plants drown when the ground gets flooded. Ideally, when we water or there are prolonged rains, the soil has good drainage to avoid an excess accumulation of water that can lead the plant to rot and die.

Its cultivation is not very demanding in terms of care and maintenance since it has great resistance to all kinds of adverse conditions. We find ourselves with incredible ease when it comes to withstanding times of little rainfall or even drought. Of course, this process of adaptation to harsher circumstances is due to the fact that it takes time in the cultivated land. A freshly grown orange bignonia does not have these characteristics.

If the soil is alkaline, the plant will suffer from chlorosis. Therefore, you will need a neutral or slightly acidic soil. If this happens, we can add iron chelates to the soil to modify the pH.

Necessary care

This plant needs a light pruning of its stem ends in late winter. In this way we can allow the plant to grow in optimal conditions in the following season. If we prune it on a regular basis, after the flowering season, we will be getting our plant to keep a more compact appearance. This is ideal for those gardens that have little space and we do not want to saturate it with a plant that invades the surface of the others and does not allow them to photosynthesize.

Its growth is quite fast so, from the beginning, we must help and guide you in its growth. It can reach 3 meters high when it reaches maturity. It is necessary to water it moderately to avoid diseases caused by fungi. As we have mentioned before, a soil with good drainage is needed so that it does not exceed in humidity or get waterlogged.

Apart from pruning, one of the maintenance tasks that we must carry out is the subscriber. Ideally, fertilize with manure once we have pruned so that the plant has the necessary and sufficient nutrients to be able to grow again and have more productive branches with more showy flowers.

One of the pests to which it can be subjected has to do with the humidity mentioned before. These are the whitefly and mealybugs. With a moderate watering and not having excess humidity both in the branches and in the soil, we will avoid the contagion of these unwanted pests.

If we want to multiply this plant, we can do it at any time of the year using the cuttings or seeds method. You have to know that the seed method is slower than that of cuttings.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about Tecoma capensis.

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