How to Plant, Grow, and Care for Cape Honeysuckle

Cape Honeysuckle, or Tecoma capensis, is an evergreen vine or shrub native to Southern Africa. Don’t let its identify idiot you, although, Cape Honeysuckle will not be really a kind of honeysuckle or perhaps a shut relative. Somewhat, it’s a member of the Tecoma genus, sometimes often known as Trumpetvines, or Trumpetbushes. 

These enticing flowering vegetation will be grown as a shrub, rising to about 10 ft tall for bigger cultivars and 6-8 ft in additional compact varieties. They are often skilled to have a vining behavior as nicely, to allow them to be grown as a trailing vine or a liana (hanging from bushes) and may attain as much as 30’ lengthy if grown on this style. 

In its native areas, the bark of this plant has been used to make medication. Nevertheless, now it’s mostly grown for its decorative worth. It’s a hardy, low-maintenance, and sprawling plant that could be very simple to develop and brings a variety of coloration and curiosity to the backyard.

Able to study extra about this pretty vine’s upkeep and care? Let’s dig in and have a look at the whole lot you’ll want to learn about efficiently rising this plant in your backyard.

Cape Honeysuckle Overview

Plant Kind

Evergreen Shrub or Vine


Tecoma (tecomaria) capensis

Native Space

Southern Africa

Water Necessities

Low to Average

Solar Necessities

Full Solar to Half Shade

Hardiness Zones

September 11, 8 with frost safety

Soil Kind

Nicely-Drained, Fertile, Sandy

Native Areas and Cultivation

Close-up of a flowering Cape Honeysuckle plant against a blurred background of a dark green garden. The shrub has large loose clusters of tubular flowers. The flowers are elongated, tubular, with a curved corolla and are bright orange. The leaves are shiny, dark green, compound, each leaf consists of several leaflets. Leaflets are oval, elongated, with a serrated edge.
Cape Honeysuckle from Southern Africa thrives in tropical climates, trails up bushes, and is flexible in cultivation.

In its native area of Southern Africa, T. capensis is often discovered rising within the forest understory beneath a cover. It generally winds its manner up bushes, the place it likes to path from branches within the filtered daylight. 

In cultivation, it’s a versatile plant immune to pests and illnesses. It has been cultivated in Australia, India, Europe, Singapore, and a few island environments within the Pacific Ocean. It’s thought of invasive in Australia, although.

This species will not be tough to seek out within the Southern United States. It grows very nicely in tropical and subtropical climates and will be grown as a perennial or with some safety from frost in zone 8. It can be grown as a container plant in colder climates, though will probably be a lot smaller beneath these circumstances.


Close-up of a hummingbird near a flowering Cape Honeysuckle plant in a garden, against a blurred green background. The hummingbird is a small bird with a compact and streamlined body shape characterized by a short neck, a small head and a slender, elongated body. Their wings are long and narrow, allowing them to hover and maneuver. Hummingbirds have iridescent feathers of bright green and blue hues. The hummingbird has a long thin beak. The Cape Honeysuckle plant produces a cluster of bright orange, elongated, tubular flowers with long, prominent stamens from the centers.
A resilient vine, this evergreen is thought for its trumpet-shaped flowers and attractiveness to hummingbirds.

Cape Honeysuckle is an evergreen shrub or vine belonging to the Bigoniaceae household of predominantly flowering vines identified for his or her trumpet-shaped flowers. Most members of Bigoniaceae are woody, together with T. capensis, making the vines robust and durable, giving them good wind resistance.

They’re of the genus Tecoma, often known as Tecomaria, which encompasses 14 species. Of these, 12 species are native to the Americas, and two, together with T. capensis, are native to Africa. Associated to this plant are the Jacaranda and Esperanza, in addition to the Yellow Elder, or Yellow Bells. All of those vegetation are notoriously enticing to pollinators, particularly hummingbirds.

Leaf Formation

A close-up of the leaves of the Cape Honeysuckle plant against a blurred background. The leaves are compound, consisting of oval green leaflets with pointed tips and serrated edges.
It options enticing pinnately compound leaves in odd numbers, resembling rose leaves.

Cape Honeysuckle has very enticing foliage. The leaves are pinnately compound, which means they’re made up of small leaflets organized to both facet of a central stem or axis. They arrive in odd numbers of 5 – 9 leaflets. 

The leaves are as much as 7” lengthy, and the leaflets are ovate and serrated and sometimes are available in pairs with the odd-numbered leaflet occurring on the finish of the department. The leaves resemble rose leaves, and a few varieties are nicknamed to pay homage to this attribute.

The brilliant inexperienced coloration of the foliage presents a beautiful complement to the colour of the flowers. The general impact of the foliage is reasonably dense however with a fragile, fernlike high quality that sees them rustle with the breeze. It makes an awesome privateness display when grown on a trellis or different supporting construction. 


Close-up of Cape Honeysuckle flowers against lush dark green foliage. The flowers are tubular, orange-red, with flared five petals and prominent long stamens.
The gorgeous, trumpet-like flowers in crimson, orange, or yellow steal the present.

The flowers are the primary occasion for this plant. If the foliage is gorgeous, then the flowers are positively gorgeous. Trumpet-like blossoms of crimson, orange, or yellow bloom in clusters on the ends of branches. When it blooms, it does so with nice enthusiasm, producing these clusters on the finish of most, if not all, branches. 

The flowers are tubular in form and about 2” lengthy. These blooms are very enticing to birds, butterflies, and bees, and specifically, hummingbirds. The smartest thing about Cape Honeysuckle is that it will possibly bloom year-round in heat climates. Even in cooler climates, it’s going to have a pleasant lengthy blooming season. Many types have a late blooming tendency, flowering from fall by the winter when fewer vegetation are in bloom.


Cape Honeysuckle vegetation are simple to propagate and virtually does it for you in case you are keen to attend a yr. This good, easy-to-manage plant actually attire up the backyard with coloration for a protracted portion of the yr. It’s an awesome plant to share along with your fellow plant lovers, and it may be propagated by seed, cuttings, and runners that it produces by itself.


Close-up of starter trays filled with potting mix. Starting trays are made of plastic, black, have deep square cells. There are small sprouts in one of the trays. The sprouts have thin, upright stems and tiny green cotyledons.
Cape Honeysuckle produces seed pods that may be harvested and began in spring.

When the flowers are pollinated, which they practically all the time are, they produce a seed pod. Enable these pods to dry, after which harvest the seeds. It’s greatest to start out these seeds within the spring, soaking them in a single day, after which plant them in a shallow seed beginning tray. Cowl flippantly with a mix of sand and potting soil.

Germination ought to happen inside 6-21 days. As soon as they’ve developed substantial roots, they are often planted within the floor. The one downside to rising this plant from seed is that it received’t bloom till its second yr. Make certain to guard younger vegetation within the winter. They are going to be far more susceptible to fluctuating temperatures of their first yr.


A close-up of a flowering Cape Honeysuckle plant in a sunny garden, against a blurred background. The plant has pinnately compound leaves of dark green color. Leaflets are oval, with serrated edges. The tubular flowers grow in clusters at the tips of the branches. The flowers are tubular with a curved or flared corolla bright orange. Long stamens protrude from the centers of the flowers.
To propagate, merely await a runner to emerge from the established plant a couple of yr after planting.

That is the easiest method to propagate Cape Honeysuckle. All it’s a must to do is await the plant to ship out a runner, which they do a couple of yr after planting, as soon as the plant is established and has a stable basis of roots. A runner will often pop up a brief distance from the mature stems, and will probably be a precise duplicate of the dad or mum plant.

These runners will be faraway from the dad or mum plant and transplanted to a different location within the backyard. Be sure to do such a propagation through the plant’s lively rising season. Use a pointy instrument to detach the runner from its dad or mum plant, leaving it with a little bit of root to get began on.


Close-up of a flowering branch of the Cape Honeysuckle plant in a sunny garden, against a blurry background. The branch is long, slightly arched, covered with complex dark green leaves. The leaves consist of oval leaflets with serrated edges. At the end of the branch, a cluster of elongated tubular bright red flowers blooms.
It can be propagated by taking 4″-5″ cuttings from a mature plant.

Cape Honeysuckle will be propagated by cuttings as nicely, and it’s about so simple as rising them from seed, however it’s going to get you a plant able to bloom within the first yr if the chopping is taken from a mature plant. 

Take 4”-5” cuttings and take away all however a couple of small leaves towards the tip. Scrape the decrease 1” of the stem, eradicating among the woody outer layers. Exposing the tender tissue of the stem makes the chopping root sooner. Dip this finish in rooting hormone and plant in a moist potting medium. 

Caring in your cuttings is straightforward. You may cowl the pot in a plastic bag or different protecting to assist keep moisture, making a greenhouse surroundings. Don’t permit the soil to dry out fully. Your cuttings needs to be rooted and starting to develop in about 2-3 months.


Rising this plant is sort of foolproof. It grows as a perennial in my backyard right here in Zone 8. I give it little or no consideration and it dies again to the bottom each winter, however in spring it pops again up, and by the tip of summer time, I’ve a really enticing and floriferous plant! 

Though most nurseries will promote this as solely hardy to Zone 9, it grows properly in Zone 8, and with a thick layer of mulch and a few additional safety, I’m keen to wager it might survive in Zone 7 as nicely. It’s extremely resilient.


Close-up of a flowering Cape Honeysuckle shrub in a sunny garden on a raised bed. The plant has lush, complex, bright green foliage with serrated edges. Clusters of closed long tubular bright red flowers grow on the branches.
Plant in spring or fall, contemplating its mature measurement and whether or not will probably be a shrub or vine.

It’s best to plant Cape Honeysuckle within the spring or fall to present it one of the best begin. The traumatic warmth of summer time needs to be averted, because the plant will want extra sources throughout this time to get established.

Bear in mind the mature measurement of this plant when selecting a location, ensuring to present your plant loads of room to unfold out. Take into consideration the peak of the plant as nicely and resolve whether or not you intend to coach it to be a shrub or a vine. 

As a vine, Cape Honeysuckle can develop as much as 30’ lengthy. It is a important plant and desires ample assist! Be sure that any construction you intend to develop this vine on is powerful sufficient to carry up beneath its weight. It’s a woody vine and heavier than an precise Japanese honeysuckle. 

When you’ve chosen a location, dig a gap that’s as deep and three instances as huge as the foundation ball. Loosening up the soil on this diameter will give the roots a wholesome begin. Place your plant within the gap and backfill. 

When you dwell above zone 8, it’s completely affordable to develop this plant in a container that may be introduced indoors when the temperature drops under freezing. The plant will stay smaller and extra manageable when saved in a container.


A close-up of a flowering Cape Honeysuckle shrub in a garden in full sun. The plant produces large clusters of many bright orange tubular flowers. The flowers have five flared petals and long protruding stamens.
The vine tolerates various solar publicity, blooming in full solar or half shade.

This tropical flowering vine will not be choosy about solar publicity. It should bloom in full solar or half shade. In hotter climates, although, it’s going to recognize some shade within the afternoon to guard it from the harshness of the afternoon solar. In cooler climates, likewise, this plant will recognize an abundance of daylight through the cooler months.


Close-up of a Cape Honeysuckle flower covered in water drops, in a sunny garden, against a blurred dark green background. The flower is tubular, long, has a flared corolla of bright orange color.
It thrives with common watering through the first yr.

It is a water-loving plant; if given a lot, it’s going to reward you with ample development. Nevertheless, it is usually a drought-tolerant plant. That appears contradictory, however preserve studying, and I’ll clarify.

In the course of the first yr after planting, be certain that your shrub or vine will get at the very least an inch of water weekly. You might be able to water much less incessantly in case your plant will get extra shade, however as a rule, watering deeply as soon as per week is a good suggestion. Watering deeply will encourage the roots to develop deep.

As soon as your plant is established, it shouldn’t want practically as a lot consideration. A Cape Honeysuckle with sturdy, wholesome roots is kind of drought-tolerant and hardy. A longtime plant could solely want water often throughout extended durations of dry climate.


Close-up of male hands holding dry soil against a blurred background of soil in a garden. The man is wearing a dark blue plaid shirt. The soil is dark brown, loose, with large granules.
It tolerates most soil sorts with good drainage, together with compacted or clay-heavy soil.

Cape Honeysuckle tolerates most soil sorts so long as the drainage is nice. If planting in very compacted or clay-heavy soil sorts, it’s a good suggestion to amend the soil with some coarse sand for improved drainage and root institution. It’s not choosy about pH and may dwell in acidic or alkaline soil. It additionally grows nicely in coastal areas the place the soil is sandy. It’s salt tolerant as nicely.


Close-up of a man's hand with a handful of compost on a blurred background. The compost is organic, composed of various nutrients and worm castings.
The shrub advantages from annual feeding with balanced fertilizer if the soil lacks vitamins.

In case your soil is missing in vitamins, you may feed Cape Honeysuckle every year with a balanced fertilizer. Nevertheless, it may be higher to merely amend your soil with some natural compost or different materials, akin to worm castings, earlier than you plant. Generally, this plant is environment friendly in making use of vitamins within the soil and is a really vigorous grower, so fertilizing will not be all the time wanted.

Local weather and Temperature

Close-up of Cape Honeysuckle flowers in the garden, against a blurred green background. A large cluster of many triuate flowers of bright orange color. The flowers are tubular with a curved or flared corolla.
In heat, wet climates, this tropical plant can grow to be invasive, requiring common elimination of runners.

Cape Honeysuckle is a tropical panorama plant that loves heat, wet climates. As such, it will possibly grow to be invasive on this surroundings, so gardeners residing in tropical climates might want to preserve an in depth watch and take away runners usually to forestall it from taking on bigger areas that you simply wish to give it.


Close-up of a flowering Cape Honeysuckle plant in the garden, against a blurred background. The plant has lush complex foliage of bright green color. The leaves consist of oval leaflets with finely serrated edges. The plant forms tall stems with clusters of large, bright orange, tubular flowers.
Pruning will depend on desired form and measurement.

The way you prune your Cape Honeysuckle will largely rely upon what form and measurement you need it to tackle. As I discussed earlier, this plant could be very versatile in how giant and in what type you may develop it. 

If you’re rising it as a shrub, extra pruning can be concerned, as it’s going to have a tendency towards vining. Initially, pruning longer stems will encourage branching. Because the plant grows, this may give it a denser, fuller look, and encourage it to unfold out. 

After getting attained the specified variety of branches, trimming the highest periodically will assist to maintain the foliage full and plush. It’s best to prune in spring or fall.

If you need a climbing plant that takes on extra of a vining behavior, you may depart your plant to its personal units for a couple of years, pruning little else however broken or useless branches infrequently to keep up the plant’s common well being. 

As soon as your plant has reached the scale you prefer to it to stay, you may prune yearly, in spring or fall, or each, in case you have a particular measurement or form you want to keep.


Close-up of a flowering Cape Honeysuckle shrub in a sunny garden. The shrub is lush, has pinnately compound leaves of dark green color. The leaves consist of oval leaflets with serrated edges. The plant produces large clusters of bright orange flowers. The flowers are elongated, tubular in shape with five petals and long protruding stamens.
It is a low-maintenance plant that thrives with minimal care.

Cape Honeysuckle is a really low-maintenance plant. It actually can deal with as little or as a lot tending as you’re inclined or have the time to hold out. As soon as it’s established, this plant fortunately occupies its house and any further house you wish to give it. It requires little in the way in which of supplementary irrigation or fertilization, and it’s fairly illness and pest resistant.

Pests and Illnesses

With only a few exceptions, Cape Honeysuckle is unlikely to present you any points by way of pests and illnesses. The truth is, except for root rot, there are not any illnesses which are a specific hazard to those vegetation, and solely the on a regular basis backyard pests to maintain a watch out for.


Close-up of leaves infested with aphids. The leaves are bright green, oval, covered with drops of water. Aphids are tiny insects with soft, pear-shaped green bodies.
Aphids trigger injury to vegetation by feeding on sap, resulting in shriveled leaves and brown spots.

When you discover shriveling leaves and brown spots, you could be an insect infestation. Aphids are enemy primary within the backyard, as they feed on all kinds of various kinds of vegetation. These tiny bugs seem in clusters, sometimes on newer development, akin to tender branches or flower buds. 

Aphids suck the sap from the plant tissue, leaving it malnourished and unhealthy. In addition they depart behind a sticky, candy excrement known as honeydew. This honeydew offers the proper surroundings for black sooty mildew to develop, which interferes with photosynthesis, and stunts the plant’s development.

A gentle answer of soapy water sprayed on the aphids will go a great distance in safely treating this infestation. In addition they dislike fragrant herbs and are a principal meals supply for ladybugs. Attracting or bringing these little predators to your backyard will do good for your entire vegetation.


Close-up of a leaf infested with scale pests. The leaves are green, with a smooth texture, covered with pests. Scale are small insects that form a round, brown, waxy shell.
These tiny pests feed on candy plant sap, inflicting shriveled leaves and brown spots.

Scales are one other frequent backyard pest that likes to feed on candy plant sap, abandoning shriveled leaves, brown spots, and honeydew. They’re small and brown and generally hand around in teams across the joints of stems and the underside of leaves. 

Scale will be handled with a horticultural oil spray. The oil coats and suffocates the dimensions by clogging their respiration pores. Wasps additionally wish to eat scales, as do some beetles and lacewings. 

Root Rot

A close-up of a flowering Cape Honeysuckle plant affected by a fungal disease. The shrub has bright orange tubular flowers and compound leaves. The leaves are composed of several oval leaflets with serrated edges. The leaves are wilted, turning yellow.
Root rot is often on account of poor drainage, leading to browning and spotty leaves.

Root rot is a matter with many vegetation, particularly those who want good drainage by way of soil and containers. Cape Honeysuckle falls into this class. Whereas they aren’t as vulnerable to root rot as another tropical vegetation, it isn’t unprecedented. 

When you discover your leaves turning brown or wanting spotty, there’s a likelihood your plant could have root rot. The most effective answer is to present the plant a break from watering. Root rot prevents the plant from transporting necessary vitamins from the soil to the foliage. This could manifest in an unhappy-looking plant. 

When you unintentionally planted in an space with poor drainage, you may rectify the state of affairs in one in every of two methods. You may relocate the plant, which Cape Honeysuckle is kind of tolerant of. The opposite possibility is to amend the soil round your plant’s roots by mixing coarse sand to extend drainage.

Common Varieties


Close-up of a flowering plant Tecomaria capensis 'Apricot' against a blurred background. The plant has a bunch of tubular long peach-apricot flowers. The petals have dark pink veins. Long, thin stamens protrude from their flower centers.
Tecomaria capensis ‘Apricot’ is a compact selection with peachy flowers and light-weight inexperienced foliage.
botanical identify

Tecomaria capensis ‘Apricot’
solar necessities

Full Solar to Half Solar
hardiness zones

September 11

‘Apricot’ is a compact selection. This plant with the gorgeous, peachy flowers has mild inexperienced foliage and is often saved as a small hedge. In contrast to bigger varieties, this one is simpler to handle by way of invasiveness.

It’s, nonetheless, uncommon and tougher to seek out than different varieties. Apricot blooms greatest throughout cooler climate and prefers full solar however will nonetheless bloom partly shade.


Close-up of a flowering plant Tecomaria capensis 'Aurea' against a blurred background. The plant has long spreading branches with complex leaves. Large clusters of bright yellow tubular flowers grow on the branches. The leaves are dark green, composed of oval toothed leaflets.
The ‘Aurea’ selection is a vigorous climber with lengthy branches that produce plentiful clusters of shiny yellow flowers.
botanical identify

Tecomaria capensis ‘Aurea’
solar necessities

Full Solar to Half Solar
hardiness zones

September 11

This bigger selection can develop fairly giant if left unchecked. When you’re searching for a vining cultivar, this one’s branches will develop fairly lengthy. On the ends of those lengthy, sprawling branches emerge giant clusters of shiny yellow, tubular flowers. This quick grower blooms greatest in winter and likes to climb.


Close-up of a flowering plant Tecomaria capensis 'Coccinea' against a blurred background. The plant forms a bunch of elongated tubular bright red flowers with long protruding stamens from the centers. The leaves are bright green, glossy, compound, composed of several leaflets arranged along the central stem. Leaflets are oval, with serrated edges.
The ‘Coccinea’ cultivar is a moderate-sized plant, producing vibrant crimson flowers primarily in spring and fall.
botanical identify

Tecomaria capensis ‘Coccinea’
solar necessities

Full Solar
hardiness zones

September 11

Coccinea is a midsized selection with a average development fee, making it simple to handle. It may well develop as much as 12’ tall over time and equally as huge if not trimmed usually to keep up its measurement and form.

The flowers on this cultivar are shiny crimson, and most prevalent in spring and fall, though they’ve been identified to bloom by the summer time as nicely. 

‘Orange Jubilee’

Close-up of a flowering Tecomaria x 'Orange Jubilee' plant in a sunny garden. The plant displays brilliant orange tubular flowers and lush bright green foliage. The flowers are large, tubular, with five petals.
The ‘Orange Jubilee’ hybrid is a cold-tolerant grower, blooming profusely with placing orange and crimson tubular flowers.
botanical identify

Tecomaria x ‘Orange Jubilee’
solar necessities

Full Solar
hardiness zones


Technically a hybrid, this selection is a vigorous grower with barely higher chilly tolerance than different varieties. It should develop beneath nearly any circumstances and is an distinctive bloomer, with a protracted season spanning from spring by the autumn.

Its sensible flowers are orange and crimson, tubular, and placing towards shiny inexperienced foliage. Hummingbirds will flock to this plant!


Close-up of a flowering plant Tecomaria capensis 'Salmon' against a blue sky. The plant has bright salmon-colored flowers. The flowers are tubular and have 5 petals. Long stamens protrude from the centers of the flowers.
The ‘Salmon’ selection is a implausible cultivar that’s chilly tolerant, with shiny salmon flowers.
botanical identify

Tecomaria capensis ‘Salmon’
solar necessities

Full Solar to Half Shade
hardiness zones


Also referred to as ‘Hammer’s Rose,’ the ‘Salmon’ selection is just great. It’s chilly tolerant to 23°, making it generally evergreen to zone 8, though it might lose leaves when the temperature drops under freezing.

The flowers are a shiny salmon shade and bloom most in fall and winter, though they’re prone to stick round all year long in hotter climates. This cultivar is tougher to seek out and extra compact than others. 

Ultimate Ideas

Whether or not you wish to develop it as a big shrub, trailing vine, or indoor plant, this tropical flower is a stunning addition to any backyard. It requires little or no care and attracts stunning hummingbirds. Simply make sure you examine whether it is invasive in your space earlier than planting exterior.

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