Cape honeysuckle is a fast growing, scrambling, multi-stemmed shrub which may grow up to 2-3 m high and spread more than 2.5 m. It is an evergreen plant in warm regions but loses its leaves in harsh winters. It has pinnately compound, glossy leaves that have oval leaflets with blunt teeth. Flowering time for this shrub is very erratic and it often flowers all year round. Flowers are tubular in showy many-flowered heads and vary in colour from red, deep orange, yellow to salmon.
This attractive garden plant is a popular garden shrub and is often planted specifically to attract birds and butterflies to the garden.
Cape honeysuckle can be planted in semi-shade to full sun. It withstands clipping and can be trained into a neat hedge, or allowed to bush out into a more informal hedge. To keep this shrub clean and tidy, it must be pruned back in late winter to promote new growth and flowers. Plants can be pruned back heavily if required, and will resprout. The application of a balanced fertilizer after pruning will enhance the growth and flowering.
Tecomaria capensis is an attractive ornamental garden plant commonly used for screening and decorative purposes, and can also be trimmed to form a hedge.
Plants with thin leaves need daily watering and ones with thick leaves need watering 3-4 times a week. This will also depend on the season. Generally during the blooming period, plants love a lot of water. Try keeping the soil moist. During winters it is better to cut back on watering.
Keep the plants in a well drained soil with a drainage hole at the bottom. This will help to avoid over watering. Take care as to not leave stagnant water on top of the soil. Fertilise the plant once in 2-3 weeks during its blooming period. Do not fertilise it in winters.
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