Desert Bloom – Tecoma ‘Orange Jubilee’

Tecoma - Orange Jubilee

Another interesting and worthwhile plant to have in the desert garden is Orange Jubilee (also called Orange Esperanza or Orange bells) or any of its variants.

How it grows in my garden:

The plant is trimmed to between three and four feet tall (+/-) because it grows in a large container. If grown in the ground, it will be much larger. It extends to about six feet wide. The showy orange flowers bloom in clusters at the end of the branches as you can see in the photographs. When I notice seed pods, I remove them to extend the long blooming period even more.

Tecoma - Orange Jubilee Closeup

Hardiness range (depending on where it is grown): 0 to 40 F. The key with desert plants is to wait until all danger of frost has ended before pruning any damaged branches as the new growing season begins.

How it grows in my garden:

Exposure: Almost full sun (8-10 hours per day during the hot desert summer). Our shrub has afternoon shade coming from the west courtesy of a nearby Foothills Palo Verde.

In General: The plant is trimmed in stages at the beginning of the growing season. I remove very long and spindly branches and watch for the new growth. Once it starts to get bushy again, I trim more to maintain an even shape. Another tenet of xeriscape gardening is to keep trimming to no more than one third of the total growth. I try to keep it a bit less than that as these plants will be under stress during the upcoming hot weather.

Watering: During the winter the plant gets watered once or twice a week. When the spring active growing season begins, it is watered every few days until the end of April, then every other day or so until the end of May and then every day until the end of September. Watering tapers off from there.(Remember, this watering schedule reflects our desert environment.)

Fertilizer: I use a standard desert tree and shrub fertilizer (16-8-8) along with a tablespoon of a “super bloom” – type to add extra elements.

The plant receives fertilizer on or about:

Valentine’s Day
Memorial Day
Labor Day

Tecoma - Orange Jubilee

If you like these orange clusters and a nice green, bushy plant give Orange Jubilee a try!

Read More:

My Texas Flower Garden

Via East Valley Tribune – (The pictures don’t do it justice)

2 thoughts on “Desert Bloom – Tecoma ‘Orange Jubilee’

  • June 24, 2020 at 5:23 pm

    I have 3 of these orange trumpet/bell plants in the ground. Not sure of the best way to trim them. Keeping them lower to the ground. Any suggestions?

    • June 24, 2020 at 5:47 pm

      Most of the “Bells,” i.e. orange, yellow, etc. are very resilient and vigorous. We trim our bush back every year around March/April (or whenever it begins its rapid growth) in stages. We take off 1/3 at a time and when it begins to show significant new growth in that area, we trim the next third. The rule of thumb is never to trim off more than 1/3 of a plant at any one time.

      Keep in mind that this is in the relatively mild part of the year in the Sonoran desert. If you are trimming during the hottest periods, scale back the timing to less. Just trim back a little and when you see new growth and the plant is producing new branches, trim back the next little bit. At any time if the plant shows stress, just stop pruning until the plant resumes its vigorous growth. It is best to keep the middle of the plant more open to allow for air circulation. I try not to allow branches to cross one another, but to grow towards the outside of the bush.

      How low you let the plant grow is up to you. We have rabbits so we don’t keep our bushes too low or the rabbits congregate there. The Orange Bells we have is in an elevated container, but our other shrubs are kept off of the ground level when possible.

      If you live in the desert, it is important to fertilize your shrubs. Use a general purpose shrub fertilizer (not for palms or citrus) and feed on Valentine’s Day, Memorial Day and Labor Day. Water the fertilizer in after application.

      If you have any other questions, let me know. J. Ross


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