Pruning Esperanza Plants – How To Prune An Esperanza Plant


By: Liz Baessler

Esperanza is a flowering shrub that produces bright yellow flowers all summer long and sometimes beyond. It is relatively low maintenance, but some strategic cutting back really helps it to keep blooming fully and steadily. Keep reading to learn more esperanza pruning information, including how and when to prune esperanza plants.

Esperanza Pruning Information

Should I prune my esperanza? Yes, but not too much. Esperanza, also frequently called Yellow Bells and Yellow Elder, is a remarkably low maintenance plant. It performs well even in very poor soils and has excellent heat and drought tolerance.

It needs full sun in order to bloom to its fullest potential and to maintain a compact shape. It will still grow in partial shade, but it will form a long, gangling appearance that not even pruning will be able to fix.

Pruning esperanza plants should be done only to encourage new growth. The shrubs should naturally form a bushy shape.

How to Prune an Esperanza Bush

The main time for pruning esperanza plants is late winter, after all blooming has stopped. Esperanzas are not frost hardy, and they will die back if temperatures drop below freezing. The roots are generally reliably hardy down to zone 8, however.

If your esperanza plant suffers frost damage, cut it back to the ground and mulch heavily over the roots. It ought to come back with new growth in the spring.

If your winters are frost free, wait until mid-winter to cut back the branches. This will encourage new growth and flowering in the spring.

Esperanza flowers appear on new spring growth, so be careful not to prune in the spring when flower buds are forming. Some deadheading during the summer will also encourage new blooming. Remove stems that are covered in spent blooms to make way for new growth and new flowers.

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Is Esperanza an evergreen?

Esperanzas are not frost hardy, and they will die back if temperatures drop below freezing. The roots are generally reliably hardy down to zone 8, however. If your esperanza plant suffers frost damage, cut it back to the ground and mulch heavily over the roots. It ought to come back with new growth in the spring.

Furthermore, are Esperanza plants poisonous? Planting Esperanza The esperanza is a pleasing ornamental. Other parts of the plant may also be toxic or cause allergic reactions, including the sap. Because of the potential for both toxicity and allergies, err on the side of caution and plant esperanza out of reach of children and pets who could ingest it.

Keeping this in consideration, is Esperanza a perennial?

Most plants are hardy to zone 8b and usually root hardy in 8a (roots may survive underground at temperatures into the low twenties). Here in Houston, we grow Esperanza as a deciduous shrub and root-hardy perennial. Esperanza is quite drought tolerant once plants have had time to get established.

Is Esperanza plant good for diabetes?

Esperanza, or 'Yellow Bells' (Tecoma stans) is a relative newcomer among popular, commercially available Texas garden plants. Also referred to as 'Hardy Yellow Trumpet,' it was included in medicines for diabetes and stomach cramps and was thought to have diuretic and anthelmintic uses.


Question 1:

Do you have any information on the Esperanza plant, if so, could you send it to me? If not, where might I find this information?

Answer:

From the PLANTanswers Information Search page (where I assume that you got my E-mail address) a quick search on the word 'esperanza' will turn up a lot of references including the one that is listed below. In addition to the information given there I would add that the plant is absolutely deer resistant and that for several winters it has been root hardy here in San Antonio. It also blooms quite well in dappled sunlight.

Question 2:

I need information on pruning the goldstar esperanza, and also on propagating the esparanza and bush lantana.

Answer:

The only pruning that the experanza needs is to keep the seed pods clipped off so that it will continue blooming. It will freeze to the ground if you get a freeze this winter. If not you may want to cut it down to about 6 inches above the ground in late February -early March, and it will rapidly grow back. Both the lantana and esperanza can be propagated using softwood cuttings.

Question 3:

I need information on pruning the goldstar esperanza, and also on propagating the esparanza and bush lantana.

Answer:

The only pruning that the experanza needs is to keep the seed pods clipped off so that it will continue blooming. It will freeze to the ground if you get a freeze this winter. If not you may want to cut it down to about 6 inches above the ground in late February -early March, and it will rapidly grow back. Both the lantana and esperanza can be propagated using softwood cuttings.

Question 4:

I need information on pruning the goldstar esperanza, and also on propagating the esparanza and bush lantana.

Answer:

The only pruning that the experanza needs is to keep the seed pods clipped off so that it will continue blooming. It will freeze to the ground if you get a freeze this winter. If not you may want to cut it down to about 6 inches above the ground in late February -early March, and it will rapidly grow back. Both the lantana and esperanza can be propagated using softwood cuttings.

Question 5:

Last year I planted yellow bells, but, though lush and standing tall, the plants so filled with flowers then now have no flowers on them at all. I planted these to perk the yard with yellow in the summer. I watered, fertilized and mulched but, brother, it's a bummer to look into the back yard and see nothing there but green. We thought we would get flowers, but no flowers can be seen. What should we do, our gardening friend? Dig these up and plant some others? Frustration reigns. I planted my esperanzas in the sun, fed them Miracle Grow 15-30-15 and achieved no blooms fed them with Super Bloom powder mixed with water and achieved no blooms dug in superphosphate and achieved no blooms tried watering them lots, tried watering them little and achieved no blooms either way. What, Sir, can I do to get gorgeously blooming plants like I have seen outside USAA Bank, which inspired me to put them in our yard in the first place?

Answer:

First of all, I hope you purchased the esperanza ( Tecoma stans ) from Lone Star (Color Spot) named Gold Star Esperanza. The next possible problem could be too much shade. I realize you said you planted them in the full sun BUT for how long. They MUST receive 8-10 hours of sunbathing sun to bloom properly. Since you indicate they have NEVER bloomed, I must assume there are no seed pods. Seed pods will cause them to spot blooming and should be removed and/or the plants cut back EVERY time seed pods form. If all of this hasn't discovered the problem, then quit fertilizing them and let them slow growth. If over-fertilization is the problem and you stop fertilizing, they should bloom this fall by October. BUT I AM BETTING on too much shade.

RESPONSE: You win your bet. At the height of summer, my husband tells me, the esperanzas get only 6 1/2 hours of sun. I'm not sure about their name, but I bought them from Wolfe Nursery, and the blooms my mother has on hers, from the same place, match the description in the plant book for Tecoma stans. Thank you so very much for your help. I surely wish that any one plant book would give all the information needed for raising nice plants. Each book gives only three or four good tips for a particular plant, but leaves out other highly significant details.

Question 6:

Last year I planted yellow bells, but, though lush and standing tall, the plants so filled with flowers then now have no flowers on them at all. I planted these to perk the yard with yellow in the summer. I watered, fertilized and mulched but, brother, it's a bummer to look into the back yard and see nothing there but green. We thought we would get flowers, but no flowers can be seen. What should we do, our gardening friend? Dig these up and plant some others? Frustration reigns. I planted my esperanzas in the sun, fed them Miracle Grow 15-30-15 and achieved no blooms fed them with Super Bloom powder mixed with water and achieved no blooms dug in superphosphate and achieved no blooms tried watering them lots, tried watering them little and achieved no blooms either way. What, Sir, can I do to get gorgeously blooming plants like I have seen outside USAA Bank, which inspired me to put them in our yard in the first place?

Answer:

First of all, I hope you purchased the esperanza ( Tecoma stans ) from Lone Star (Color Spot) named Gold Star Esperanza. The next possible problem could be too much shade. I realize you said you planted them in the full sun BUT for how long. They MUST receive 8-10 hours of sunbathing sun to bloom properly. Since you indicate they have NEVER bloomed, I must assume there are no seed pods. Seed pods will cause them to spot blooming and should be removed and/or the plants cut back EVERY time seed pods form. If all of this hasn't discovered the problem, then quit fertilizing them and let them slow growth. If over-fertilization is the problem and you stop fertilizing, they should bloom this fall by October. BUT I AM BETTING on too much shade.

RESPONSE: You win your bet. At the height of summer, my husband tells me, the esperanzas get only 6 1/2 hours of sun. I'm not sure about their name, but I bought them from Wolfe Nursery, and the blooms my mother has on hers, from the same place, match the description in the plant book for Tecoma stans. Thank you so very much for your help. I surely wish that any one plant book would give all the information needed for raising nice plants. Each book gives only three or four good tips for a particular plant, but leaves out other highly significant details.

Question 7:

How often should you water an esperanza plant?

Answer:

A good rule of thumb is to water the plant when the soil in the rootball feels dry to the touch when you insert your index finger about 1 inch deep. Water thoroughly and do not water again until the soil feels dry again. To help it rebloom, keep the bean pods clipped off.

Question 8:

Please help me find information on pruning plants like compact abelia, dwarf & trailing lantana, bamboo, muhly grass, esperanza, dwarf oleander & Mexican oleander.

Answer:

You are probably not going to find recommendations for specific plants but rather guidelines for broad categories such as Shrubs and Perennials. See the article at the Web site listed below. On the ones you mention: The Compact Abelia shouldn't need pruning unless it has overgrown its habitat. If the Esperanza and Dwarf Oleander do not freeze to the ground, I recommend just cleaning out any freeze damage when new growth begins and you can ascertain what has been damaged. For the Lantana, Muhly Grass and Mexican Oleander (which I assume is the Milkweed, Asclepias curassavica), I recommend that you cut them back to the ground around mid February to prevent them from getting woody and ugly. They are all likely to freeze to the ground if you have freezing weather.

Question 9:

I need information on pruning the goldstar esperanza, and also on propagating the esparanza and bush lantana.

Answer:

The only pruning that the experanza needs is to keep the seed pods clipped off so that it will continue blooming. It will freeze to the ground if you get a freeze this winter. If not you may want to cut it down to about 6 inches above the ground in late February -early March, and it will rapidly grow back. Both the lantana and esperanza can be propagated using softwood cuttings.

Question 10:

How often should I feed my Esperanza? Are they heavy feeders, or light feeders? It is 3 feet tall, planted in a container that is 3 feet around, 2 feet tall. It has been blooming well, and I want it to continue blooming all summer.

Answer:

I recommend that you fertilize it with about 1/2 cup of the slow release fertilizer 'Osmocote' and repeat in about 30 days.

Question 11:

Last year I planted yellow bells, but, though lush and standing tall, the plants so filled with flowers then now have no flowers on them at all. I planted these to perk the yard with yellow in the summer. I watered, fertilized and mulched but, brother, it's a bummer to look into the back yard and see nothing there but green. We thought we would get flowers, but no flowers can be seen. What should we do, our gardening friend? Dig these up and plant some others? Frustration reigns. I planted my esperanzas in the sun, fed them Miracle Grow 15-30-15 and achieved no blooms fed them with Super Bloom powder mixed with water and achieved no blooms dug in superphosphate and achieved no blooms tried watering them lots, tried watering them little and achieved no blooms either way. What, Sir, can I do to get gorgeously blooming plants like I have seen outside USAA Bank, which inspired me to put them in our yard in the first place?

Answer:

First of all, I hope you purchased the esperanza ( Tecoma stans ) from Lone Star (Color Spot) named Gold Star Esperanza. The next possible problem could be too much shade. I realize you said you planted them in the full sun BUT for how long. They MUST receive 8-10 hours of sunbathing sun to bloom properly. Since you indicate they have NEVER bloomed, I must assume there are no seed pods. Seed pods will cause them to spot blooming and should be removed and/or the plants cut back EVERY time seed pods form. If all of this hasn't discovered the problem, then quit fertilizing them and let them slow growth. If over-fertilization is the problem and you stop fertilizing, they should bloom this fall by October. BUT I AM BETTING on too much shade.

RESPONSE: You win your bet. At the height of summer, my husband tells me, the esperanzas get only 6 1/2 hours of sun. I'm not sure about their name, but I bought them from Wolfe Nursery, and the blooms my mother has on hers, from the same place, match the description in the plant book for Tecoma stans. Thank you so very much for your help. I surely wish that any one plant book would give all the information needed for raising nice plants. Each book gives only three or four good tips for a particular plant, but leaves out other highly significant details.

Question 12:

We have had fabulous success with purple and white lantana, and Gold Star esperanza (yellow bells) this summer. How can we care for them to help them best survive the winter? They are in full-sun, south-facing locations.

Answer:

After the first frost or freeze has killed the plants back to the ground, they should be cut back to about 6 inches from the ground and the root zone protected with a liberal covering of a good organic mulch such as shredded leaves, grass clippings, bark chips, hay or whatever you might have. The 6 inch stub is just so that you know where the plants are and where to expect re-growth in the spring.

Question 13:

How often should you water an esperanza plant?

Answer:

A good rule of thumb is to water the plant when the soil in the rootball feels dry to the touch when you insert your index finger about 1 inch deep. Water thoroughly and do not water again until the soil feels dry again. To help it rebloom, keep the bean pods clipped off.


Q. Esperanza growth

I have an Esperanza growing on the little hill on the south side of my house. It is about 4 years old and every winter it freezes back. I see other plants in the neighborhood that are growing great and blooming, and they are 6 or 7 feet high. So I know they did not freeze back like mine does. Can you tell me what my problem it?

Esperanza are hardy in zones 9-11, with some success in zones 8.

In colder climates it can be grown as an annual.

Soil conditions, maturity, or plant variety may have something to do with the comparison to neighboring plants.


Q. This Year My Esperanza Plant Is Not Blooming

This year my Esperanza plant is not blooming. Why?

The soil could be lacking sufficient phosphorus, which is responsible for blooming in most cases. Try adding a higher phosphorus fertilizer (like Bloom Plus, Bloom Booster) or add bone meal to the soil around your plant. Here is more info that may help: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/shrubs/esperanza/esperanza-plant.htm
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/soil-fertilizers/bone-meal-fertilizer.htm



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