How To Grow Cape Honeysuckle (Tecomaria capensis) In Your Garden

Tecomaria capensis, also known as the Cape Honeysuckle, is a fast-growing, evergreen shrub.

It is grown for its vibrant, trumpet-shaped flowers and its attractive, glossy foliage.

Tecomaria capensis flowers
Tecomaria capensis trumpet flower, image by Suresh Aru; CC.

The versitile plant is native to South Africa and is great to grow if you wish to add a tropical feel to your garden.

It can also be useful if you wish to attracts wildlife to the garden.

Cape Honeysuckle plants typically grow to a height of 6 to 10 feet (1.8 to 3 m) as a shrub, and can reach up to 20 feet (6 m) if grown on a trellis. Plants have a similar spread.

Tecomaria capensis displays brilliant orange, red, or yellow flowers. these bloom in clusters throughout the year, and offer a striking contrast to the plant's dark green leaves.

Tecomaria capensis is useful in the garden becasue of its long flowering season, rapid growth, and its ability to attract hummingbirds and butterflies.

As a tropical plant it is suitable for USDA Zones 9 to 11, and should be hardy in UK coastal areas.

It is great for using for hedges, screens, or as a specimen plant.

How to Grow Tecomaria capensis in the Garden

Cape Honeysuckle does well in a location with full sun to light shade.

It is adaptable to a variety of soil types, from sandy to clay, but good drainage is important

Cape Hon
Cape Honeysuckle shrub in bloom, photograph by cultivar413; cc.

Propagation of Tecomaria capensis can be achieved through seeds, cuttings, or layering.

To propagate from seeds, first soak in warm water for a day. Then sow into a well-draining potting mix.

Semi-hardwood cuttings can be taken in late summer. First, remove the lower leaves, then dip the end in rooting hormone, finally plant into a well-draining potting medium.

Layering can be done in spring. Bend a low-growing, flexible stem to the ground. Bury the mid-section of it, pin down leaving the tip exposed. Wait for roots to develop, then sever the new plant from the parent.

Once established, Cape Honeysuckle is a relatively low-maintenance plant. It can tolerate drought, but will appreciate watering during very dry periods.

Pruning in late winter or early spring. This will encourage both bushier growth and more prolific blooming.

Tecomaria capensis problems: it is generally pest and disease-resistant, but can occasionally be affected by aphids, mealybugs, or powdery mildew.

Quick Tecomaria capensis Growing and Care Guide

Scientific Name: Tecomaria capensis.

Common Names: Cape honeysuckle.

Growing Zone (USA / UK Hardiness): USDA Zones: 9-11. RHS Hardiness Rating: H3 (Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK).

Best Used For / Garden Location: Ideal for hedges, screens, or as a climbing plant on trellises. Prefers full sun to partial shade locations.

Plant Details

Life Cycle / Plant Type: Evergreen shrub.

Plant Height: 6-8 feet (1.8-2.4 meters).

Plant Spread: 5-6 feet (1.5-1.8 meters).

Blooms: Throughout the year, peaking in fall.

Flower Details: Tubular, orange to orange-red flowers in clusters.

Leaf Foliage: Pinnately compound, glossy, dark green leaves.

Fruit: Long, narrow seed pods.

Growing Conditions and Location

Best Light Conditions: Full sun to partial shade.

Suitable Soil Types: Prefers well-drained soil. Tolerates a wide range of soil types.

Sowing / planting: Plant container-grown plants in the spring.

Germination time: Seeds may take 1-2 months to germinate.

Propagation: Propagate by semi-hardwood cuttings in summer or by layering.

Plant Care: Water regularly in dry periods, but allow soil to dry out between waterings. Prune to maintain desired shape.

Growing in pots and containers: Suitable for containers, ensure good drainage.

Growing as a House plant: Not typically grown as a houseplant.

Further Information

Miscellaneous: Attracts birds, butterflies, and bees.

Pests and diseases: Aphids and scale insects.

Common Cultivars / Varieties: 'Aurea' has yellow flowers. 'Salmon' has salmon-pink flowers.

Family: Bignoniaceae, the Bignonia family.

Native: Native to southern Africa.

References and Further Reading: Plantz Africa: Tecomaria capensis; NC State Extension.

Common Questions

Does Tecomaria capensis make a good garden plant?

Tecomaria capensis can make a vibrant addition to gardens and landscapes. It has bright orange tubuler flowers that bloom in the cooler months.

Is Tecomaria capensis a fragrant plant?

Tecomaria capensis is not typically noted for fragrance.

What is the perfect location to grow Tecomaria capensis?

Tecomaria capensis enjoys a garden location with either full sun or partial shade, and prefers a well-drained soil. It is useful as a screening plant, hedge, or even as a climbing vine.

Is Tecomaria capensis invasive in the USA, if so in which states?

Tecomaria capensis is not generally invasive in the USA, though it is known to have spread beyond gardens and considered higher risk in some parts of California and Florida.

How do I remove Tecomaria capensis from my garden?

To remove Tecomaria capensis plants from the garden, cut it back and then carefully remove the root system. Sieve the soil and dispose of all plant material to prevent possible regrowth.


Tecomaria capensis (Cape Honeysuckle) is a native plant from South Africa. It grows best in full sun to partial shade, and requires well-drained soil. This evergreen flowering shrub is popular in warmer climates, and carries vibrant, trumpet-shaped flowers.

I hope that you have enjoyed reading this guide on how to grow Tecomaria capensis. You may also enjoy the following Bignoniaceae family plant growing guides: How to grow Jacaranda mimosifolia, Chilean Glory Flower, and Incarvillea plants in the garden.