By Debbie Roland, Master Gardener
Esperanza (Tecoma stans) is another great plant from the Permian Basin Master Gardener’s recommended Plant List. It is grown as a perennial in West Texas, and is also referred to as yellow bell, yellow trumpet or trumpet flower. Esperanza is an ornamental shrub that boasts yellow or orange blooms and a light scent.
In our area it is usually planted by transplant and not seed, which are available at local nurseries. The trumpet shaped flowers appear in the spring and remain until fall. Esperanza is a shrub that can grow to 6’ tall and 4’ in diameter, so allow it plenty of room to grow.
Plant in full sun after threat of freeze has passed. If planting more than one Esperanza, allow 4’ between plants. Dig a hole two to three times the size of the root ball but just deep enough to hold the plant level with the ground. Since you need to add 3” of compost, be sure to add that to the depth of the hole you will need.
After the compost is added to the bottom of the hole, gently remove the plant from the container and place on top of the compost. Use the native soil to backfill the plant and tamp down firmly.
You will need to water regularly until the plant is established. Water deeply to keep it moist but not wet. When established gradually cut down on the watering. Mature plants should be watered weekly. As always, mulch to prevent evaporation during summer months.
Deadheading during summer and fall makes the flowering more prolific.
After the plant is dormant in the winter, cut each stem back to about 12”. The plant will come back in the spring.
If you have questions, please call the AgriLife office in Odessa at 498-4071 or in Midland at 686-4700 for more gardening information. Additional information is available at https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu and westtexasgardening.org.