Cape Honeysuckle Deciduous? - Knowledgebase Question

Davis, CA
Avatar for farnumphotog
Question by farnumphotog
February 19, 2002
Hi there! Thanks for answering my question. I have three Monrovia cape honeysuckles that I planted in my garden late last summer. They have lost all of their leaves, and I am concerned that they are perhaps not meant for our winters here that occasionally have frost, but still tend to be rather cold (especially at night). Are they deciduous, or were thy an inappropriate choice for my zone (which is 14 according to the Western Gardener's book)? Thank you so much for your assistance.

Answer from NGA
February 19, 2002
Tecoma capensis, the Cape Honeysuckle, is from South Africa and will need winter protection in your gardening zone. While it will tolerate a light frost with no visible damage, it can freeze down to the ground in especially cold winters. It's a tough plant, however, and will generally send out new sprouts even if it does freeze to the ground. Cut back winter damaged wood as soon as new growth begins in the spring, and try mulching over the crown of the plant next winter to help protect it.

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