When you ask us here at Buchanan’s to come up with something negative about Esperanza, you just might find us speechless for a change! We can’t think of anything we don’t love about this beautiful group of plants. Right now, we have a great selection of different Esperanza (Tecoma stans) varieties in colors ranging from yellow to apricot, orange and even red. The original species of Esperanza, Tecoma stans is designated as a Texas Super Star plant by Texas A&M University, and for good reason!
Esperanza, also called Yellow Bells or Yellow Trumpet Flower, is native to Texas and found growing wild on rocky slopes near San Antonio and in the Trans-Pecos region. The large tubular flowers offer a striking contrast against the dark glossy foliage and are irresistible to hummingbirds, bees and butterflies. Plants typically begin to bloom in spring and continue through the heat of the summer. Flowers have a mild pleasing fragrance.
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. In colder zones, plants are grown as an annual or container plant. Best blooming will be achieved by plants in full sun locations, but they can tolerate a bit of afternoon shade. Too shady though, and plants will bloom minimally or not at all. Add Esperanza to your shrub or tropical borders, or place in a large container on your patio.
Esperanza is quite drought tolerant once plants have had time to get established. They can also tolerate a wide variety of soil types, as long as they provide good drainage. Soggy soil is a sure fire way to kill Esperanza. If you find your soil is compacted or doesn’t drain well, you can work in amendments such as organic compost and expanded shale. Work a slow release organic fertilizer into the soil when you plant your Esperanza to help it put down a healthy root system. You can fertilizer a few times during the growing season to keep Esperanza healthy and full of blooms.
In the last few years, breeders have introduced many new exciting colors of Esperanza, including ‘Apricot Sunrise’, ‘Mayan Gold’, ‘Orange’ and ‘Crimson Flare’. Now you can enjoy the vigor and beauty of this Texas native in an array colors that coordinate with your own garden. Again, we have a fantastic selection of Esperanza right now so it’s a great time to visit! See what else is going on THIS WEEK at Buchanan’s.
Fun Facts: The Indians made bows from the wood of Esperanza, and in Mexico a beer was prepared from its roots; it has also been used for a variety of medicines.