Hummingbirds Love This Heat-Tolerant Yellow Flower, But Be Wary Of It Spreading

If you want to attract hummingbirds to your garden, you'll know that they simply adore nectar-rich flowers. There are many benefits to attracting hummingbirds to your yard and one flower that hummingbirds will flock to is the esperanza (Tecoma stans) also commonly known as trumpetbush, yellow bells or yellow trumpetflower. Not only are the blooms of this plant a bright yellow color but they're also filled to the brim with lovely sweet nectar. But before you dash out to your nearest garden center or nursery to get one, be aware that this plant has a habit of spreading quickly. Plus it's considered invasive in Florida according to North Carolina Extension, even though it's a native to Arizona, Central and South America, South-Central Texas, and Mexico.

So if you want to grow this gorgeous plant in your garden and you don't live in Florida where it's only recommended for limited use, you'll want to know how to best take care of it and control its spreading growth habit. Using good gardening practices such as regular pruning and deadheading the spent flowers, will help to control this plant's spreading habit. In fact, regular pruning is the easiest way to keep any overgrown yard under control. This means that both you and the hummingbirds that visit your garden can enjoy the brilliant yellow flowers over spring and summer.

How to grow esperanza in your garden

Esperanza is an evergreen shrub but it can grow into a small tree and can reach a height of 25 feet and a spread of 20 feet if left to its own devices. It prefers to grow in full sun and can be grown year round in USDA zones 10b through 11. If you live in a colder climate, esperanza will die back over winter. Once this happens, you can cut the plant right down to the ground and it should re-sprout in the spring.

The plant needs well-drained soil and can handle being allowed to dry out in between watering once it's well established. It's very heat-tolerant which is great for gardeners who experience hot summers. Apart from attracting hummingbirds, the gorgeous trumpet shaped flowers will also attract butterflies and bees to your garden. Once the flowers have matured, long thin seed capsules will form. These contain many small seeds and can be harvested for propagation if you want to have a go at growing additional plants for your garden. You'll find there are many benefits to growing from seeds instead of buying plants.

How to control the spread of esperanza

One of the best ways to control the spread of esperanza and stop it from taking over your garden is by regular pruning. It's best to prune your plant in winter after it's finished flowering. This only applies to gardeners who live in frost free areas as the plant will naturally die back in colder regions. When pruning your esperanza, you can cut back all the branches by about a third as esperanza blooms on new growth. That's why it's important to only do this in winter before the new spring growth starts. But if you find your plant getting a little out of hand during the warmer months, you can safely trim back the branches to create a more compact shape. 

Another way to stop esperanza from sprouting elsewhere in your garden is to deadhead the plant before the seed capsules have time to form and mature. The seeds germinate readily so if left on the plant, they can spread to other parts of your garden where they will sprout into new plants. Deadheading will also encourage more flowers to bloom which is what you want to happen to keep the visiting hummingbirds happy.