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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

How to Prune Yellow Bells Tecoma

Q. Just wondering if and when I should prune my Tecoma "Yellow Bells".

Yellow Bells Tecoma stans

A. Yellow Bells or Tecoma stans can be pruned lightly any time of the year but it’s best to reserve heavy pruning cuts to the winter months. It’s difficult to kill this plant by pruning.
Tecoma stans used in desert landscaping at Ethel M's in Henderson Nevada
            If this plant is getting too large for the area given it, you can cut it close to the ground and it will sucker from the base much like oleander and Lantana. It responds to this type of pruning similarly to oleander because of its size.
Oleander winter pruned to remove old growth and renew the shrub to its former youth
            To flower, the parts growing above ground must come back into “balance” with its roots. So, it is likely to grow rapidly without flowering until it reaches the “magic ratio” of shoots to roots when it will start flowering again. This is probably when it reaches about 3 feet in height.
Winter pruning of lantana for renewing growth. Actually it could be cut back more than this and it would be better.
            Yellow bells can be pruned in other ways. If the plant is getting too tall, reduce its height by cutting the tallest branches back to a crotch or the ground.
            If you want it taller and expose the bottom stems or trunks, then reduce the number of trunks or stems to 7 or less, trying to keep an odd number. Cut the smallest stems just below ground and remove side branches from the remaining to about knee height.

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