Plant of the Month – December


Cape Honeysuckle
Tecomaria capensis

  • Plant Form: Semi-evergreen vine, shrub
  • Water Use: Low
  • Mature Size: 5-6 (to 15) ft. tall x 3-4 ft. wide
  • Exposure: Full sun, part shade
  • Bloom Time: Fall (Sept-Nov), Winter (Dec)
  • Native to: South Africa
  • Hardiness: Cold hardy to 23°F

Just when you wished you had some color in your fall-winter garden, Cape Honeysuckle explodes into flower with bright red-orange, trumpet-shaped blossoms. This shrub is happy to be trained into either a vine, espalier, hedge, screen, border plant, shrub, or ground cover — your choice!


Cape Honeysuckle explodes into bloom late in the season with a welcomed burst of color. Clusters of red-orange trumpet-shaped flowers attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds, just in time for migration. This beautiful shrub has glossy leaves divided into leaflets, and sprawling, vine-like stems that can be trained against a wall or trellis as an espalier, or sheared into a hedge, screen, or accent shrub. Even with its rambling spirit, it is easy to care for, tolerating heat, drought, and poor soils, all while resisting browsing by deer and rabbits. Blooms best in full sun. In colder areas, it may drop its leaves, while in warmer zones, it is evergreen and may bloom nearly all year. Prune back unruly branches, and cut off old or damaged branches at their base to maintain shape. This versatile plant will let you decide whether it will be a climbing vine, hedge, border plant, screen, shrub, or ground cover. It will even be happy in a container on your porch or patio.


Check out our “Garden Tasks” for December