This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area

November 23, 2014

Getting Cape Honeysuckle to bloom in Phoenix

One of the best plants for the Phoenix, Arizona area is Cape Honeysuckle. It has a wonderful tropical leaf, it loves the heat, looks great all summer, and best of all, it blooms when your winter visitors are around.

If you have Cape Honeysuckle, you should be seeing some blooms, or the beginning buds by late November. Unfortunately, if you're a neat gardener, and especially if you do your trimming with power tools, you may be taking away any chance of blooms.

So, put away the power hedge trimmer, and stop and take a look. The beginning flower bud doesn't look a whole lot different from an emerging leaf, but if you look closely, you will begin to recognize the difference.

I use a bypass pruner, and sometimes I just pinch the leaf tips with my fingers. But I leave the emerging buds alone! Well, I try to.

Emerging Cape Honeysuckle flower bud. Don't cut it off!
So, if someone starts attacking your Cape Honeysuckle with a power hedge trimmer, make them stop. You wouldn't do that to a rose bush, would you? Well, I guess you could - and make a goofy shape, like a pom-pom. But you wouldn't get many flowers.

Cape Honeysuckle will flower profusely all winter. Oh yeah, and hummingbirds love them, too!
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