Yellow Elder is an ornamental shrub and it needs good space to grow large and healthy. It produces green foliage with glossy yellow leaves.
It has many other names like Tecoma stans, trumpet bush, and yellow bell plant.
This is a heat-resistant plant means you can grow it easily in the summer season and it thrives like crazy. It also attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.
Yellow Elder grows to 20 feet tall in ideal growing condition but you can trim it to keep it short.
Most of the time gardeners trim it to 5 to 6 feet because this height is easy to care for and manage.
Yellow elder needs 5 to 7 hours of light per day. Do not grow it in low light. Because your plant will not grow tall and will not produce a good number of flowers.
If there is no sunny place in your garden or you have other plants growing there. Then you can choose the partial shade.
Low light will result in leggy growth and fewer leaves and few flowers per stem.
There is a wide variety of soil to choose from for this plant. It can grow easily in alkaline and acidic soil. Add some compost to the soil to enhance its fertility.
Your aim should be choosing the soil that drains well but absorbs a good amount of moisture for a long time.
Waterlogged soil is not suitable for this plant even if you are growing it in your outdoor garden. Because its roots are sensitive and extra water in plant pot can damage the plant.
Yellow elder needs moderate watering on dry days of the summer season. Stop watering in winters and in rain season.
The water must be fresh and clean with no unwanted minerals and heavy metals. Because the heavy minerals can clog the roots.
Chlorine and fluorides are not required by the plant in any case. These unwanted substances are deadly for plants.
They do not drain easily with water. In fact, these minerals get collected at the bottom of the pot and disturb the normal functioning of roots.
Use freshwater or tap water if it is suitable for human consumption. Otherwise, you can use filtered water that you use for drinking or making food.
Generally, this plant does not need fertilizers and it will grow and bloom without nutrient supplements.
But if you see that your plant is not doing well and it looks weak then you must use plant fertilizers.
Use granular fertilizer supplements because they are best for this plant and are also inexpensive. Use them only in the spring and summer seasons.
You should not use them more than 3 to 4 times per year.
Temperature & Humidity
If you are in USDA hardiness zone 8 to 10 then you do not need to worry about the temperature and humidity.
Because the environment in these zones is perfect for growing yellow elders.
But in other zones, your plant will thrive beautifully but it will not survive in winters. The roots are not frost-resistant.
This means after the winter season you have to plant it again in your garden.
Yellow elder is toxic to humans and pets. The sap of the plant can cause skin irritations in humans and sore throat on ingestion.
Vomiting, nausea are other signs of its toxicity.
Immediately call the doctor or poison control center on seeing these symptoms in your pet or children.
Repotting is required when you see the plant roots are coming out of the bottom hole or are visible on the top surface of the soil.
Also, repot your plant when you feel that the potting soil needs to be refreshed.
Choose 2 inches wide and deep pot for potting up.
You should trim the plant only in the last days of the winter season to keep it in normal size. Do pruning only once per year, excessive trimming is not recommended.
Right before the frost cut the plant to the ground and cover the roots with mulch. Mulch gives protection from snow and hard cold nights.
Seeds and cuttings are the two propagation methods.
Get the high-quality seeds and a tray of peat moss. Use a pencil to make a small hole in the peat and place two seeds in each hole. Close the opening and mist some water on the tray.
Place the tray in a warm and humid place. this will speed up the germination process. Do not let the growing medium dry.
Dryness will kill the seeds and you will get nothing.
The germination time for yellow elder seeds is 21 days.
In the second technique choose a healthy stem and cut 4 to 5 inches long piece. Do this process in the spring or summer season.
Now dip the cutting in rooting hormone to accelerate the root formation.
Plant the cutting in the potting soil and place the pot in a warm and humid location. Regularly mist some water on the soil to keep it moist.
When the cutting will grow 1 foot long then you can transfer it to an outdoor garden or to a large pot.
You have many options for this plant. Grow it like a tree in your front garden or like a shrub on the corners of your lawn.
It will look very beautiful in other plants.
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