Question of the Week – Number One: November 12, 2020

Gold Star Esperanza is extremely popular. But is it annual or perennial?

“Is Gold Star Esperanza winter-hardy in Texas? When can I prune mine?”

Gold Star Esperanzas are winter-hardy in the southern half of Texas, but they’ll survive farther north in mild winters, and they’ll be killed in South Texas in severe winters, so it’s all relative.

It’s botanically Tecoma stans. A quick search online shows most credible websites list it as root-hardy to 12 or 15 degrees and top-hardy in the mid- to high 20s.

Gold Star Esperanza, a selection of the native Tecoma stans, stands up to all of our Texas heat. Greg Grant and his Extension Service buddies Drs. Jerry Parsons and Steve George made it a mainstay of Texas horticulture some 20 years back.

If you’re in Waco or Tyler or northward, you’ll probably want to grow it in protected locations (against the house, in alcoves, atriums, etc.).

Continued Below

Pruning should be done as needed, rather than a large amount at any one time. However, if you do need to do major pruning, late winter would be the best time, so you can take full advantage of the flush of spring growth. If your plants are getting lanky, be sure that they’re getting full, or nearly full sunlight.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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