Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - May 10, 2013

From: Indio, CA
Region: California
Topic: Pruning, Seeds and Seeding, Shrubs
Title: Removal of pods when pruning Tecoma stans
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

When pruning Tecoma stans for growth and shape control,should I cut off the pods?

ANSWER:

From our webpage on Tecoma stans (Yellow bells), here is Propagation information:

"Propagation Material: Seeds , Softwood Cuttings
Seed Collection: Collect late summer to fall after pods are no longer green.
Seed Treatment: Air dry at room temperature to store over winter. Sow soon after harvest in loose, moist-but-not-soggy, fine soil for quick germination.
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: Cut back to the ground if dies back in winter. Prune and pinch spent flowers and pods to encourage blooming and bushiness."

If you wish to propagate your plant from seed, obviously you should not prune off the pods until late sumer to fall after the pods are no longer green. If you don't wish to propagate from seed, you can trim the pods off whenever you wish. We ordinarily recommend trimming dead wood after the spring blooming; otherwise do light pruning as needed.

Although Yellow Bells is a desert plant, you can see from this USDA Plant Profile is not native to California at all, but Riverside County probably fits the environment for a desert plant.

 

From the Image Gallery


Yellow bells
Tecoma stans

Yellow bells
Tecoma stans

Yellow bells
Tecoma stans

More Pruning Questions

Pruning a Martha Gonzales rose
January 20, 2016 - How much should I prune back an established Martha Gonzales Rose to keep healthy?
view the full question and answer

Non-blooming Tecoma stans in Fredericksburg, TX
June 30, 2008 - We have an esperanza plant purchased last year from Walmart and planted outside before winter. It flowered excellently last year. Just before winter we cut it back to about a foot. So far this summer ...
view the full question and answer

Optimal time for trimming Fall asters
July 04, 2014 - RE: fall asters What is the latest date in the summer that I can trim my fall asters and still get a good amount of blooms in October?
view the full question and answer

Shaping of native hawthorns
October 21, 2007 - I have three young hawthorns that were propagated from a nearby Blackland prairie stand. If I limb them up, will that encourage them to branch more near the top, or will it just ruin the form altoget...
view the full question and answer

Trimming a rock rose in Richardson TX
March 11, 2009 - I have a Rock Rose (Pavonia lasiopetala)in my garden. I cannot find any information on how to trim or whether I should trim this plant. If so when? Mine is pretty much growing all over the place and...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.