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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.

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

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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

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