Tacoma stans

craigtheblessed(10b)October 12, 2012

1st timer on this forum but old timer at growing flowers. Yellow bells is suppose to do well in a container. I've tried 3 times without success. I am using Franklin potting soil in a 3 cu ft fiberglass pot. Full sun and tried different water and fertilizing amounts each time. Lower leaf tips start turning brown and it progresses upwards. In the end all the mature leaves are brown and the new shoots that come out and soon wilt until there are no leaves left. What am I doing wrong?

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Tecoma stans does really well for me in a pine bark based medium. 5 gallon pot.

The symptoms suggest overwatering/soil that isn't draining properly. Other possibilities are that the roots are overheating because it in a container, or magnesium deficiency. Remember this this is really a tree, so root pruning every season would not be a bad idea. Did you get that far though?

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 3:12PM
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Wait, 3 cu ft? As in 22 gallons? How often do you end up watering, and how do you decide when to water? That's more evidence for a soil that isn't draining.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 3:15PM
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Last time I used a meter and watered 1/2 gal if it fell below wet. I plan on pulling the root balls out tomorrow and replacing them with something that can handle more water. The reason being it will be surrounded by petunias. Any suggestions would be gladly accepted. I really like yellow bells and don't want to give up. I have 2 in 5 gal containers that I can still experiment with.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 8:05PM
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I'm sorry you're having bad luck with it :( I think it's beautiful too.

What do you mean by "replacing them with something that can handle more water"?. Do you mean you're going replace the Tecoma plants with a different plant?

I did some cursory reading, and apparently Tecoma stans is a species with incredible variability with respect to growing conditions, depending on where it originated.. and thus has lots of subspecies designations. I know the hybrid designated a Texas Superstar, "Gold Star", is "intermediate between the West Texas Tecoma stans angustata and the tropical Tecoma stans stans". It does fantastically in our poorly draining clay, but just as well in rocky/sandy places... and has no problems with the hot summers. It's also supposed to do well in containers.

The symptoms you're describing are exactly what I see in these plants when they've been kept in their nursery growing containers too long at the store... Lowes/Home depot was full of them. I'm not sure what the actual cause is though - saturated soil, crowded roots, overheated roots? I recently bought one for my sister on clearance where almost all the leaves had fallen off, from the bottom up. As soon as I root pruned and repotted it, it took off. I did remove the flower spikes for a while to let it recover some foliage first.

I know this is a frustrating answer, but perhaps you just got a variety that is poorly adapted to either your conditions (low humidity?) or container culture. Did you buy it from one of the big box stores?

Best of luck solving this mystery.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 9:13AM
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I did pull the root balls for inspection. There was no sign of over watering or root rot. With most of the plants that have died, it has turned out to be high root temp. Go figure. I wonder if that West Texas Tecoma stans is the one with narrow leaves? I had a chance to get that one, but didn't because it was listed as only good down to 32o. I do buy my plants at Lowes, but I keep my receipts and if they do poorly before 6 mos I get my money back. Tecoma stans is the only plant I have had issues with. That is not to say others don't do poorly, but the Tecoma went bad fast! I will try the one more suited to this environment in the future. Thank you for your time

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 2:21PM
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hey folks, is this the plant tacoma you are discussing? I'm trying to find the name of this plant, the grower just calls it "tecoma" thanks-

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 5:56PM
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