Add the Chicklet Orange to your garden and you’ll have everyone talking about its beauty – Savannah Morning News

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Norman Winter
 |  For Savannah Morning NewsThe Esperanza is one of those shrubs that brings about hope and anticipation for the growing season. Actually, that is what Esperanza means in Spanish.As a gardener who got his horticultural roots in Texas, I can tell you the Esperanza is a plant to be treasured and even more so with the debut of Chicklet Orange in 2022.Garden Guru: The new Shasta daisies are like a dessert for your landscape and gardenChicklet Orange is a new selection known botanically as Tecoma fulva. You’ll find the orange color a great change of pace from the traditional yellow Tecoma stans that is native to Texas and Mexico, where at my house in Mission, Texas, it quickly reached the roof line. Chicklet Orange with South American DNA is more compact, such that even small landscapes can grow it as well as giving it a place on porches and decks in favorite containers.Chicklet Orange has good cold-hardiness from zones 8 and warmer, but is outstanding when grown as an annual too. It will reach 36-inches in height and taller where the growing seasons are even longer. Sun, water and a little fertilizer and you’ll be filled with the ‘Esperanza Hope and Anticipation.'Garden Guru: Rockin' Playin' the Blues Salvia brings all the bees, birds and butterflies to the yardBy this I mean Chicklet Orange will be bringing you continuous orange blooms along with all sorts of pollinators to add excitement in the garden. You’ll find it on the frequent feeding list of swallowtails and hummingbirds. The Garden Guy anticipates combining his with Rockin' Blue Suede Shoes salvia on the sides and Augusta Lavender heliotrope in the front. I may try to partner with Pugster Blue and Pugster Amethyst buddleia as well. So, my plan is go, backyard-habitat, all the way.But you may choose to go tropical, using Chicklet Orange around the pool for the look of the islands. Grow under tall bananas or in partnership with elephant ears like Maui Gold and perhaps some splashes of the blue Cape Plumbago.Select a site in full sun for best blooming although they perform nicely in morning sun and afternoon shade. Grow them in large containers around the porch, patio or deck or plant in fertile well-drained soil in the tropical style garden. Amend heavy poorly drained soil, with the addition of 3-to-4 inches of organic matter and till to a depth of 8-to-10 inches.Garden Guru: Move over Michael Jordan and Tom Brady, the GOAT are the Supertunia Mini Vista PetuniasWhile preparing the soil incorporate 2-pounds of a slow released 2-1-1 ratio fertilizer, per 100 square feet of planting area. Dig the planting hole 2 to 3 times as large as the root ball and plant at the same depth it is growing in the container. The wider hole really aids in root acclimation.Feed container grown plants with a diluted water-soluble fertilizer every other week or use controlled release granules as per the formula recommendation.Keeping in mind that daily watering and high temperature usually means fertilizing more often. Feed those in the landscape every 4 to 6 weeks with light applications of fertilizer.  Remove seed pods as they form to keep flowers producing.  Spring looks to be amazing with new plant introductions and if you are a hummingbird lover then you’ll want to add Chicklet Orange Esperanza to your garden. Follow me on Facebook @NormanWinterTheGardenGuy for more photos and garden inspiration.Norman Winter is a horticulturist. He is a former director of the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens. Follow him on Facebook at Norman Winter “The Garden Guy.” See more columns by Norman at SavannahNow.com/lifestyle/home-garden/.
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