Welcome to the enchanting world of the ‘Gold Star’ Esperanza plant! Also known as Tecoma stans, this tropical beauty belongs to the Bignoniaceae family, making it a close relative of the native cross-vine. With its origins in the warmest regions of the United States, Mexico, and South America, the ‘Gold Star’ Esperanza brings a touch of the exotic to your garden.
A Star Among Plants
‘Gold Star’ Esperanza, a remarkable creation by horticultural genius Greg Grant, was discovered in a private garden in San Antonio. Its uniqueness lies in its early blooming nature. Unlike its counterparts, this Esperanza variety starts producing its vibrant blooms right from the liner stage. This characteristic sets it apart from other species and makes it a sought-after addition to any garden.
A Versatile Tropical Beauty
While ‘Gold Star’ Esperanza can be grown as a shrub or perennial in certain regions, it thrives best as a tropical container plant. Similar to Hibiscus, Bougainvillea, and Mandevilla, this resilient plant adds a touch of elegance to any space. Whether placed around your porch, patio, or deck, or nestled in a tropical-style garden, the ‘Gold Star’ Esperanza shines brightly, gracing your outdoor oasis with its bell-shaped, yellow flowers.
Thriving in the Sun
‘Gold Star’ Esperanza flourishes in full sun, basking in its radiant glory. However, it also adapts well to areas with morning sun and afternoon shade. Plant it in large containers, allowing it to create a tropical paradise around your outdoor spaces. For those fortunate enough to have fertile, well-drained soil, this plant will be right at home. Enhance heavy, poorly drained soil with organic matter and till it to create a depth of 8 to 10 inches.
To ensure the ‘Gold Star’ Esperanza reaches its full potential, a little bit of care goes a long way. Prepare the soil by incorporating a slow-release 19-5-9 fertilizer, approximately 2 pounds per 100 square feet of planting area. Dig a hole twice or thrice the size of the root ball and plant the Esperanza at the same depth as it grew in its container.
For container-grown plants, regular feeding is essential. Diluted water-soluble 20-20-20 or Host agro fertilizer, applied every other week, will keep your plant thriving. Alternatively, you can use controlled-release granules, following the recommendations on the label. Remember, high temperatures and daily watering may increase the frequency of fertilization. Landscape-planted Esperanza will benefit from light applications of fertilizer every four to six weeks.
Witness the full potential of the ‘Gold Star’ Esperanza as it produces a continuous display of breathtaking blooms. Remove any seed pods as they form to encourage new flowers, or save a few pods for planting next winter. Propagation through cuttings is another simple way to multiply these lovely plants. Remember, the smaller plants are easier to over-winter.
Make your poolside retreat feel like a tropical oasis by introducing the ‘Gold Star’ Esperanza. Pair it with tall banana trees or upright elephant ears to create an island-inspired paradise. For a delightful hummingbird haven, combine it with other nectar-rich plants like the Fire Bush or Mexican Bird of Paradise. Alternatively, juxtapose it against the vibrant hues of dark purple buddleia for a captivating effect.
Let the Stars Shine
‘Gold Star’ Esperanza, once a Texas Superstar winner, has delighted gardeners in San Antonio and beyond. Its luminous flowers, dark glossy foliage, and resilience in the face of scorching summer heat make it a popular choice for plant enthusiasts. Whether you intend to safeguard it through the winter or start anew come spring, the ‘Gold Star’ Esperanza promises to be a winning investment.
Don’t miss the opportunity to grow a touch of the tropics in your very own garden. Join the chorus of satisfied gardeners and discover the magic of the ‘Gold Star’ Esperanza. For more information, visit the Ames Farm Center today and let this shining star light up your garden!
Remember, Learn, and Have Fun!
David Rodriguez is the County Extension Agent-Horticulture for Bexar County. He represents Texas Cooperative Extension with the Texas A&M University System. For any landscape or gardening information, call the Bexar County Master Gardeners Hotline at (210) 467-6575, email questions to [email protected], or visit our County Extension website at http://bexar-tx.tamu.edu/. Special Note: Listen “live” with David Rodriguez every Saturday morning between 8:00-11:00 am on WOAI 1200 AM Gardening Show. Feel free to call in at 737-1200 or 1-800-383-9624. Check it out!