Honeysuckle Dying

Gardening Question

Purchased a ‘mint crisp’ honeysuckle in a 1 gal pot; transplanted to a larger planter (hoping to move so I’m trying not to actually plant it). Was doing just fine and growing but has started to have sections where its starting to die. Leaves started to get limp (checked and moisture level was okay not registering dry or wet) but leaves have shriveled up/turned brown…almost like something is sucking them to death but I don’t see aphids or anything. Any help or suggestions on what is going on would be greatly appreciated.

Honeysuckle photo

Answer from Pat

Cape honeysuckle (Tecoma capensis) is a vigorous plant whose common name derives from the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. These plants do not grow well in containers. They need full sun and good drainage and are very drought resistant once established but look better with occasional deep watering. The problem with growing a vigorous drought-resistant plant in a container is that the roots are so vigorous they tend to go round and round. You transplanted your one gallon size plant into a larger container but did you loosen the roots first? Also did you plant in potting soil? Garden soil is not appropriate for plants growing in containers. All plants growing in containers need good drainage. All need to be lightly fed while growing in a container. All plants growing in containers should be watered enough when watered so that water will flow out the bottom of the pot. Though it is a little difficult to judge from the facts you have given me, it sounds to me as if you are not watering enough. Also, be sure plant has full sun. Water thoroughly at least once a week so the water comes out the bottom of the pot and don’t let the roots stand in water. That will kill the plant.


  1. Thankful Gardener

    I was visiting a friend and while out walking noticed what looked like a cape honeysuckle shrub/tree but only with yellow flowers…we asked the owner what it was but they didn’t know. Does cape honeysuckle come in a yellow version? I thought it was an orange flower. Any idea what it might have been…I would love to have the plant. Thanks much for your help!!!

    • Yes the yellow one is called Tecoma capensis ‘Aurea’. It’s foliage is lighter in color and it is less vigorous than the orange one. There is also a golden orange one called ‘Buff Gold’.

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