One of my favorite things as a horticulturist and consultant is to help people discover the new plant introductions that they may have never heard of.

I like to tell them that they can be the first on their block with the latest plant that all their neighbors will want to add in their landscape.  

Tecoma x ‘Orange Jubilee’

Many of you may be familiar with the large, orange-flowering shrub Tecoma x ‘Orange Jubilee’ with its clusters of trumpet-shaped flowers.  Its long bloom period and up to 12-foot height makes it a favorite for screening out a block wall or unfavorable view.

While the flowers and lush foliage are a plus, Orange Jubilee is too large for many smaller areas, which is why this new shrub is one of my new favorites. 

This Tecoma hybrid has bi-color flowers and is affectionately named ‘Sparky’ after Arizona State University’s popular mascot.  This hybrid was created by a horticulturist and professor at ASU.

‘Sparky’ is about half the size of ‘Orange Jubilee,’ which makes it suitable smaller spaces.  It also has smaller leaves and a slightly more compact growth habit.

Both types of Tecoma have the same requirements – full sun and pruning away frost-damaged growth in March.  ‘Sparky’ is slightly more cold tender than ‘Orange Jubilee’.

While I have an ‘Orange Jubilee’ shrub screening the view of my A/C unit, I believe that I need to find a spot for a ‘Sparky’ shrub – especially since I’m an ASU alumni.  
For those of you U of A alumni, there isn’t any word of a red, white and blue hybrid yet – but, I’ll be sure to let you know if they create one 😉

**Would you consider adding a ‘Sparky’ Tecoma shrub to your garden?
Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a horticulturist, certified arborist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."

7 replies
  1. Indie
    Indie says:

    Very pretty! It's nice that smaller-sized versions of our favorite shrubs are making it to market. It helps us fit more plants into our smaller gardens 🙂

  2. Diana
    Diana says:

    I love discovering new introductions, too. I wrote about several of the Tecomas in my monthly article for the Austin American Statesman last summer — highlighting Lydia, Orange Jubilee and Bells of Fire. Sparky looks like another great alternative to the big ones. Most folks around here have been growing Esperanza for eons.

  3. Darcie
    Darcie says:

    I love this! I have an Orange Jubilee, and would love to add Sparky to my landscape. Do most nurseries carry this shrub? If not, where can I find one?

  4. says:

    Hi Darcie,

    Many local nurseries in The Phoenix and Tucson areas often have it. It's also available at The Desert Botanical Garden's plant sales in spring and fall.

    It's worth the search to find it as it will add beauty to your garden.

    Noelle – AZ Plant Lady

  5. Sandy Smith
    Sandy Smith says:

    Home Depot carries the plant, they’re in stock now. My recommendation is to plant it in Full Sun, not partial sun as I did. Keep an eye out for caterpillars later in the summer, I use a BT product. Evidence of caterpillars will be, at least in my case, skeletonized leaves, not chewed. You might get the chewers. 🙂


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