I am always on the lookout for new plants to the desert plant palette. Growers experiment with new varieties of more common plants in an attempt to find new colors, sizes, and more desirable characteristics.
Recently, I made the trip to Civano Nursery Farm in Sahuarita, which is 20 miles outside of Tucson. The main reason for the visit was to introduce me to the new Tecoma shrub hybrid ‘Red Hot.’ This new plant is related to yellow and orange bells, which are both ones that I highly recommend.
At the time of my visit, ‘Red Hot’ was not yet available to the public but was being grown throughout the Southwest as a test plant.
I met with Jackie Lyle, the Brand Development Manager for Civano. She plays an integral part in the introduction of new plants to the Southwest region.
Our tour began in the greenhouses where I got to see their state-of-the-art automated systems and massive amounts of plants in all stages of growth. Needless to say, I was in heaven!
The focus of my experience in the garden industry is as a designer, horticulturist, landscape manager, and writer. What I have not done is work in a nursery or for a grower. As a result, it was fun to see how the inner workings of a large-scale nursery.
The greenhouses are filled with countless different types of plants and was where I got my first view of ‘Red Hot’ Tecoma. Instantly, I could see why there is so much excitement about this new variety. The foliage has the characteristic color of most Tecomas, but the leaves were somewhat smaller than yellow bells and more compact.
The vibrant red blooms are stunning and entice hummingbirds to drink the nectar from their flowers.
‘Civano Select’ are plants created by the grower and have slightly different characteristics than the more common species. As part of the tour, I was able to view many of their ‘Select’ plants.
Above all, Civano Farms is a very busy place with shipments of plants constantly sent out to job sites and other nurseries.
Whoever is the receiver of these ‘Red Hot’ shrubs are in for a treat!
And, guess who came home with her own ‘Red Hot’ shrubs? Me!
I am very happy to have these two ‘Red Hot’ shrubs, so I can share with you how they do in my Phoenix area garden. They are in the perfect spot along the south side of my house underneath the window. I can view them from my kitchen so I see them every day.
Oh, and of course, other plants made their way into my car’s trunk – autumn sage (Salvia greggii), Mt. Lemmon marigold (Tagetes lemmonii), ‘Mr. Liko’ pink gaura (Gaura lindheimeri ‘Mr. Liko’). Free plants are like Christmas to this horticulturist!
The great news is that ‘Red Hot’ Tecoma is now available at many local nurseries.
Want to see if this is the right shrub for your garden? Here are the stats:
‘Red Hot’ Tecoma
Size: 4 feet tall and wide
Exposure: Full sun, reflected sun
Bloom Season: Spring through Fall
Cold Hardiness: 15 degrees
I will share the progress of my new ‘Red Hot’ shrubs and I encourage you to add this vibrant beauty to your garden!