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How to Prune Yellow Bell Shrubs

Yellow bells or esperanza (Tecoma stans) are a drought-tolerant relative of the trumpet vine and produce bright yellow flowers during the summer and fall. A popular landscaping plant with an average height of four feet, the yellow bell is native to the Southern U.S.

How to Prune Yellow Bells

Prune or cut back unruly canes by cutting the cane all the way back to a main stem or to the ground. This will keep the plant's natural shape and can be done anytime.

Remove seed pods and spent blooms by cutting back each stem that recently bloomed by one-third. This is done after each bloom period.

Cut back bare stems to green wood in late winter while the plant is still dormant. Young esperanza plants may die all the way to the ground, so cut stems to the ground if the plant has no green wood. They will recover in the spring.

Prune Yellow Bell Shrubs

Prune yellow bells shrubs after the last blooms fade in late spring or early summer. Avoid cutting in a hedge or formal shape as this can greatly reduce the number of buds and resulting flowers. Remove older large branches from the inner areas of young yellow bells shrubs. Taking out older branches will not only help promote new growth but will also facilitate air circulation around the branches. Cut at least one-quarter of the older branches on a mature yellow bells plant close to the ground. Renovate an older yellow bells with out-of-control shape with more aggressive pruning. This will allow the plant to renew itself and achieve its natural shape within two years. Remove dead, damaged or diseased branches anytime.


The "gold star" variety blooms more often than the standard "yellow bells" variety of esperanza.

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