Successfully Caring for the Yellow Elder Flower
The yellow elder is the national flower of the Bahamas, this garden beauty is native to South America, Florida, West Indies, and Mexico this garden beauty produces beautiful flower bloom year-round. It is recorded that the yellow elder plant is used for medical purposes such as helping to regulate digestive problems, is used to eliminate parasitic worms from the body, is said to be used in the production of anti-syphilis drugs, etc…
What I found interesting, however, is there is another tree that also survives in the same climate as the yellow elder known as the yellow tabebuia that produces yellow followers which is extremely gorgeous. During the spring and summer months, the yellow tabebuia tree is a real show stopper especially when they are planted in a row as they lined the street, this is a coda moment where you want to take your camera out and just start snapping photos. If your desire is to attract wildlife to your gardens such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds then this plant will be the right fit for you.
Because of the yellow flowers which the yellow tabebuia produces many of the natives mistake this tree for the yellow elder. But the yellow elder stands in a class of its own and will give you the bloom you are looking for. The yellow elder can grow anywhere from 12-20 ft tall or a bit taller, this garden shrub is worth the investment.
The yellow elder loves the full sun so providing or meeting this condition will have your yellow elder flowering plant blooming at its best.
These garden beauties do not like wet feet so providing well-drained soil will keep your yellow elder growing healthy and happy. Adding compost to your existing garden soil will help to build or condition it for your plant.
As just mentioned yellow elders do not like wet feet, therefore, monitor the amount of water you’re giving your plant because too much water will encourage root rot. Only under extreme conditions when the weather is hot and dry it is good to give your yellow elders a good drink, allow the soil to dry out before adding more water.
The use of an all-purpose fertilizer such as 12-12-12 makes a great choice. Before fertilizing read and follow the manufacturer’s label because the label is the law.
Garden insect pests of the yellow elder
The good news about the yellow elder is it is basically pest-free except for Whiteflies and Spider Mites when grown indoors.
Diseases of the yellow elder
No serious problem when it comes to planting disease.
Ideas on where to install the yellow elders
Here are just a few ideas on where to use the yellow elder plant.
1. The yellow elder can be used as a specimen plant.
2. Can be used as a backdrop in a garden bed.
3. Use them to align a fenced area.
4. What about planting them alongside a wall?
5. Install them on a property line.
Container grown yellow elders
Although the yellow elder can get up to 20 ft or taller in some case, they can also be grown in containers, the use of a hand pruner will keep them at the proper height while they are container grown. When growing yellow elders from a container ensure that the container is large enough to accommodate your plant.
The container should have drain holes to allow excess water to drain. The soil should be well-drained soil for water drainage as it is applied to the plant’s roots. If the water does not drain well then root rot will set in spelling trouble for your yellow elder. Because these plants are growing in containers the soil should dry out somewhat before applying or giving your plant another drink.
Place the container in the full sunlight and fertilizes as directed above. A saucer can be placed under the container to catch the water that drains.
Growing the yellow elder indoors
When growing the yellow indoors because these are flowering plants that love the full sun, the area that is chosen should be an area that gets lots of sun like the west or the south window, grow lights will also offer some help. When installing your yellow elders to be grown indoors you will follow the same directions as stated earlier about growing these shrubs from containers.
Water and fertilize as mentioned and keep an eye out for mealybugs and spider mites which will seek to make a meal out of your plant. Following these tips will eliminate them.
Mealybugs are tiny insects that are covered with a white cottony waxy mask. These garden pests are among the family of garden insect pests that sucks the plant’s fluids causing yellowing of the leaves and leaf drop. The use of insecticidal soap will bring them under control or a homemade remedy of soap liquid and water will help.
1 tablespoon of dish liquid to a gallon of water shaken well and added to a 32 oz spray bottle when applying this mixture get total coverage of the leaves both the top and underside this soap mixture will eliminate them. Apply and wait for 7 days to see if they are still alive if so apply another application.
Spider mites are very tiny but can cause huge damage to our garden plants, to know if your plants have spider mites look for spider webs along with your plant taking on a dusty appearance. What you can also do to further test your finding is to place a sheet of white paper under the plant’s leaves and gently shake or tap.
If it is spider mites you will see tiny specks or spots moving around on that sheet of paper and if the infestation is server you will feel them crawling around on your hands. Spider mites will also cause yellowing of the leaves followed by leaf drop apply the same methods as you would with mealybugs to bring them under control.
Pruning Yellow Elders
With a hand pruner or lopping shears, you can control the growth of your yellow elder also branches which may cause your yellow elder plant to lose its natural form can be removed. Pruning your yellow elder will encourage new growth and flower production. Remove about one-third of the stem, stems should be cut back to leaf bud or parent branch.
The final word
The yellow elder flowering plant is an amazing plant that can work wonders, as I move around the country I have seen many of these plants being grown on commercial as well as residential properties. The beautiful flower bloom of this garden plant can work wonders for you as it has done for many so if you are interested in having this plant as a part of your garden and landscape design then I encourage you to go ahead and make the investment you will be so happy that you did as the national flower of the Bahamas bring that much-needed flavor.