How many plants do you know of that can take Central Texas heat, flower from spring to frost, be reliably DEER RESISTANT, and give fragrance in the evening? Welcome to Orange Zest Cestrum!
This Zone 8 plant is a result of a cross between the greenish-white flowered Night-blooming Cestrum (Cestrum nocturnum) and the white flowered Day-blooming cestrum (Cestrum diurnum). Both are native to the Caribbean. AKA Orange Peel Cestrum, this plant can be evergreen in mild winters, deciduous in moderate winters, and a root-hardy perennial shrub in cold winters.
Orange Zest Cestrum will grow to at least 6’x6’, or even larger if not killed back by cold winters. It will thrive in full sun to partial shade, and I have found that mine benefits from a good shearing in late February if it is not killed back by the cold. Growing to at least 4’x4’ by fall when planted in the spring, the yellow tubular flowers are a magnet for both butterflies and hummingbirds.
Orange Zest is best used as a “filler” plant, combined with large leafed, tropical- looking plants such as Canna lily (the-orange flowering variety ‘Wyoming’ is a great choice), or beside darker-leafed Purple Fountain Grass for contrast.
P.S. Although the name has “orange” in it, the blooms are actually yellow!