Popular garden shrubs, much enjoyed for their shiny bright green or yellow leaves and abundant white spring flowers. One of the easiest and most reliable evergreen shrubs to grow in milder areas of the UK.
Family: Rutaceae (rue or citrus family)
Botanical Name: Choisya
Common Names: Mexican orange blossom/flower
Foliage: Evergreen palmately divided leaves. Green and yellow leaved forms are available.
Flowers: Clusters of star-shaped white flowers, usually fragrant.
Flowering Period: Spring to Summer.
Soil: Well-drained soil (chalk, clay, sand or loam). Any pH.
Conditions: Full sun. Best grown in a south, east or west-facing aspect, in a sheltered location.
Type: Medium-sized shrub.
Hardiness: Hardy in mild and coastal regions of the UK (down to -10°C). Young shoots and leaves are susceptible to frost damage, so protect from winter cold and wind.
Grow in a sheltered sunny position in any good, well drained, moderately fertile soil. Best in full sun but will tollerate partial shade.
A good architectural plant for the border, with solid form and shape. As a reliable evergreen, it can be used as a screen or background for other plants.
Plant outside in early autumn or spring, in a position sheltered from cold wind. Container grown plants can be planted out at any reasonable time of year.
In very cold regions grow it in a container or large pot that can be moved to a sheltered spot for the winter. Ideal for a sunny patio.
Mulch with organic matter in spring and apply a general fertilizer suitable for shrubs.
Can be pruned after flowering, if required, to shape and restrict growth. Thin out straggly shoots and remove any frost-damaged leaves and shoots in spring.
Susceptible to attack by snails. Check for over-wintering snails in the foliage.
Strike half-ripe cuttings in late summer. Over-winter in a cold frame and plant out the following spring.
Choisya ternata is one of the most popular garden species. It has attractive, glossy green leaves that bear clusters of fragrant white flowers in spring. Height to 6ft (1.8m), spread to 8ft (2.4m).
Popular cultivars include:
Choisya ternata 'Sundance' with white flowers and bright yellow leaves. Available from Thompson & Morgan.
Choisya ternata 'Apple Blossom' has pink buds opening to light pink flowers. Available from Thompson & Morgan.
Choisya x dewitteana has aromatic narrow evergreen foliage. An attractive garden shrub for the border or as an evergreen flowering hedge. Height and spread to 6ft (2m).
A number of good cultivars are include:
Choisya x dewitteana 'Aztec Gold' has green-gold foliage with lime tones in shaded areas. It will often flower twice in warm situations, first in spring then again in late summer. Height and spread to 6ft (2m). Available from Thompson & Morgan.