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Mexican orange blossom

Orangenblume Choisia Lubera

Although the Mexican orange blossom (Choisya ternata) in this country is virtually winter hardy, it is still far too often not planted in the garden. It is worth buying this evergreen shrub as it enchants the senses in the summer for months with its almost unbelievable orange blossom fragrance. Even the delicately feathery, evergreen foliage of these varieties has a strong scent of citrus when grated between fingers. The species of Choisya belongs to a genus with about eight evergreen shrub species. In nature, they grow in canyons and rocky slopes in the southwestern United States and Mexico. Its feathery, evergreen leaves are attractive year-round. In the summer, the pure white, star-shaped flowers form; they smell intensively of oranges and are visually reminiscent of citrus blossoms. Although they belong to the rue family (Rutacea) like citrus plants, they usually do not produce any fruit in this country. Choisya ternata is named after the Swiss botanist Jacques Denys Choisy, who described them first. With these special flowers, Choisya in the garden as well as on the balcony are very easy to care for.

Two Varieties with Good Hardiness

The Mexican orange blossom 'Aztec Pearl' (Choisya ternata 'Aztec Pearl') blooms in May and June. Its white flowers exude a pleasant scent of orange blossoms. When the weather is fine, the plants flower for a second time in August, which does not smell any less. The evergreen foliage is dark green in colour and allows the pure white flowers come into their own. Choisya ternata 'Aztec Pearl' grows to a height of about one metre and is just as wide. Over the years it remains a compact shrub that is also ideal for smaller gardens and as a container plant on a balcony.

The orange blossom 'White Dazzler' (Choisya ternata 'White Dazzler') blooms from May to June and then again in August and September. This rarity is almost a bit more frost hardy than Choisya ternata 'Aztec Pearl' and it should be planted much more often in our gardens. The petite, evergreen shrub with evergreen, strongly feathered, rich green leaves looks attractive all year round. The pure white flowers are in dense umbels and smell like orange blossoms. In warm areas and in favourable weather, these interesting shrubs sometimes even bloom a third time, but in our climate, there are often "only" two flower spurts, which is not bad at all. The Mexican orange blossom 'White Dazzler' grows up to 1.5 metres high and reaches one metre in width.

   
 
Mexican Orange Blossom 'Aztec Pearl'

The white flowers of Choisya ternata 'Aztec Pearl' exude a pleasant fragrance

£23.40 *

Mexican Orange Blossom 'White Dazzler'

Choisya ternata - the Mexican orange blossom with good hardiness

From £21.40 *

   
 
Orangenblume kaufen Lubera

The Best Location

The Mexican orange blossom likes a warm, sheltered location. It gets along well in front of a protective wall. To enjoy the beguiling fragrance of its flowers as often as possible, it makes sense to buy an orange blossom and plant the shrub directly near a sitting area or at a house entrance. Even as a container plant on a terrace, the orange blossom does well and is easy to care for. Choisya needs fertile, humus-rich, slightly acidic and well water-permeable soil. As much as this plant loves the warmth, it should not stand too much in the blazing sun. A partially shady location with plenty of air is better. In the winter, it makes sense to shade the plants a bit, so that the leaves do not burn from the sun. It is important, especially when growing in pots, that they are never subject to waterlogging because these plants are very sensitive to this.

Planting and Care

Mexican orange blossoms, from a pot, can be planted in the garden or in a larger container on the balcony throughout the year, as long as the soil is frost-free. In the garden, proceed as follows: use a spade to dig out a planting hole that is twice as big as the root ball. Loosen the soil and, if it is a bit lean, add some compost. Then lift the plant out of the pot, rip open the root ball so that the roots are not tangled. Put the plant in the hole and fill it with soil. Make sure that the plant is at the same height at the new location as it has grown in the container. Water regularly until the Mexican orange blossom has rooted. As far as care is concerned, there is little to say other than that the shrubs should not be cut and they should simply be left alone. Grown in a pot, they must be supplied with liquid fertiliser once a week during the growth phase, so that they always have enough food available. For propagation, semi-woody cuttings are rooted in the summer. Propagation succeeds quite simply and soon you will enjoy the young plants with new flowers. But beware! The aromatic foliage of the young Choisya can be eaten by snails! Otherwise, Mexican orange blossoms hardly have any pests or diseases.

Winter

Depending on the location, the winter hardiness of the Mexican orange blossom ranges from minus 10 to minus 15 degrees Celsius. It depends on how protected it is and also how strong the plants have already grown. Especially the variety 'White Dazzler' has been bred for additional winter hardiness. In the first two or three years, the young plants need special care in the winter. The root ball is best protected from the cold with a pile of straw. The biggest problem, as with many evergreens, is not the cold, but the winter sun. Because the leaves even evaporate water in the winter, they cannot be replenished from the roots due to the frozen soil. That's why it makes sense to protect the Mexican orange blossom with fleece from the winter sun.

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