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Pruning an elderly CHOISYA (Mexican Orange/Mock Orange)

Lincolnshire, United Kingdom Gb

Having moved to Lincolnshire 18 months ago I have inherited a rather elderly CHOISYA. It has been hit rather badly by our last winter which was very severe. It has not been pruned very well in the past and has very leggy/woody stems. In fact it leans out in one direction about about 3 feet and is bare at the back. I am wondering whether this will ever recover. I am a bit of a "pruner" and would be tempted to cut this back quite severely (by about a half to two-thirds) and hope that it survives. Would this be wise? Does anyone have any alternative suggestions and do you think it will recover?

Choisya Choisya_close_up_600_x_450_



The advice I've been given is to prune established plants in spring immediately after flowering, but I would think that flowering is unlikely, judging by its present appearance. I would be inclined to prune it now, removing up to 12in of the stems that look like they might be saved and remove the rest to the base.
This seems essentially what your instinct tells you but I would refine it slightly by giving the less damaged stems a chance to flower later in the year.

22 Mar, 2011


Thank you Bernard for that advice. I shall make the most of the Spring sunshine and have a go at it tomorrow. It makes sense to be a little more cautious about the stems that look reasonable, not that there are many. Thanks.

22 Mar, 2011


I would also give it a good feed after pruning to encourage it to regrow

22 Mar, 2011


Thank you Andrew. Is there any particular feed you had in mind? I have had some well rotted manure delivered recently. Would that be suitable?

22 Mar, 2011

How do I say thanks?

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