Choisya ternata "Sundance"

Discussion in 'Woody Plants' started by WesternWilson, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. WesternWilson

    WesternWilson Active Member 10 Years

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    We placed 5 of these staggered on either side of a low retaining wall in our south facing front yard in Tsawwassen. One of their functions is to provide us some privacy from the street, but wow, are they slow growing!!

    They were in 1 gallon pots, so quite small, when planted two years ago. They seem to have settled in now and are putting out growth, but how long will it take, do you think, before they hit 4-5'?

    Regards,
    Janet
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    I wouldn't rely on this plant for a hedge or screen anyway as Choisya is borderline hardy in this region, were yours to freeze down some winter your curtain will have dropped.
     
  3. WesternWilson

    WesternWilson Active Member 10 Years

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    If they survived our last winter intact, they are invincible!!!

    I am lucky that I live in Tsawwassen, a nice little microclimate that gets significantly more sun than most of the Lower Mainland. I also have a wonderful south facing yard and fabulous soil (had the whole clay/gravel yard dug up and replaced entirely...good soil can really help you push your envelope). And the little wall offers some protection from wind etc.

    I just went out to look at them all (5) closely and they are putting out about 4" of new growth this year. We used a plum/lime green/deep pink colour scheme and the yellow choisyas look fab, especially on a gloomy day. I don't want to lose them!
     
  4. Anne Taylor

    Anne Taylor Active Member 10 Years

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    I have grown these beauties for about 5 years now.
    And they really are the kind of shrub that needs to get it's feet under it, and then really goes. The 'slow' part is behind you now, if you want a decent size sundance, water and feed as consistantly as you can this summer and stand back- the flowers will come too.
    Your colour scheme sounds terriffic!
     
  5. WesternWilson

    WesternWilson Active Member 10 Years

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    Thankyou! I hope this last two years moping was the "getting my feet under me" stage.

    Our colour scheme is not uncommon, but wow, have I seen different things done with it. Cheryl Clark Landscaping helped me choose and organize the bones, and we used a Cercis canadensis "Forest Pansy" as the anchor. It appears to be slow to acclimate too.

    With that we planted the Choisya "Sundance", Heavenly Bamboo "Gulfstream", that tricoloured thing that looks like holly (latin AND common escape me just now) and three lovely Styrax trees. I am now interplanting all the space in between with my favourite and compatible flowers. We live just before the crest of a hill that is widely used by healthy persons as a challenge and I really wanted them all to enjoy a full border exploding with flowers. Not a lot of gardens feature bloom these days and I wanted that.

    Best additions so far: Hemerocallis "Happy Returns" (a nice soft yellow), various Oriental lilies, foxglove, penstemons, rudbeckias, epimedium, and the tulip I chose for our spring bloom turned out to be over the top fantastic. They are lily flowering, I think the variety is "Burgundy" although mine is not as dark as the photos... a deep pink/red that is a showstopper. It actually multiplies and so far has not weakened.
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Sunset Western Garden Book gives the hardiness of Choisya ternata as 15F/-9C. The last killer winter here was 1990, during which it got well below this in most local sites. Mildest beachfront locations were only a few degrees colder, elsewhere it was significantly colder - sometimes within sight of salt water or nearly so.

    Some Mexican oranges got quite hammered, after having grown for many years.
     
  7. WesternWilson

    WesternWilson Active Member 10 Years

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    Well Ron, I guess I had better think of something to support the choisyas in their "privacy screening" role, as surely someday a winter like that will come along and take them down severely. We really only need things about 4-5' high to give us privacy from the sidewalk passers-by. In this climate, it is hard to beat good old rhodo's.....
     
  8. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Ceanothus 'Victoria' (= 'Skylark'?) would look good with it and is comparatively hardy, although there is still a risk of damage. It depends on how cold it gets on your site while the planting is present. The climate is warming but weather varies within the parameters of the climate, we could still have winters below 15F/-9C (on those sites that get that cold).

    The 1990 winter was the coldest in 30 years down here. When this kind of thing happens is unpredictable. Maybe it will get that cold again soon, maybe not.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2008
  9. WesternWilson

    WesternWilson Active Member 10 Years

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    I have a personal horror of Ceanothus!
     

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