Finally - Blooms on Wintersweet!

Discussion in 'Woody Plants' started by sherlock007, Feb 23, 2008.

  1. sherlock007

    sherlock007 Member

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    After about 8 years, I have 20 very lovely blooms on my very large wintersweet. With a fragrance reminiscent of paperwhites. I am hoping to have even more blooms next year (last years was my first 6 blooms). If anyone has any cultivation tips, I'd like to know. Cheers!
     

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  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Looks like it might be one of the yellow or yellowish forms, the coloration of the typical plant reminds me of that of white corn. Comparing it with accurately labeled specimens elsewhere would soon show where it falls.
     
  3. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Tips: ignore it, starve it, whack it back at will - mine blooms very reliably and generously with that treatment :-)
     
  4. sherlock007

    sherlock007 Member

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    Thank you both for your replies. I'll try and make it out to a nursery that actually has some of these to compare with other varieties. When I purchased mine as a a very small shrub from Island Specialty I couldn't find it anywhere else in the lower mainland...in fact no one knew what I was talking about.

    As far as the treatment of it, the whacking it back part is not hard to imagine as it very generously grows...trying to conquer most of my backyard. It does get a fair amount of shade in the summer after 2 p.m., but I did hear that there is a specimen in the arboretum in Seattle that gets quite a bit of shade, but still blooms profusely. Karini, how old is your specimen?

    Thank you!
     
  5. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I've had mine for about ten years, and think it has bloomed for about 5. Mine is at the northeast corner of the house so also gets sun only till early afternoon when the house shadow hits it. And it does bloom more profusely where the sun hits, I think, but it's hard to tell as that may also be where the wood is the right age to bloom.

    KarinL
     
  6. sherlock007

    sherlock007 Member

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    Thank you, Karin for your reply. I do find this helpful and encouraging. So, I wonder what 'the right age' is?
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Whacking it back at will certainly won't help it flower. Flower buds are formed the previous year, on new shoots springing from mature wood of mature specimens. Those trained against a wall can have whole sections cut out at the end of winter to maintain the flat shape and will flower well on the remaining portions if these come through the operation mostly intact.

    Undoubtedly this subject flowers most freely if a branch system is left to mature without any pruning...as a general rule, the less the pruning the more the flower.

    --Brown (Kirkham), The Pruning of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers (2004, Timber Press)
     
  8. sherlock007

    sherlock007 Member

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    I have noticed that the blooms higher up on the shrub are on newer shoots off of a previous year or 2 years old wood. The shrub also had some blooms develop on old little twiggy bits , coming off again, older wood.

    I would think the safest time to prune any bits sticking out where they are in the pathway would be now, where I can see what is blooming where. I do know that it grows most vigorously (some of last year's new growth was 5-6 ft), and I have had to trim some of these back, as they were hindering passage in the garden, but I have not given it the sort of pruning I might give my forsythia, which partially spreads out over a telecommunications underground lid, and I keep it clear for the techicians if they need to come around. This wood, once a year old, blooms ferociously, but cares greatly on the quantity of sun it receives.

    Thank you for the advice and help! Wintersweet definitely requires a patient gardener, as blooming age can take quite some time.
     

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