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Can I rescue this Choisya Sundance

This was once lovely. The previous owner decided it didn't fit her garden scheme anymore and had put it into a plastic bag temporarily (rather than a pot) for a few weeks.I eventually potted it up in new compost (with John Innes) about 2 weeks ago and pruned off about 20cm of the top. Since then it has progressively been dying. It is in part sun/shade on a fairly sheltered patio. I have watered it regularly and fed it once.

It really didn't do well last weekend when it was extremely hot. 

I am unsure what to do - if anything. Can I hard prune it as almost all the leaves are dead/dying anyway. If so - how and how far down to prune it?


  • TheveggardenerTheveggardener Posts: 1,057
    It's in a very small put for a plant that size. It could be not getting enough water.
  • Thanks NannaBoo. The rootball is much smaller than the pot. I think it may just be the angle of the photo. 

  • TheveggardenerTheveggardener Posts: 1,057
    How long has it been in that pot and have you ever fed it. When you push your fingers into the soil is it dry, damp or wet. I don't know much about Choisya but I'm sure there's someone on here who doe's.
  • Hi NannaBoo, It has been in the pot for about 2 weeks. It is watered regularly and hasn't dried out, and I have fed it once. 
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,687
    These shrubs can grow to 2 meters. That pot will not sustain that sort of height, and the pot is too small. They are not easy to grow in pots because they can put on quite a bit of growth in a season. If you have the space, best grow them in the ground.

    Also, it's better to prune down a lot more than 20 cm. I recommend 1 ft from the ground. 
  • Thanks Borderline. Do you know if I can prune it now, or should I wait?

  • Also, if I move it now won't I risk further stressing the roots. I feel they have had a traumatic time lately!

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,687
    You will need to prune them back now. Lots of watering at this time of year if you are to continue to keep it in that container. If you prepare the ground well, and water the plant in well, it's more likely to improve, provided it has been reduced in size. Droopy leaves like that will not pick up.
  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 4,053
    Agree with the pruning. I would take it down to the greenery near the bottom of the photo - cut off those 5 tall stems. 
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
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