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Pruning a frosted choisya



  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 8,336
    Mine isn't new (ie brand new) growth @earlydaze - it's growth from last summer after heavy pruning. Don't think there's any new (ie this season's) growth yet.

    Apart from some swelling buds on trees and shrubs I don't seem to have much new growth on anything😕

    My garden is a good couple of weeks behind my mother in law's. I'm in mid-Suffolk on heavy boulder clay, she is in Yorkshire gardening on a lighter free draining soil. Her daffs are nearly over - most of mine are still in tight bud. Her snowdrops and crocus are done and dusted - some of mine are still in bud (but those in sunnier spots have opened).

    You'd sort of expect it to be the other way round....

    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 10,426
    Light soil is what's making the difference @Topbird , and perhaps your MIL's garden is sheltered and/or south-facing too.  My snowdrops and crocuses still have some colour but are past their peak now. The earlier daffs are out, with mid-season ones in bud about to burst, and late ones not even showing buds yet.
    My 25+ year old Choisya "Sundance" has no visible cold damage (I don't remember it ever having any) and I can just about see the flower buds forming. I don't think it's sustained any damage this winter and I'll prune it as normal after flowering, fairly hard to keep it within bounds.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,811
    The changing weather patterns have an impact. You say it was flowering 'til November @pineapplebroom, so that in itself is a problem, as you wouldn't want to prune it back at that point. The mild autumn meant many plants/shrubs were a bit out of kilter, still growing instead of becoming dormant.
    Here where I am, we've had two mild autumns and two mild winters, so many plants didn't get the gradual change from summer into autumn that they'd normally have. That meant the cold period in early December affected them more than it would normally have done, so plants like Phormiums were really damaged - beyond repair in some cases.
    We would usually have upwards of fifty or sixty frosts, of varying degrees from October until around April/early May. I know without looking at my records that it hasn't been anything like that, although not as mild as last winter. It's not the whole story though, because the type of soil, and it's moisture content, also has an effect on how plants behave or react. 
    The winter of 20/21 was more of a normal one here, and many Choisyas looked rough that spring. Most of the ones I saw came back. The variety makes a difference too. As @Topbird says, the 'ordinary' C. ternatas can suffer more simply because of the foliage size. I've lost the Sundance ones a couple of times in the past, but the green ones are tougher. The finer leaved varieties like W. Dazzler etc can often cope slightly better too   :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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