Choisya Overview

Probably the most refreshing fragrant plant to have gone under the radar of general home gardeners… and perhaps it’s because of this that people love Choisya even more.

Choisya is a generally a minor genus of tough shrubs that is both seductively aromatic and evergreen. If you are someone who likes family trees, it belongs in the rue family named Rutaceae.

Choisya is actually the Mexican name for orange blossom.

Many members of this particular genus are affectionately named as mock orange or Mexican orange. This flowering plant with pink buds is not nicknamed to a fruit for no legitimate reason. This reference to orange is due to the resemblance of it’s flowers to that of an orange.

And the more striking similarity is that it exudes a scent that smells very much like orange. n fact, if you are not aware of this feature of Choisya when in the presence of one, you would probably start looking around to see where the oranges are.

But unlike other scented plants that overwhelm you with it’s presence in the air, Choisya’s aroma is subtle and tender. The only drawback is that it’s subtle aromatic fragrance is so naturally tempting that bees can be attracted to it.

Even though many Choisya ternata enthusiasts find the clusters of white star-shaped flowers beautiful, a huge number of people also find the plant exceptionally beautiful when not in bloom. Thus, the cheery pet name “sundance” was introduced as yet another word to describe this perennial friend.

These fast growing bushes tend to bloom in late winter to early spring, throughout fall.

Most home gardeners are not aware of this species. And those who do, are absolutely in love with it. Other playful nicknames include “aztec pearl” and “goldfinger”.

The plant is best aesthetically used as shrubs for backdrops. They have dark green foilage and can also grow tall enough (if you allow it) to be a corner plant. They have been documented to grow to as tall as 8 feet. Saying that, it is not uncommon for people to make them the centerpiece in the front yard.

Choisya is native to the central parts of the American peninsula. Specifically, you should be able to find the growing in the wild in states like Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and south all the way through Mexico.

Pruning Choisya

Pruing is usually done either in early summer or late spring. But because of how beautiful and luscious the sight can be, you might be tempted to delay pruning so as to take in the rugged spectacle for a few more weeks.

You don’t have to pay special attention to any 1 aspect when pruning. You will do just fine pruning to the size you want. Removal of old branches will encourage new shoots to grow.


Even though this plant looks stunning under the sun, you should be wary of how much sun it actually gets. Over exposure can cause it to scorch, while it can also sometimes turn brown when fully exposed to winter snow.

The flip-side is that when you plant it in too much shade, the flowers tend not to bloom at it’s full potential.

Other than that, although it might not grow well on alkaline soil, it needs little supervision. Therefore, beginner gardeners will have little problem caring for it. They are really easy to grow.