Marin Master Gardeners
University of California
Marin Master Gardeners

Plant Guide

Choisya ternate

Common Name
Mexican Orange
CA Native
Non-native
Plant Type
Shrub
Size
6' - 8' x 6' - 8'
Flower Color
White
Bloom Time
  • Fall
  • Spring
  • Spring through Fall
Leaves
Dark Green
Evergreen
Evergreen
Deer Resistant
Rarely Damaged
Wildlife Value
  • Bees
Growth Rate
Fast
Hardiness
Hardy
Adverse Growth Factors
None
Special Features
  • Fragrance
  • Low Maintenance
Water Use
  • Low
Soil pH
5.5-6.4 (acid)
Exposure
  • Partial Shade
  • Shade
Soil Type
Loam
Drainage
Well Drained
Description and Cultural Plant Tips

Choisya ternata is a fast-growing,dense, evergreen shrub with clusters of white star-shaped flowers that have a slightly citrus frangrance. Blooms appear from spring to fall. Plant en masse or in a mixed shrub border. Also looks good against a wall or fence. Foliage is great for flower arrangements.

Plant the top of the root ball level with garden soil. Add soil under the plant to adjust the height of the plant. Firm down the soil as you fill in the hole so that it is not blown over in a strong wind. Water well to consolidate the soil. Prefers well-drained, fertile soil. Fertilze with well-rotted manure or compost at planting time and top dress in spring. Choisya have no special pruning needs. Prune to shape and size that you want. Can tolerate full sun near coast but needs light shade in hotter parts of the county. If in too much shade will get straggly and bear few flowers. Once established watering should be infrequent but deep.

Bees are highly attracted to the nectar of this plant.

No significant pests or diseases. Aphids can occasionally be a problem (see UC IPM)

Master Gardener Comments
Varietals

C. ternate ' Sundance' - bright yellow leaves when folige is young. Yellow green leaves when mature

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