Choisya is a genus of plants belonging to the Rutaceae family that has 10 species, among them one of the most popular is choisya ternata or Mexican orange. They are originally from the USA. UU. (Arizona, New Mexico and Texas) and south in Mexico. They are perennial shrubs that reach 1-3 meters high. The rustic of these small bushes, together with the beauty of their floral clusters, are the reasons why so many gardeners choose to plant them. In this article we will see how to perform the pruning of choisya, how, when and with what tools to use. We will also take some time to give the key care so that this bush remains healthy and strong.

Note: Please note that the advice given here is general, this blog is consulted from many countries in the world, with totally different characteristics, what not all tips will be adapted in the same way in all cases. Once you finish reading the article it will be necessary to analyze all the information and apply what you have learned in the best way. If you have any questions, remember that you can contact us to make your inquiries.

1. How to care a choisya

It is well known that pruning is one of the cares that need this shrub, but there are other points to consider. In this short section we will deal with it. 🙂

  • Temperature: this shrub can adequately withstand low temperatures of up to -12 ºC, making it ideal for cold climates.
  • Plagues and diseases: it is very rustic and resistant to pests and diseases, and everything is good to check it with some periodicity to confirm that it is not suffering attacks of any kind.
  • Soil: he prefers sandy, well drained. They can be well managed in low fertile soils.
Mexican orange flowers
Mexican orange flowers
  • Lighting: it is preferable to locate this shrub in places that, during times of intense sun, do not have a direct exposure.
  • Irrigation: in case of a period of prolonged drought, water as soon as the soil is dry, especially during the first year after planting.
  • Propagation: the best technique to multiply the choisya is the cuttings. This method is simple and easy to perform.
  • Pruning: for logical reasons this point could not be missing from the list. Then we will develop this extensively.

2. What tools do you need to prune your choisya

There are several tools available to carry out the pruning of your choisya bush, the selection of each one will go hand in hand with the age, type of pruning or objective you are looking for with this task. Among the tools you can use are the following:

  • Hand Pruning Shears: Stems up to half inch in diameter can be pruned with hand shears.
  • Lopping Shears: It is suitable to use on stems between half inch and 2 inches in diameter.
  • Pole Pruner: Pole pruners have a hooked blade above and a cutting blade beneath. The blades are on a 5- to 6-foot long pole and are operated by pulling on a long piece of cord.
  • Hedge Shears: Manual and power shears are available for trimming hedges. Manual shears have long, flat blades with relatively short handles and are good for small jobs. Electric shears are a good choice for larger hedges.
  • Saws: A number of pruning saws are available. These saws come with either curved or straight blades and of variable lengths and points. Curved blades that cut on the draw stroke are easy to use.
  • Protective elements: Never forget to use protective items such as gloves and gardening glasses. You are using sharp tools so protection is important.

Always remember to disinfect tool blades before starting pruning, as well as when switching from one plant to another. This will help you not to disperse diseases and / or pests from one plant to another.

2.1 Needed care of pruning tools

Try to perform the following care in your pruning tools to extend useful life.

  • Use the right tool for a job and avoid twisting or straining it.
  • Clean and oil tools regularly by wiping an oily cloth on blades and other surfaces.
  • Keep cutting edges sharp by regularly using an oilstone.
  • Wooden handles should be varnished or regularly treated with linseed oil to keep them from cracking or splintering.

Keep in mind that if you extend the life of your tools you will not be doing anything other than saving money. 😉

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3. Pruning choisya – How and when to prune

Choisya, among them the Mexican orange tree (choisya ternata), is a kind of evergreen flower plant. This means that it keeps its green leaves all year round and, in general, only requires an annual pruning session suitable for it to grow in a healthy way and obtain the desired result.

Pruning in this bush is not a vitally important practice, but doing it properly can help to improve health and a better flower in the plant. Therefore, we will give some key tips to carry out the task as well as possible.

3.1 Perform cleaning pruning

There is no plant or shrub that does not have the need for cleaning pruning, this will help the health and the aesthetics of the plant. The elements to be cut during this pruning are:

  • Branked branches
  • Slender and dead branches
  • Branches that zig-zig each other
  • Broots that grow in undesirable directions

Both damaged and dried branches should be trimmed mostly for aesthetic reasons. But it does not pass the same with diseased branches or leaves, these must be eliminated quickly to avoid a greater spread of the disease to the whole shrub. If you notice that pruning is not enough to stop the disease, consult an expert to recommend a pesticide, fungicide or the appropriate product.

The success of this pruning of choisya will depend almost exclusively on the good observation of the pruner. So you should take your time, do not rush or you can leave unwanted branches.

3.2 Pruning to form the choisya

When we have a bush in our garden, it is attractive to give it a shape that looks aesthetically good, we will achieve that with our choisya by pruning. Remember that these pruning tips will serve you for your Mexican orange tree (choisya ternata).

Given this there are two very different cases; when it is the first pruning to shape, or when the bush is formed and we must keep it.

For the first pruning we must start by keeping in mind what form we will give it. Once you are clear about the shape you can just start cutting. The second case is simpler, it could be said that it is enough to look for the cut of the previous pruning, cut at that height, and we will have obtained the original form. There are some tips that you should not forget when shaping your choisya.

  • Start by cutting all the crawling branches, usually these develop a lot and may be little aesthetic for your bush.
Pruning choisya
Pruning choisya
  • If you want to get a shape like the one in the previous photo start with this pruning from the top of your choisya and go down while you work. This will simplify your work to shape it. The branches at the top should be shorter than those at the bottom, something that will be difficult to do if you start from the bottom up. When you finish, the bush should look wider at the bottom than what is seen at the top.
  • Following advice to achieve the shape of the image, pruning taking into account that the central part of the bush should be wider. Therefore the upper and lower branches to the center should decrease in size as they move away from the center.
  • In general, perennial shrubs adapt better to shapes such as the image and not to geometrically straight shapes, where all branches have the same length. Keep this in mind when deciding what form to give your Mexican coisya or orange tree.

3.3 When to prune your choisya

In general the best time to prune perennial shrubs such as choisya is before there are new growths. It is more convenient to do it at the beginning of spring, but you can also prune them at the end of winter if it is not too cold to work outside.

When it comes to cleaning pruning, as explained in section 3.1, we can say that there is no special time to do it. It is always a good time to trim sick or dry branches.

4. Pruning choisya and mexican orange video

To close the post we leave a video of the plantamnesty channel, where you can graphically understand several things that we saw so far. I hope it helps you. 🙂

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So far we have come up with this brief article about how and when to prune your choisya and / or Mexican orange tree (choisya ternata), I hope that everything seen up to here has been very clear, otherwise or do not hesitate to contact us. 😉