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A useful shrub grown by the back door or under a window to appreciate the light spicy winter scent
- Position: full sun
- Soil: any fertile, well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: fast-growing
- Flowering period: December to February
- Hardiness: fully hardy
Small, sweetly scented, sulphur-yellow flowers, stained purple inside appear on bare branches throughout the winter months. This vigorous shrub will ususally take a few years to start to flower, but they are well worth the wait and they will make a lovely specimen plant for a sunny, well-drained mixed or winter border. Try to plant it close to a house entrance or path where its scent can be appreciated. Highly prized by floral arrangers, a stem of these unusual, bowl-shaped blooms makes a wonderfully fragrant indoor display.
- Garden care: Minimal pruning is required. Remove crossing, dead or diseased branches in late spring and apply a generous 5-7cm (2-3in) mulch of well-rotted garden compost or manure around the base of the plant.
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Comments about Chimonanthus praecox:
waiting for it to flower this year, looks ok at the moment, but living in hope that it will live up to expectations
- Your Gardening Experience:
- Real novice
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Q:Is it normal for the Wintersweet to arrive (February) as just a bunch of bare twigs? Will I need to wait until net winter before it shows any signs of life?Asked on 9/3/2016 by Marilyn from West Coast, Scotland
This plant flowers on bare stems through the winter then the leaves appear, so soon it should start to shoot, but you probably won't have any flowers for a few years yet.
Hope this helpsAnswered on 10/3/2016 by Anonymous from crocus
Q:Winter flowering shrubs and climbers to plant with new hedge
Hello, I have newly planted a hedge (made up from Hornbeam, Rosa rugosa, Blackthorn, Cornus, Hawthorn and Hazel) about 50ft long. I have been told that if I was to plant amongst the hedge some winter flowering Clematis such as 'Wisley Cream' it would give some nice colour these bleak winter months when the hedge is bare of foliage. The hedge is south facing and although the ground is ???good??? heavy Cambridgeshire clay the hedge has been planted in a trench back filled with leaf mulch, chipped wood and spent peat. Although I have said about in-planting Clematis in the hedge, I am open to other plant suggestions if you have any. Regards TerryAsked on 31/12/2009 by Terry Allum
A:Hello Terry, If you click on the following link it will take you to all our winter flowering climbers - of which the Jasminum is tougher and more like a shrub. http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/climbers/plcid.15/vid.204/ Alternatively, this link will take you to all our winter flowering shrubs. http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/plcid.1/vid.204/ I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 5/1/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Chimonanthus loosing it's leaves?
I bought a Chimonanthus from you in the spring and planted it in a sheltered spot next to my kitchen. It is looking decidedly sad with some leaves turning brown and falling off, but others looking OK. As it is a winter flowering plant I am worried about the shedding leaves. Is this normal and should I be doing anything to the plant? Many thanks, LizzieAsked on 17/12/2009 by Lizzie Andrews
A:Hello Lizzie, These deciduous shrubs produce their flowers on bare branches throughout the winter months, so it is normal for them to be losing their leaves at this time of the year. All you need to do is plant it out if it isn't already and make sure it is kept watered if we don't get any rain. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 17/12/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
A:Dear Helen, Many thanks, I did think that now I have seen flowers on bare stems!! LizzieAnswered on 17/12/2009 by Lizzie Andrews
Q:Chimonanthus praecox - 'Wintersweet'
I am looking to buy a Chimonanthus praecox-'Wintersweet'. Can you tell me how old the plant will be in a 3 litre pot? Best regards, CortneyAsked on 21/9/2009 by David Aaron
A:Hello Cortney, The Chimonanthus praecox in a 3 ltr pot will be around 3 years old. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 22/9/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:Plants suitable for patio pots
Hello I wanted to enquire if you have a Sarocococca hookeriana var. humilis, I looked online but it's not listed. I am askng for that particular plant, because I only have a patio and want plants that won't grow to an enormous size or require spectacular care. A rosemary and a dwarf syringa I bought from you are doing very well. Plants always arrive in very good condition which I really appreciate. A Myrtus communis subsp. 'Tarentina' which I potted up immediately in a larger pot suffered shock I think, - I wonder what you know about this myrtle? I am wanting to grow plants on a small patio in containers and wonder if the following plants are suitable:- Sarcococca hookeriana var. humilis (if you have got it) or a Sarcococca hookeriana digyna (which is in your listings). Winter Jasmine, or any of the other Jasmines, Wintersweet, Witchhazel, Abelia grandiflora but would this be too large for my patio- I am thinking of winter cheer with its red berries, and Nandina Domestica. Many thanks BernadetteAsked on 26/7/2009 by Bernadette Matthews
A:Hello Bernadette, I'm afraid we do not sell Sacrocococca hookeriana var. humilis, but the other two we list will be fine in a large pot as long as they are kept well fed and watered. It is my experience that most plants will cope if the pot is big enough and they are well looked after, however larger plants like the Jasminum nudiflorum, Wintersweet, Witchhazel, Abelia or Nandinas will eventually run out of steam and need to be placed into the garden. You should however be able to get a good few years from them. As for the Myrtus, I have not heard that they particularly dislike being moved, but as they are not fully hardy they need protection in winter. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 27/7/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:What plants would you suggest for a winter gift?
I would like to send a present in November to someone who loves the garden - any suggestions as to what you could offer? (I previously sent one of your ornamental bay trees, which was very successful).Asked on 17/10/2006 by Jennifer Baldwin
A:We do have some lovely winter-flowering plants that would make nice gifts. Just click on the link below each plant name to find out more about that particular one. 'Chimonanthus praecox' http://www.crocus.co.uk/findplant/selectionresults/?ContentType=Plant_Card&ClassID=820&CategoryID= 'Camellia sasanqua Plantation Pink' http://www.crocus.co.uk/findplant/selectionresults/?ContentType=Plant_Card&ClassID=1341&CategoryID= 'Clematis cirrhosa Jingle Bells' http://www.crocus.co.uk/findplant/selectionresults/?ContentType=Plant_Card&ClassID=2000003353&CategoryID= Hamamelis http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/results/?q=hamamelis Helleborus http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/results/?q=helleborus Lonicera x purpusii Winter Beauty' http://www.crocus.co.uk/findplant/selectionresults/?ContentType=Plant_Card&ClassID=4111&CategoryID= 'Sarcococca confusa' http://www.crocus.co.uk/findplant/selectionresults/?ContentType=Plant_Card&ClassID=4367&CategoryID= 'Viburnum x bodnantense Charles Lamont' http://www.crocus.co.uk/findplant/selectionresults/?ContentType=Plant_Card&ClassID=4488&CategoryID=Answered on 17/10/2006 by Crocus
The garden is at its most dormant right now, so it’s a good time to catch up on any pruning missed or forgotten since the autumn. If the weather isn’t favourable, you can leave it for a week or two, but make sure all winter pruning is completed before theRead full article
The subtly-toned wintersweet Chimonanthus praecox is one of the most useful winter shrubs, producing almost translucent antique-yellow flowers warmed by a dash of blood-red. However this shrub needs a great deal of space and good light, taking up a 2m sprRead full article