Choisya ternata ‘Aztec Pearl’

After a rather unproductive day, workwise, it was good to spend a few hours in the garden this evening, once the wind had dropped.

I caught up on some potting on of plants that were greatly in need of it. Languishing in its pot was a rather spindly specimen of Choisya ternata – not the ordinary one, which I find rather a lumpy plant, or its yellow-leaved form – but ‘Aztec Pearl’, which has much thinner leaves, giving the whole shrub an airier and more elegant appearance.

'Actec Pearl' has much thinner leaves than its parent, Choisya ternata

'Actec Pearl' has much thinner leaves than its parent, Choisya ternata

I bought this for a photo-shoot, the requirement being for a neglected plant that isn’t worth buying. Well, I’ve got it now, so I might as well increase its chances. Although, as you can see in the picture, all the stems are bare at the base, the growth at the tips is healthy, and removing some developing seed heads should divert its energies into producing more leaves. I’m hoping it will put on some good growth between now and winter (including the roots), in which case I can give it a hard prune next spring. The year after, I can think about planting it out.

The advantage of keeping it in a pot for now means I can keep a close eye on it over the next year. My ex-students will have a good laugh about this – the only suitable pot I could find to hand was a brown glazed earthenware one with bamboo stems etched into the glaze – exactly the sort of thing I usually tell them is irretrievably naff.

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