Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Wintersweet Plant Profile

 Fragrant Wintersweet or simply Wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox) is a pleasantly scented shrub that blooms in mid-winter through February. Its delicate flowers emerge along the stems before the foliage unfurls. The blooms are translucent and waxy. Ice and snow don’t faze them.

   Wintersweet does best in full to part-sun. It prefers moist, but well-draining soils. It is drought-tolerant once established.

   The shrub does not need fertilizing, although it appreciates a bit of shredded leaf mulch around its root zone in the late fall.

    It puts out multi-stemmed growth in a rough vase shape from 6–12 feet tall and wide. It can get a bit leggy, so a hard pruning to rejuvenate it and remove the old stems is recommended after the bloom cycle is complete.

   Wintersweet is originally from China, It does support pollinators, and birds will feast on its non-showy fruits. The shrub can take a few years until you see the first blossoms. To propagate it, take a softwood cutting or collect the seeds from those fruits. It may also self-seed. Note that the seedlings are often the straight species, which blooms earlier in the cold season.

   Wintersweet - You can grow that!

The video was produced by Washington Gardener Magazine.

Visuals by Khloe Quill
Audio by Kathy Jentz

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