Chimonanthus praecox – Wintersweet
This plant really lives up to its common name bearing cluster upon cluster of waxy yellow blooms with an inner smudge of maroon as though each bloom has been kissed by a mysterious, lipstick laden femme fatale before leaving the most delightfully sweet scent upon each flower – there to linger all the way through the cold of winter.
A beautiful winter plant to grow up against a warm and sheltered wall in full sun ideally near a path where each flower can give off their scent to be enjoyed. This is an ideal plant to use in flower arranging as they have a long vase life and make the house smell divine! Pick the flowers in bud and they will open in no time in a warm room.
These highly scented flowers are produced on mature wood and it can take a few years before young plants produce any flowers – therefore it is best to not prune the plant until after it has started flowering and only then prune back flowering stems of well trained plants after flowering in the late spring.
Apply a 5-7cm thick mulch of well rotted garden compost or manure to the base of the plant in Spring.