Also known as the Golden Mexican Orange, the Sundance Mexican Orange is a decorative shrub, native to Central America, which can be planted alone, in clumps or in free hedges. It grows on rich and well-drained soils that are exposed to shade and sheltered from strong winds. The Sundance Mexican Orange is known for its hardiness and can withstand temperatures as low as 17.5 ° F (-8°C). 

There are several varieties of Mexican orange trees which all have one thing in common: beautiful evergreen foliage. The Sundance variety bears golden foliage and is three feet tall. The Aztec Pearl variety has very fine foliage divided into slender leaflets and bears white and pink flowers. It can reach an approximate height of 3 feet. The Goldfinger variety, measuring 8 feet, is particularly hardy and has persistent yellow foliage.

Overview of the Sundance Mexican Orange 

Native to Central America, Sundance Mexican Orange belongs to the Rutaceae family. It is a citrus fruit known by the scientific name Choisya ternata that can reach 10 feet in height when growing under favourable conditions. The Sundance Mexican Orange can be distinguished by its white flowers that look like orange flowers with their narrow, yellow-coloured leaves that turn green in the summer. Flowering occurs in April, May and towards the end of summer. Rustling a leaf with your fingers will allow you to enjoy the citrus fragrance released by the plant. Its round and compact shape provides nice visual aesthetics. This plant is valued for its pepper and citrus scent, its bright and persistent foliage and its small white star-shaped flowers. The Sundance Mexican Orange is also a melliferous plant that attracts insect pollinators.

The growing technique of Sundance Mexican Orange 

Growing Sundance Mexican Orange can be done by the taking of cuttings throughout the whole summer with cuttings collected on plants from the previous year. Cuttings are obtained by cutting young stems with clean, sharp pruning shears. To enable root formation, hormones can be used as a form of preventive treatment before planting. Plants can also be purchased in pots or in containers for larger quantities. The seedlings are planted 3 to 5 feet apart from each other. In cold climates, the Sundance Mexican Orange will be grown in an area sheltered by a wall. However, in mild climates, it can be planted in- ground, preferably along a wall facing north. During planting, the soil will be enriched with compost or manure. Abundant watering needs to be carried out regularly, taking care not to flood the roots to prevent them from rotting.

Maintenance of Sundance Mexican Orange 

The Sundance Mexican Orange, an easy-to-maintain species that does not fear parasites, should be generously watered during hot and dry season. During the first two summers, it is advisable to mulch the young plants. Mulching is intended to limit the soil’s water evaporation and to fight off the growth of weeds. During the summer, pruning after flowering also limits the plant’s growth in height. While the first year does not require pruning, older branches will undergo a trimming every 3 to 4 years which will consist of removing a third of their length. Pruning can be carried out at the beginning of vegetative recovery and at the end of winter, whenever the need arises. However, pruning may affect the next flowering period.

Helpful tips to guide you 

Planting your Sundance Mexican Orange in a beautiful blue pottery coated with varnish creates a contrast with the golden-yellow foliage that provides a nice visual aesthetic effect to decorate your patio or balcony. Your garden gate can be framed using 2 ball-shaped Sundance Mexican Orange plants. During the winter when the plant is covered by snowflakes, brush off that weight by gently shaking the branches. The Sundance Mexican Orange is also a decorative plant so do not hesitate to integrate it, along with other species growing in your garden, in shrubs or hedges. Vines like Clematis macropetala “Blue,” or perennials such as purple geranium or lavender are welcome neighbours to the Sundance Mexican Orange.

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Published in Flowering shrubs by Alexander on 04 Jul 2011