Another good shrub for cutting back at this time of year is Choisya ternata “Sundance”. About now those lovely sunny yellow leaves which lifted your spirits through the worst of the winter weather turn a pale washed-out shade of sickly. It’s time to prune them off and allow the new, green growth to come through and turn yellow in its place. It also gives the bush a lovely rounded shape for next winter, as the new growth comes through in nice neat rosettes and all stays the same length, more or less.
It’s pretty simple – just take the secateurs and trim down to the next rosette of leaves, usually about 6″ or so down the stem. If there isn’t a rosette, just trim out the whole stem. You don’t need to cut it back hard: just shape it to the size you’d like and leave it.
Choisya is one of the few shrubs you can hack back without ruining the appearance: though it does change colour temporarily, from yellow to green, a healthy plant carries enough leaves in the centre of the bush to keep it looking nice and dense. After you’ve finished, give it a feed of pelleted chicken manure and a good water and mulch, and it’ll be set fair to keep you smiling in winter all over again.