The Choisya Ternata (Mexican Orange Blossom) Full Care Guide

The Mexican Orange Blossom, otherwise known as the Choisya Ternata or Mexican Orange Flower, Mexican Orange, Choisya Grandiflora, is a rather well known shrub plant by gardening enthusiasts around the world.

Best known for its low maintenance and moderate growth, this shrub will likely liven up your house (or garden) with its green-colored leaves. But, only if you learn how to take proper care of it for it to thrive.

This is why all the topics you need to know in order to achieve this will be covered in this Mexican Orange Blossom Care Guide. Ready? Let’s go!

The basic care guidelines you need to remember for your Mexican Orange Blossom are the following:

  • Water: The Mexican Orange Blossom prefers constant watering each week and more during the hot season.
  • Light: Keep your Choisya Ternata in an environment where it can receive partial to full sun on a daily basis. 
  • Soil: Make sure to keep the Mexican Orange Blossom in soil with well-draining properties, so ideally, one that is made of clay, loam, chalk, and sand.

And as with many other plants, these are the only three care factors you need to remember to make sure your Mexican Orange Blossom is, for the most part, healthy and well to survive.

Scientific / Botanical Aspects

In botanical terms, the Mexican Orange Blossom belongs to the Rutaceae family, the genus Choisya and the species Ternata, hence its scientific (or botanical) name Choisya Ternata (choy-zee-a ter-NAH-ta).

As with other Choisya’s, the Mexican Orange Blossom is an evergreen plant, which means it will be present year round in your garden.

Growing Region

The Mexican Orange Blossom is a plant native to Mexico.

As a rule of thumb, we recommend to always keep in mind your plants’ native region and environment, since these are the conditions that your Mexican Orange Blossom is most accustomed to, thus where it can most favorably.

With this in mind, the Choisya Ternata will be most used to the heat zones in the 8 – 10 region, as the plant hardiness level falls between 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a, 10b, 10a and the ideal climate zone is between 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.

Growth and Size


In terms of size and growth, the Mexican Orange Blossom is a relatively moderate grower, which makes things somewhat easy for any plant enthusiast.


But, what size of Mexican Orange Blossom are we talking about? What can you expect in terms of height, spread and spacing? Let’s dig in…

The Choisya Ternata can grow up to 4′ – 8′ (120cm – 240cm) in 4′ – 8′ (120cm – 240cm) and 4′ – 8′ (120cm – 240cm) in 4′ – 8′ (120cm – 240cm). 


In terms of watering, the Mexican Orange Blossom is a fairly simple plant to take care of. This is mostly because it has a straightforward watering schedule and somewhat regular watering needs.

Specifically, most experts agree that the Choisya Ternata prefers constant watering each week and more during the hot season.

Which is why it is considered a plant with relatively average needs in terms of water. 

As a rule of thumb, you should remember to keep your Mexican Orange Blossom in soil with well-draining characteristics, as these will guarantee the right conditions for your plant to grow and thrive. 

When you consider this, this is why you should aim to choose soil that has good drainage, and moist properties to keep the right moisture levels at all times. 

In our experience, the famous ‘thumb’ or ‘finger’ test is what works best for the Mexican Orange Blossom since with it, you will be able to give it the right amount of water, every time – regardless of the environment or placement where you do decide to keep it.

Soil Mix

As mentioned earlier, the Mexican Orange Blossom prefers to have soil with good drainage, and moist properties at all times, reason why you need to make the soil mix out of clay, loam, chalk, and sand.

This is why most experts agree that the Mexican Orange Blossom requires soil with clay, and loam (silt), which will give you the right conditions it needs.

In addition to this, expert gardeners recommend having preferably alkaline, acid or neutral soil.

Light and Exposure

In terms of light & exposure, the Mexican Orange Blossom requires partial to full sun in order for it to thrive under the right conditions. 

Most experts agree that this shrub will do well as long as you keep it in full sun, and it will be able to grow properly.

Specifically, we recommend that you place your Choisya Ternata in little to partial shade (only 2-6 hours of direct sunlight a day), to full and direct sun (more 6 hours of direct sunlight per day).


Being an evergreen plant, the Mexican Orange Blossom will be present year round in your garden. But, you can expect it to have its ‘prime-time’ during the spring (late), the summer (early, mid, late), and during the fall.


You can expect your Mexican Orange Blossom to flower around the spring and in the summer months from April to June (spring), and from July to September (summer). 

In particular, this shrub is well known for its repeat-flowering, fragrant and showy flowers around the plant enthusiast community.

The Mexican Orange Blossom produces some beautiful white flowers around this time of year.


The leaves from the Mexican Orange Blossom have a beautiful green color during most of the year.

In particular, they have a compound (pinnately, bipinnately, palmately) arrangement with a opposite organization in its leaves.

You can expect the leaves from your Choisya Ternata to be around (3-6 inches) in size.

Attracts, Tolerance and Resistance

The Mexican Orange Blossom is well known for being able to attract butterflies, so keep that in mind when choosing your plant, as you’ll likely end up finding one or another in your garden.

Additionally, it has a special tolerance for drought and animals like rabbit, so don’t worry if any of these come along, your Choisya Ternata will be fine.


How should you then organize your garden to include your new Mexican Orange Blossom? Here are some recommendations by expert gardeners.

Most Choisya Ternata owners agree that this shrub will look great in most rustic, contemporary and tropical gardens of all types. 

Other owners consider that they complement well most gardens of city and courtyard, and in mediterranean garden styles. 

In particular, the Mexican Orange Blossom’s best location within your garden is in patio and containers, hedges and screens, and in wall-side borders, others use it for landscaping in a urban garden, specimen, privacy screen, hillside, hedge, container, border, or a woodland garden.

Companion Plants

Mexican Orange Blossom’s do well with some other plants beside it. One good companion plant is the Ceanothus, which will pair up nicely with your leafy friend.

Others consider that a nice Lagerstroemia or a Fatsia Japonica will work well too, so choose whichever you find works best for you!


Even though we covered a lot of care information for your Mexican Orange Blossom, remember the basics: sunlight, soil and water, as these should be enough to grow a healthy plant at home.

Martin Duran

Hey y'all! My name is Martin Duran and I am from Cali, Colombia. Since 2018 I have been learning about plants and how to take care of them. Here's is my journey... “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ― John Muir

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