Chimonanthus praecox (Wintersweet)

Chimonanthus praecox, commonly known as Wintersweet, is a deciduous shrub celebrated for its enchanting and sweetly scented winter blossoms.

Chimonanthus Praecox (wintersweet)

Here’s a closer look at this captivating plant:


  • Wintersweet is a deciduous shrub that shines during the winter months when many other plants are dormant. It features a bushy, upright, and vase-shaped growth habit with slightly arching branches.
  • In mid to late winter, this shrub graces the garden with a profusion of small, bowl-shaped flowers. These blooms are highly fragrant and have almost transparent, greenish-yellow outer petals with short reddish-purple inner tepals. The delightful fragrance adds a sensory treat to the winter garden.
  • Wintersweet’s foliage consists of lanceolate, dark green leaves that turn yellow in the fall, providing multi-season interest.

Growing Conditions:

  • This shrub is best cultivated in full sun, but it can also tolerate partial shade.
  • It thrives in average, well-drained soils with medium moisture levels. Once established, Wintersweet exhibits drought tolerance.
  • Wintersweet is a valuable addition to mixed shrub borders, cottage gardens, and city gardens. Its winter blooms are particularly appreciated for brightening up the landscape during the cold season.


  • Wintersweet is a low-maintenance plant with few pest and disease issues.
  • Minimal pruning is required, primarily to remove crossing, dead, or diseased branches. This pruning is typically done in late spring.


  • You can propagate Wintersweet by seed, which should be sown in containers in a cold frame as soon as it’s ripe.
  • Softwood cuttings taken in the summer are another effective method for propagating this shrub.

Native Range:

  • Wintersweet is native to China.

In summary, Chimonanthus praecox, or Wintersweet, is a delightful addition to the garden, offering much-needed color and fragrance during the winter months. Its sweetly scented flowers and vibrant yellow foliage in the fall make it a valuable choice for gardeners looking to enhance their winter landscapes.