Mock orange tree (Philadelphus coronarius) is a deciduous shrub (it loses its leaves in the autumn) with a thick, rounded growth habit that grows in a variety of climates and conditions. It has round, serrated, dark green leaves that are serrated on the edges. In addition, it has spectacular, cup-shaped, four-petal blooms that bloom in the late spring and early summer and are around 1 to 2 inches in diameter. This shrub’s blossoms are quite fragrant, which is one of the key reasons many gardeners choose to cultivate them.
Mock orange is a popular name for this shrub because the blooms are thought to mimic orange blossoms, which is how it got its common name. They produce a lot of nectar, which attracts a lot of pollinators, including butterflies. Mock orange bushes grow at a somewhat rapid pace, gaining around 2 feet per year on average. Ideally, they should be planted in the early autumn, but they may also be planted in the spring.
Mock Orange Tree Cultivars
Despite the fact that the aroma of imitation orange bushes is a prominent marketing factor, not all types have the same fragrance. Therefore, a nice time to purchase is while the shrub is in bloom at the nursery, so you can smell it before you buy it. It is important to note that the blossoms are most fragrant in the evening. Mock orange shrubs are available in a variety of colors and shapes, including:
- Aurea ‘Aurea’: This variant is more compact than the original species plant, growing just 5 to 6 feet tall and wide, with gold leaf in the spring. It is a good choice for small spaces.
- ‘Blizzard’: Despite the fact that it is very hardy in cold climates, this cultivar only grows to be around 5 feet high and 3 feet wide.
- “Miniature Snowflake” is a dwarf variety that only grows to be about 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide, but it produces exceptionally fragrant double flowers in the spring and summer (having extra petals).
- “Snowbelle”: This type, which only grows to be around 4 feet tall and broad, has fragrant double blossoms that decorate its branches.
- Variegatus is a shrub that grows to a maximum height of 6 feet and has variegated foliage that is white and green in color.
Mock Orange Tree Maintenance and Care
When mock orange bushes bloom in the spring, they are at their most appealing. Due to their limited availability for the rest of the year and their inability to be considered specimen plants, they are not recommended as such. However, they may be planted in bunches to create an informal privacy hedge during the summer months, and their blooms are often used as cut flowers to decorate arrangements. It is only necessary to ensure that their planting location has enough drainage since these shrubs will not tolerate being flooded.
Mock orange bushes are rather low-maintenance in terms of their care. Pests and illnesses do not pose a significant threat to them. Established bushes, on the other hand, will only need watering during times of prolonged drought. Ensure that you fertilize and trim your shrub at least once a year.
Requirements for Light and Soil
These shrubs may thrive in full sun to moderate shade, which means they need at least four hours of direct sunshine on most days to flourish. Planting them in full light will often result in more flowers being produced.
Mock orange bushes want soil that is rich in organic matter. They can handle a broad variety of soil types—including sandy, clay, and loamy soils—as long as they have sufficient drainage. Furthermore, they thrive on soils with pH values ranging from acidic to neutral.
Water and Fertilizer Resources
These bushes like soil that is damp but not waterlogged. Once they’ve established themselves, they’ll tolerate some dryness, but don’t allow the soil to get entirely dry around them. During seasons of drought, water established shrubs to keep them healthy, and water young shrubs to keep the soil mildly damp.
When planting faux oranges, incorporate some compost, bark humus, or manure into the soil before planting. Then, in the late spring, sprinkle a layer of compost around the shrub and mix it into the soil to prepare it for the following year’s feedings. It is not necessary to apply a nitrogen-rich fertilizer. It could cause a lot of leaf growth, which could stop or even completely stop flower growth.
Temperature and Humidity Level
Mock orange bushes are resilient to cold weather in their growth zones, and hence do not need winter protection most of the time. Extra water and shelter from the intense afternoon sun will be much appreciated by them in the extreme heat. The presence of humidity is usually not a problem for these plants.
Preparing the Mock Orange Tree for Pruning
Mock orange bushes blossom on the growth from the previous year. As a result, trim the bushes promptly after they have finished flowering to ensure that you don’t lose out on blossoms the next year. Trim the growth above the point where you see the outer-facing buds on stems that have just completed blooming. Additionally, cut away any branches that are dead, broken, or badly formed.
Mock orange bushes may get a little overgrown as they grow older and mature. Once this is accomplished, you may prune the oldest one-third of the branches all the way down to the ground level during your yearly pruning. After three years of this kind of trimming, the bush should seem to be in better shape. In the spring, trim all of the branches of highly overgrown bushes all the way to the ground. You won’t be able to experience any blossoms that year. If the shrub’s base has been cut back, it will soon grow new branches.
How to Propagate Mock Orange
Rather than purchasing a new mock orange shrub from a nursery, cuttings can be used to propagate the plant, which is much more cost-effective in the long run. Taking cuttings is best done in the summer when the shrub is actively developing. Here’s how it’s done:
- Fill a small container halfway with a seed-starting mix that drains quickly. Check to ensure that the pot has drainage holes.
- Cut a piece of branch that is approximately 5 inches long just below a leaf node with sterile pruning shears to the desired length.
- Remove the leaves from the bottom section of your cutting, leaving at least two sets of leaves on the upper half of your cutting.
- A rooting hormone should be applied to the cut end of your branch.
- Bury the cut end in the growth medium you’ve chosen. Keep the soil moist, but avoid allowing it to get soggy.
Maintain a bright, indirect light source for the pot, and keep the soil lightly moist at all times. The formation of roots should take around a month. When you gently pull on the stem of the cutting, you will know that it is ready to be transplanted to the location where you want it to grow.
How to Get the Plants to Bloom (with Pictures)
The show-stopping blossoms of this shrub are mock orange. The four-petal white blooms, which bloom in clusters of five to seven, are often found in May and June and have a pleasant fragrance. They will quickly re-bloom year after year as long as the shrub is in good health and flourishing in the best circumstances available.
The ability of this shrub to bloom abundantly is dependent on the amount of sunshine it receives. Ideally, the shrub should get full sun, which means at least six hours of direct sunshine on most days. However, it may survive in somewhat less favorable circumstances.
Furthermore, pruning down around one-third of a mature shrub’s oldest branches will foster the growth of new, more strong stems, which in turn should result in the production of more blooms. It is not required to remove the spent flowers from the garden (remove spent blooms).
Mock Orange Tree Pests and Diseases
When cultivated in the correct setting, the mock orange is not known to have many issues with pests and diseases. In the other hand, if you don’t give your child enough food or water, he or she might have a lot of problems.
Flowering is mediocre
Mock orange bushes that aren’t flowering well or at all are often the result of improper trimming practices. Be careful to prune quickly after your shrub has finished blooming for the season. If you don’t, you run the danger of removing the flower buds for next year’s bloom.
Additionally, assess the environmental conditions of your plant. If you’re fertilizing your grass near your shrub, you could unintentionally be providing it with an excessive amount of nitrogen. When you do a soil test, you may find out if the soil surrounding your plant has an excessive amount of nitrogen.
The leaves changing into Yellow
Excessive watering of a fake orange shrub may typically result in yellowing of the leaf. Although this shrub prefers damp soil, it does not do well in soggy conditions. Check to see that your soil is draining effectively, and experiment with increasing the amount of time between watering.