Mock Orange

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Lawn & Garden

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The mock orange is a popular garden shrub that is widely grown for its long branches filled with pure white, fragrant flowers. It is a spring bloomer, with flowers that are about an inch wide. While most types of mock oranges have single flowers, double-flowered varieties are also available. The leaves of the mock orange are pointed ovals that drop in fall. Mature bushes can grow up to 12 feet tall and wide.

To grow mock oranges, plant them with ample spacing in any type of soil. However, they thrive in rich soil with good drainage that is slightly acidic to neutral. It’s best to prune the shrubs after the flowers finish blooming to improve the shape of the plant and prevent the canes from becoming too old or the bushes from becoming too thick.

The mock orange is a large deciduous shrub that is perfect for use in a shrubbery border or as an informal hedge.

Scientific name: Philadelphus coronarius

Looking for more information? Check out these resources:

  • Landscape Shrubs. Get tips on how to define your space and showcase your favorite plants with these versatile shrubs. They are organized by type and season.
  • Evergreen Shrubs. Discover a variety of shrubs that stay green all year long and can brighten up any winter garden, especially in northern climates.
  • Types of Shrubs. Learn about the different types of shrubs that can help create lines and boundaries in your garden, while providing privacy and protection.


1. What is a mock orange?

A mock orange is a shrub or small tree that belongs to the Philadelphus genus. It is native to North America, Europe, and Asia, and is known for its fragrant white flowers that resemble those of an orange blossom.

2. How do you care for a mock orange plant?

Mock orange plants prefer well-draining soil and full sun to partial shade. They should be watered regularly, especially during dry spells. Pruning should be done in late winter or early spring to remove old or damaged wood and to shape the plant. Fertilizing once a year with a slow-release fertilizer can help promote healthy growth.

3. When do mock orange plants bloom?

Mock orange plants typically bloom in late spring to early summer, although the exact timing can vary depending on the species and location. The flowers usually last for a few weeks and are followed by small fruit that resembles a capsule.

4. What are some common species of mock orange?

Some common species of mock orange include Philadelphus coronarius, Philadelphus lewisii, and Philadelphus virginalis. Each species has its own unique characteristics, such as flower color, fragrance, and size.

5. Can mock orange plants be grown in containers?

Yes, mock orange plants can be grown in containers as long as they have enough room to grow and are given adequate care. It is important to choose a large enough container and use well-draining soil. Container-grown mock orange plants may require more frequent watering and fertilizing than those grown in the ground.

6. Are mock orange plants toxic?

No, mock orange plants are not toxic to humans or pets. However, the fruit may be mildly toxic if ingested in large quantities.

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