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Caring for the Mock Orange Tree – The Philadelphus Coronarius

Mock oranges are easy-to-grow shrubs that are known for their flowery blooms. The mock orange shrub is a member of the Hydrangeaceae family. It is native to tropical parts of Europe and possesses unique features. 

Philadelphus coronarius

You can spot mock orange bushes from their deciduous nature.  Their dense leaves are oval-shaped and dark green in color. It also produces sweet-smelling flowers that are known to bloom at night.  These flower blooms are cup-shaped and white in color. They are 4 petals in all and produce sweet-smelling nectar. 

The mock orange bush is best grown in a night garden. Or grown as a sweet mock orange hedge. They also make great ornamental flowers for indoor spaces.

Botanical NamePhiladelphus coronarius
Common NamesMock orange, English dockwood, Sweet mock orange  
Plant TypeDeciduous Shrub 
Full SizeRanges from 10 feet to 12 feet tall 
Sun ExposureFull or direct sunlight, can tolerate partial sunlight 
Soil TypeWell-draining but moist, loamy soil type 
ToxicityIt is considered non-toxic to both people and pets

Some Mock Orange Varieties

There are a few varieties of the Mock orange you can grow. Here are a few;

  • Cheyenne Mock Orange 
  • Snowbelle Sweet Mock Orange 
  • Blizzard Mock Orange 
  • Mock Orange Variegatus 
  • Mock Orange ‘Miniature Snowflake’

Taking Care For Mock Orange Shrubs

Mock orange trees are easy to grow and care for. They have very simple water and lighting needs. They can also grow on almost every soil type and are quite sturdy plants. 

Mock Orange Sun Requirements 

To guarantee its full beautiful blooms, you would need to provide full or direct sunlight. The mock sweet orange plant can also grow under partial sunlight. But the shade has to provide enough bright light for the mock flower. 

Inadequate sunlight exposure does stress the plant’s leaves. It also affects flower production and can even limit plant growth. If your mock orange plant is receiving too little light, you can tell from its leggy look. 

Grow the plant next to a south-facing window or a west-facing window. There, they can receive enough sunlight for proper growth. In areas of low lighting, you can consider getting LCD to-grow lights to provide enough sunlight. 

Appropriate Water Needs for Mock Oranges 

The proper soil requirement for mock oranges would be moist, well-draining soil. You can achieve this through regular watering. But it is better not to overdo it as excess water can cause root and stem rots. 

Mock orange plants can tolerate some level of drought. But little watering can cause the plant to shrivel and die. Watering should be done most time during the hot seasons. In the cold season, you would need to reduce the watering frequency. 

It is best to check the moisture content of the soil before watering. Try putting your finger in the soil and feeling the soil for moisture. If it feels a little dry, then consider watering the plant. 

You can also consider investing in a moisture meter measurement tool. This should provide more accurate results that could help with watering. Water the mock orange plant with tepid dechlorinated water. Excess chlorine from tap water can be harmful to the plant. Rainwater is the most ideal water to use.  

Soil Requirements for Mock Orange Philadelphus

Soil Requirements for Mock Orange Philadelphus

Mock oranges are good night bloomers that can be grown on most soil types. It is however important that the soil type being used is well-draining. It should also be able to retain good moisture. The soil should also be a little acidic in nature, Its pH level should range from 6.5 and 7.0 

Humidity and Temperature Requirements For Mock Oranges  

Humidity levels should be kept moderate for Mock Oranges. You don’t need to mist the mock orange plant often. The plant should be kept at room temperature. 

They are also cold and hardy and can survive some level of exposure to winter. But they would need some level of protection against excess heat. 

Fertilizer Needs For Mock Oranges 

Fertilizer should be used every year during its growing season. Consider low nitrogen, slow-release fertilizer for the plant.

Mock Orange Propagation and Pruning Requirement 

You can propagate the Mock orange plant through stem cutting. Ensure that all tools to be used are sterilized to avoid infecting the plant.

Regular pruning is also required to keep the plant looking fresh. Prune mock orange leaves at the stems of the leaf to encourage proper growth.

Common Health Problems With Mock Orange 

  •  Poor flower production 
  • Yellow leaves 
  • Root rot 

Frequently Asked Questions 

How fast does mock orange grow?

Mock oranges have a moderate growth speed reaching 2 feet each year.

What can I plant next to mock orange?

Mock oranges do well when grown alongside lilacs and viburnums.

Why do they call it mock orange?

This is because the mock orange flowers resemble orange blossoms.

Should I deadhead mock orange?

Yes, you would need to deadhead them to encourage proper growth. 

What month does mock orange flower?

Expect mock orange blooms from late June to mid-August.