As you can probably guess the “mock” in Mock Orange is not a true orange. The name comes from the citrus aroma of the flowers, which is more than enough to invite the comparison with the real thing. Mock Orange shrubs are multi-stemmed, deciduous plants, and their height and their spread are pretty much the same as the real orange trees. Mock Orange shrubs are classified as shrubs, which is another word for bush, but many people claim the mock orange is actually a tree.
However you see them, mock orange plants grow quite large, between six and twelve feet in height with an equal width, six to twelve feet, and their rich nectar is a sure way to attract butterflies in your garden, making it alive with life.
Basic Facts of the Mock Orange
- Its botanical name is the Philadelphus coronarius, but its common names include the Mock Orange bush, the Mock Orange shrub, or the Mock Orange tree.
- It’s height and width both vary from six to twelve feet.
- It prefers full or partially shady spots when it comes to exposure from the sun.
- The Mock Orange prefers a soil which is well-drained and loamy, with a pH of six to eight.
- They bloom during springtime.
- The color of their flowers is white.
- The Mock Orange is found in Italy and other places in Southwest Europe.
- It looks great as a border, groups of them can be used as screening but they’re just as beautiful as stand-alone plants.
How to Grow the Mock Orange
The Mock Orange is more beautiful during spring, but they aren’t really attractive during other parts of the year, unfortunately. They don’t rank as ornamental plants to qualify being labelled as specimen plants. The blossoms themselves can be used as cut flowers. It’s the fragrance of the flowers which is the biggest selling point, but unfortunately, not all cultivars are fragrant. The best time to buy a Mock Orange is during spring and you can find them in a nursery and plant them in your garden, so during the next spring when the flowers bloom, you can wake up to the smell of orange.
Go along and smell the flowers for yourself to see if its the one you want the most – the flower description is helpful and tells you a great deal about the plant, but smelling the fragrance will help you find the plant you want.
Mock Orange Shrubs enjoy growing in places where there is full sun though they can thrive in partially shaded spots, while they grow in moist soil which is well-drained, and compost added to the soil will help you to improve most issues. If you wish the flowers to blossom more profusely, plant them in places where they can enjoy full exposure from the sun.
Like all plants, the Mock Orange shrub has a preferred soil type. They like moist, well-draining soil to grow in. Dig a deep hole if you’re going to buy and plant your own plant, it has to be deep to allow the roots to be accommodated and allow them to spread out.
Mock Orange plants are reasonably drought tolerant once they’ve been planted, though don’t let the soil dry – they will need constant moisture, and while they can tolerate drought, they prefer moist conditions. Mulch can help nurture the plant at this point, allowing the soil to remain moist while minimizing the amount of watering you would normally do, though it is a good idea to water it frequently. Just avoid soaking the soil continuously.
When it comes to the temperature you don’t need to worry – they don’t require protection during the winter and they can tolerate temperatures approaching freezing.
The shrubs are not heavy feeders. Use an all-purpose, water-soluble fertilizer during the late/early spring if you feel the Mock Orange needs it if you don’t feel its growing or blossoming well. Don’t use a fertilizer rich in nitrogen – it will increase the growth of the leaves, hindering or even stopping the blossoming.
To keep the Mock Orange looking healthy and fantastic as it did when you first saw it bloom, prune it annually since it will begin to look overgrown somewhat. If the shrub is healthy, it will respond in a positive manner to being pruned. This should take place after the blooming period as the shrub blooms on the growth from the previous year. Occasionally if you prune the Mock Orange right down into the ground, you won’t enjoy the blossoms of that year, but not to worry – the plant’s energy will be invested in the growth of new healthy branches that will be appearing.