These deciduous shrubs are the real deal when it comes to scent. Like the orange blossoms they resemble (they aren’t relatives), these flowers have a lovely fragrance. In fact, that is the most common reason they are planted. However, not all 40 species have the signature scent, so shop while they are in bloom so you can smell them.
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Mock Orange Care Must-Knows
Mock orange shrubs don't require much special care. Plant in well-drained soil, preferably amended with loam and organic matter. They prefer evenly moist soil, especially during summer. They will not tolerate wet or poorly drained soil. For the most impressive blooms and fragrance, plant mock oranges in full sun.
Though it is not necessary to prune mock orange, trimming them controls their somewhat wild appearance. Pruning should be done immediately after the plant flowers. To maintain the size of your shrub, cut to about a third the height each spring. This encourages branching, too. As plants age, some of the mature woody stems can become less productive and bare. These can be cut back to the base to encourage new growth.
More Varieties of Mock Orange
'Galahad' mock orange
Philadelphus 'Galahad' produces small, glossy leaves and medium-sized fragrant white flowers on a plant that grows 8 feet tall and wide. Zones 4-7
'Miniature Snowflake' mock orange
Philadelphus 'Miniature Snowflake' is a dwarf from that grows only 3 feet tall. It bears lots of double white, fragrant flowers in spring. Zones 5-8
'Minnesota Snowflake' mock orange
Philadelphus 'Minnesota Snowflake' bears very large, double flowers that are fragrant, on an upright, well-branching plant growing to 8 feet tall. Very cold hardy. Zones 3-7
Philadelphus lewisii is the native mock orange, reaching 6 to 7 feet tall, with single, fragrant white blossoms. Zones 4-8
Garden Plans for Mock Orange
A colorful alternative to the standard all-green landscape, this foundation planting mixes broad-leafed evergreen shrubs and a sculptural tree with flowering perennials and groundcovers.
Easy-Care Summer-Blooming Shade Garden Plan
This mix of flowering shrubs and perennials will fill your yard with color all summer long—plus provide interest in spring, fall, and winter.