Information About Mock Orange
Mock Orange Pruning Tips: Cutting Back Mock Orange Shrubs
By Darcy Larum, Landscape Designer
For the overall general health of the shrub, mock orange pruning should be done once a year, not just when it doesn?t bloom or has gotten overgrown. Even dwarf varieties need a good pruning each year. Click this article to learn how to trim mock orange shrubs.
No Flowers On Mock Orange: Why A Mock Orange Bloom Does Not Bloom
By Darcy Larum, Landscape Designer
It's late spring and the neighborhood is filled with the sweet scent of mock orange blooms. You check your mock orange and it doesn't have a single bloom, yet all others are covered with them. Click here to learn why there are no flowers on mock orange.
Stephanotis, VIP fragrance
Stephanotis (or Madagascar jasmine) was the favorite plant of Marilyn Monroe. The blooming does require a little care, but its elegant flowers that release such an incredible intense odor are worth the work!
A lucky charm plant native to Madagascar, from whence it was brought in the XIX th century, Stephanotis is traditionally used in bridal bouquets.
If not guided along a trellis, it undulates in long sprawling vines that, if bunched together, remind onlookers of the bridal veil. They can also be used to braid magnificent crowns.
The white flowers, shaped like starry trumpets, release a subtle and warm smell, a blend of jasmine and lilies. This fragrance is highly sought after and is part of many famous perfumes, like Night of Fancy by Anna Sui, or Love of Pink by Lacoste.
All the best pictures from the 2017 Shed of the Year competition sponsored by Cuprinol
The Tardis Shed owned by Paul Foden from Stoke on Trent
An unpruned philadelphus does tend to become lank and ungainly but 10 minutes with the secateurs as the flowers fade is time well spent. Give the shrub a sprinkling of rose fertilizer each spring and a mulch of chipped bark to seal in moisture and that is all the care and attention it needs.
Its flowering season may be brief but it’s glorious. Train a ‘Texensis’ or ‘Viticella’ clematis up through it to extend its season of interest by enjoying those flowers later in summer.
Mock Orange Varieties
The fragrance is a major selling point for mock orange shrubs, but not all varieties are equally fragrant. Therefore, a good time to buy is when the shrub is in bloom at the nursery, so you can smell before you buy. Note that the flowers are most fragrant in the evening. There are many varieties of mock orange shrubs, including:
- 'Aurea': This variety is more compact than the main species plant, growing around 5 to 6 feet tall and wide, and it sports gold foliage in the spring.
- 'Blizzard': Particularly tolerant to cold weather, this variety only reaches around 5 feet high by 3 feet wide.
- 'Miniature Snowflake': This dwarf variety only grows to around 3 feet tall by 2 feet wide but produces especially fragrant double flowers (having extra petals).
- 'Snowbelle': Fragrant double flowers adorn this variety which only grows to around 4 feet tall and wide.
- 'Variegatus': This shrub reaches a maximum height of 6 feet and sports white and greenvariegated foliage.
Philadelphus, Mockorange, Mock Orange 'Innocence'
Average Water Needs Water regularly do not overwater
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 °C (-20 °F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)
Where to Grow:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Soil pH requirements:
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From hardwood heel cuttings
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed
This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:
North Augusta, South Carolina
On Apr 1, 2012, Sandwichkatexan from Copperas Cove, TX wrote:
This plant hated full sun here in Central Texas. So I dug it up and moved it under a large Live Oak. Now it is six feet tall and flowers heavily . I guess in our area it needs full shade .
On Jul 16, 2010, jrbloomer from Highland Home, AL wrote:
Having lived in a city of south central Alabama all my life, gardening was not something promoted by my parents. In late March of this year I moved even further south in Alabama to a home in the "real" country. As spring blew in the grounds came to life with more flowers and shrubs than I had ever seen. Almost every day I discovered something new. The one thing that dazzled me the most was discovering an English Dogwood in full bloom. I was so stunned at its simplistic and pure beauty that I stopped dead in my tracks. I stood and stared at it with chills running all over my body and being so overwhelmed, tears began flowing down my cheeks. I was speechless and in complete awe at this superb shrub. It had no fragrance but its beauty made up for it. I hadn't even noticed it before . read more it bloomed but here it was, commanding attention and overshadowing all else around it. It was nothing short of spectacular. Even though its blooming time was rather short, it still ranks #1 over all the roses, azaleas, camelias, daylilies, hydrangeas, gardenias, crepe myrtles, dogwoods, flowering quince, canna lilies, bridal wreaths, phlox, petunias, oxalis, naked ladies, mystery lilies, altheas, lamb's ears and irises surrounding it. Quite a lovely surprise and exquisite little gem!
On May 24, 2010, Niere from Chepachet, RI (Zone 5b) wrote:
I acquired my plant through the mail as a little slip--the poor thing has not had it easy! It stayed in a pot for far too long and then when it finally got planted out the deer kept nibbling at it. However, it has perservered and is really doing well now. This is one tough plant and is really quite attractive--I usually don't like green/yellow variegation, but this is nice. And the fragrance is heavenly--sweeter and more potent than regular mock orange, which is divine in itself. If you are considering this cultivar I would definitely recommend it.
On Jun 2, 2009, braun06 from Irving, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:
I generally find older mock orange cultivars to be ugly. I also tend to dislike variegation. This cultivar though changes those opinions for me. The variegation is gentle on this plant and provides something else besides flower. I appreciate how quickly it grows as well. I just planted it 4 weeks ago and it has been growing quite steadily already. *updated spring 2010. The plant is getting ready to flower after being 12" when planted last year, it is now around 2.5'-3'. Every branch is loaded with flower buds. Variegation appears strongest on new faster growing shoots from the ground. In flower it was a real performer and within a couple of weeks into bloom I finally detected fragrance during the day in the sunlight. It is very good smelling. It smells like orange trees in blossom. I. read more highly recommend this plant for a scent of tropical distant locales in northern regions.
On Jun 12, 2005, Ivy1 from Mystic, CT (Zone 6b) wrote:
Mock Orange "Innocence" is blooming the first year! It is a stunner. Speckled foliage in shades of yellow and green, but still delicate and not too showy. It has grown steadily, has a pleasing shape so far without pruning, and nothing is eating it either, which is a big plus in my yard. Came through the winter well, with no dieback. See one if you can, it's a real beauty.
On May 15, 2005, mkjones from Aurora, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:
My first experience with mock orange. I purchased this seedling via mail order, and true to form, it bloomed its first season! I love the variegation and the heavenly-scented blossoms.
Growing the Blizzard Mock Orange
Size and Appearance
The Blizzard Mock Orange is a deciduous shrub with an upright form, reaching around 5 feet in height, and about 3 feet wide. Older plants may be a little bigger. The branches grow upwards, making a dense, neat plant that looks attractive even out of bloom. The oval leaves, about 3 inches long and 2 inches wide, are pointed, with some small serrations along the edges, and a rich, dark green. In fall the leaves turn golden yellow, with tan or purple tones as well.
But, of course, it is the blooms that are the big deal, and when this bush is in bloom it really does look like a blizzard has swept through your garden. The 4 to 6 snow-white petals make a flower that is a full 2 inches across, almost double the size of those on the wild native plant that is its parent. The flowers are carried in generous clusters of about 10 blooms, all along the branches, smothering the bush in blossom for a full four weeks, typically in June in most areas. The perfume is strong and delicious, combining orange blossom and jasmine, and making this plant perfect beneath a window, or by a garden seat. The fruits are insignificant, and usually removed when you prune.
Using the Blizzard Mock Orange in Your Garden
This shrub is the ideal size for the middle of a larger shrub bed, or the back of a smaller one. Grow it against a fence and plant smaller shrubs in front. Group it with both earlier-flowering and late-flowering bushes to create a continuous display from spring to fall. Use a single plant as a specimen or plant a group to fill larger spaces. You could also grow a row to separate one part of the garden from another. Tuck one beneath a window of your home, to enjoy that delicious perfume just when you are throwing the windows open to enjoy the warm weather of early summer.
Because this is a native plant, it is ideal for natural gardening, and it fits well along the edges of woods, or among wild plants. The flexible branches make it possible to grow it flat against a wall or fence, tying back the stems as they grow, and that way you can add more color and fragrance without taking up any room at all. You could also grow it on a lawn in a smaller garden, perhaps beside a pathway, as a free-standing specimen, to enjoy its beauty as you pass by.
The Blizzard Mock Orange is certainly one of the hardiest flowering shrubs available. It suffers almost no winter damage at all even when grown in zone 2, and in all other zones it is completely and reliably hardy. Amazingly, it will also grow well in hotter regions, so everyone can enjoy this beautiful plant, wherever you live.
Sun Exposure and Soil Conditions
Flowering most profusely in full sun, the Blizzard Mock Orange will also grow with some partial shade, so it is ideal along the edges of beds with trees, which is close to how it would grow in the wild. It grows in all kinds of garden soil, except for wet ones, and it is vigorous and generally pest and disease free.
Pruning and Maintenance
The Blizzard Mock Orange is simply to grow, but it does benefit from an annual pruning. Do this once the petals have all fallen from the last of the blooms. Don’t delay too long, or you will see fewer blooms the next year. Remove some of the tallest stems right at the ground, or at a low new stem, if one has formed. Trim back the main branches by about one-third and remove some of the smaller branches that had a lot of flowers on them. The aim is to leave all the new, non-blooming stems, and encourage more. The plant should look open and airy when you have finished pruning it. That’s it! No other care is needed for this easy plant.
History and Origin of the Blizzard Mock Orange
There are several species of Mock Orange that grow wild in America. One is Philadelphus lewisii, which was discovered by Meriwether Lewis, of the famous 1806 Lewis and Clarke Expedition. It grows from northern California, Idaho and Montana into British Columbia and Alberta. John Wallace worked at the Agriculture Canada Research Centre in Morden, Manitoba. In the early 1960s he collected some seed of this plant in southern Alberta. For about 10 years he kept sowing seed, choosing the best plant, and sowing seed from that one. After several cycles he found one plant with flowers twice as large as on wild plants, and that was very winter hardy. He named it ‘Blizzard’, and after years of testing it was released to nurseries in 1994.
Buying the Blizzard Mock Orange at The Tree Center
We always try to carry the best plants, and without a doubt, ‘Blizzard’ is the best Mock Orange for colder gardens, and in fact for any garden. It is difficult to source plants of this quality, and they never stay in our stock for long. Order now and enjoy the sweetest-smelling June snow-storm you have even seen.