How to Prune a Mock Orange After Blooming


The mock orange (Philadelphus virginalis) is a deciduous, flowering shrub that blooms in white, fragrant flowers in late spring or early summer. According to variety, the mock orange shrub can grow from 4 feet to 8 feet in height. Pruning the mock orange is an important part of its care and should be done only after the shrub has been in the ground for two years. The ideal time of year to prune is right after the mock orange finishes blooming.

Step 1

Pour 1/2 cup of disinfectant into the bucket, and add 2 cups of water. There should be enough of the solution to cover the pruner's blades. Double the recipe if needed. Take the bucket into the garden with you.

Step 2

Remove dead branches and any that did not bloom this season by cutting them off at the ground or at their point of origin.

Step 3

Cut off any new growth that doesn't contribute to the desired shape of the shrub. This will allow more of the plant's energy to be placed into desirable branches. Also remove any growth that is thinner than a pencil.

Step 4

Prune diseased branches last. Cut these back to healthy, green wood. Dip the pruners into the disinfectant after each branch is cut from the shrub to avoid spreading the disease. Immediately bag the diseased branches.

Step 5

Rake up any pruning debris from the planting bed, and dispose of it.

Step 6

Water the mock orange until the water puddles at the base of the shrub.

Step 7

Apply a 3-inch layer of mulch, completely surrounding the mock orange, placed 2 inches away from the base of the shrub. Spread the mulch to the edge of the widest part of the shrub.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp pruning shears
  • Bucket
  • Measuring cup
  • Disinfectant
  • Bag
  • Mulch


  • North Carolina State University: Pruning Shrubs
  • ‭"‬Landscape Management:‭ ‬Planting and Maintenance of Trees,‭ ‬Shrubs and Turfgrass‭"; ‬James R.‭ ‬Feucht and Jack D.‭ ‬Butler‭; ‬1988
  • Washington State University: Sterilized Pruning Tools: Nuisance or Necessity?
  • University of California: How disinfectants compare in preventing transmission of fire blight
Keywords: prune mock orange, trim mock orange, mock orange care

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations, worldwide. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.