How to Grow Mock Orange


The mock orange (Philadelphus virginalis) grows approximately 8 feet tall, but numerous varieties and cultivars produce heights that vary between 3 feet and 20 feet. The shrub produces large, 2-inch, single or double white flowers. The flowers smell similar to the blossoms produced by citrus trees and make excellent cut flowers. The shrub is often planted as a hedge, as a specimen beside a walkway, or in a large group. The mock orange offers fast, vigorous growth and is relatively easy to care for.

Step 1

Plant the mock orange in full sunlight or partial shade. Choose a site that offers well-draining soil. The mock orange will grow in a wide variety of soils with ease but prefers sandy loam. It does not tolerate standing water well. Plant bare-root plants or transplant existing mock orange plants from November to April depending on your region.

Step 2

Apply 2 to 3 inches of mulch, such as peat moss or bark chips, around the base of the mock orange. The mulch helps shield the shrub roots from the intense sunlight, keeps weed growth minimal, and helps the soil retain moisture.

Step 3

Water the mock orange weekly. The plant enjoys moist soil conditions.

Step 4

Fertilize the mock orange using a 10-10-10 or 12-12-12 granulated fertilizer in March. Sprinkle around the shrub at least 6 inches from the shrub stems. Water the fertilizer into the soil thoroughly.

Step 5

Prune the mock orange two years after planting. Remove a third of the plant's old growth after flowering is complete. Moderately trim new shoots to encourage the shrub to develop a bushy appearance.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Mulch (bark chips or peat moss)
  • Pruning shears
  • Granulated fertilizer 10-10-10 or 12-12-12


  • Oregon State University: Virginal Mockorange
  • Ed Hume Seeds: Mock Orange
  • Sunny Gardens: Philadelphus virginalis
  • North Carolina State University: Philadelphus x virginalis

Who Can Help

  • Green Living Made Easy: Philadelphus--Mock Orange
Keywords: mock orange care, mock orange growth, mock orange planting, grow mock orange, grow Philadelphus virginalis

About this Author

Kimberly Sharpe is a freelance writer with a diverse background. She has worked as a Web writer for the past four years. She writes extensively for Associated Content where she is both a featured home improvement contributor (with special emphasis on gardening) and a parenting contributor. She also writes for Helium. She has worked professionally in the animal care and gardening fields.