How to Shape a Mock Orange Bush


Mock orange (Philadelphus coronarius) is a rangy shrub that produces white sweet-smelling flowers for a short period of seven to 10 days in the spring. It grows quickly to 10 feet tall and wide and grows well in moist, well-drained soil. In the Southern U.S., it prefers to grow in partial shade protected from the hottest afternoon sun. Because it is a spring-blooming shrub, pruning is usually done in the spring, right after the bloom period. If a few limbs are becoming unruly, cut those individual limbs to the ground. For shaping a leggy mock orange shrub, follow a different procedure

Step 1

Choose a day in early spring before the mock orange shrub has begun to leaf out but when the days are on a warming trend. Shaping the plant in early spring before growth occurs will prevent the mock orange shrub from blooming in the current year, but you will have a stronger, well-shaped plant after it grows back from the ground.

Step 2

Reach in to the base of the plant with the garden loppers and begin pruning all the limbs of the mock orange shrub to ground level. Prune the larger limbs first and the smaller limbs last.

Step 3

Remove all pruned limbs from the area and dispose of the pruned limbs properly. The mock orange plant will begin growing from the ground when the weather warms, giving the plant a uniform, well-shaped look. Do not prune again until after the next year's bloom period.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden loppers


  • North Dakota State University Extension: Questions on: Mock Orange
  • NC State University: Pruning Shrubs
Keywords: mock orange, pruning shrubs, blooming shrubs

About this Author

Based in Rockdale Texas, Jim Gober has been writing garden-related articles for 25 years. His articles appear in several Texas newspapers including The Rockdale Reporter, The Lexington Leader, The Cameron Herald and The Hearne Democrat. He is a Master Gardener and Certified Texas Nursery and Landscape Professional. He holds bachelor degrees in English Writing from St. Edward's University and Finance from Lamar University.