How to Keep a Mock Orange Tree Blooming


Mock orange (Philadelphus coronarius) develops as a deciduous shrub with fragrant white flowers that often smell like orange blossoms. Native in Europe and Asia, the plant originates from the large hydrangea family. Gardeners have grown mock orange in Europe since the 1500s and in America since Colonial times. Mature mock orange bushes can reach 6 feet tall, and work equally well as specimen plants or as a hedge. Most varieties flower in early summer. Planted in a sunny space, a healthy mock orange requires only an annual pruning to keep it blooming every year.

Step 1

Select a day, after flowering has finished for the season, for pruning. Mock orange is usually done blooming by mid-summer. Do not prune during periods of drought unless you provide supplemental water regularly.

Step 2

Tag about a third of the oldest and thickest branches for pruning with masking or painter's tape.

Step 3

Prune the tagged branches as close to the ground as possible, wiping the clippers or pruners with disinfectant wipes between cuts to limit the spread of disease.

Step 4

Discard pruned branches. Run them through a chipper/shredder or cut them into short lengths and compost the branches.

Things You'll Need

  • Clippers
  • Loppers (for thick stems)
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Masking or painter's tape


  • "The Botanical Garden I: Trees and Shrubs"; Roger Phillips and Martyn Rix; 2002
Keywords: philadelphus, mock orange, pruning orange shrubs