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How to Transplant a Mock Orange

The mock orange shrub (Philadelphus virginalis) produces lovely, fragrant white flowers in the late summer to early fall. The fragrance is often described as being very orange in nature. Flowers can be either double or single, depending on the variety of mock orange. Most flowers measure approximately 2 inches across. The mock orange can grow from 4 to 8 feet tall; one species reaches 20 feet. Transplantation of the mock orange should take place during the shrub's dormancy from November to early March.

Select a planting location in full sun to partial shade. Soil should be well-draining with no standing water. The mock orange does not appreciate having ongoing wet roots.

Dig a hole approximately twice the size of the mock orange's root ball. Work peat moss into the soil at a ratio of 50 percent peat moss to 50 percent garden soil. Add a transplant fertilizer to the soil mixture. Transplant fertilizers are available at any garden center location. Follow the directions on the label.

Work a pitchfork into the soil of the mock orange. Work in a circle around the mock orange approximately 1 foot out from the base of the shrub. Work the soil gently loose by inserting the pitchfork and prying up and under the shrub. Once the shrub is completely loose, grasp it at the base by the soil line and gently lift from the hole.

Place the transplanted mock orange into the hole. Add the soil, peat moss and transplant fertilizer mixture around the base of the shrub. Tamp the mixture down to remove any air pockets. Water the mock orange thoroughly.

Apply 3 inches of mulch around the base of the mock orange. Use peat moss, bark chips, sawdust, pine needles or recycled plastic mulch for the best results.

Tip

Feed the transplanted mock orange with a balanced fertilizer such as a 10-10-10 mixture in July. Follow the directions on the fertilizer label for application instructions.

Warning

Do not prune the newly transplanted mock orange for at least a year.

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