Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

When Should I Prune Mock Orange Shrubs?

philadelphus image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com

The mock orange (Philadelphus coronarius) is a medium-sized shrub that features fragrant white flowers in spring. This plant, which prefers full sun or partial shade and well-drained soils, is meant to have an upright and rounded form, often with arching branches. The mock orange requires annual pruning in order to maintain good form, particularly if the shrub is used as a border or screen.

Ideal Pruning Time

Mock orange is a spring-flowering shrub that produces buds in the fall to bloom the following spring. Prune mock oranges as soon as possible after the shrub is done flowering in spring. Pruning at this time will ensure fast healing wherever cuts are made and dead branches are still visible and easily eliminated. During this annual pruning, remove any weak, diseased or damaged branches first and then work from the top downward to shape the shrub. Use a loppers or saw to remove one-fourth to one-third of the canes at ground level.

When Not to Prune

Do not perform an annual prune on mock oranges in late summer, fall or in spring before the shrub blooms. Pruning at these times would remove many flower buds and severely limit blossoms the following spring. Late-season pruning can also make the mock orange susceptible to cold damage. Mock orange shrubs can suffer from tip kill in colder climates regardless. The only exceptions may be light, corrective pruning for maintenance or hedges.

  • Mock orange is a spring-flowering shrub that produces buds in the fall to bloom the following spring.
  • During this annual pruning, remove any weak, diseased or damaged branches first and then work from the top downward to shape the shrub.

Corrective or Maintenance Pruning

Mock oranges can be pruned minimally throughout the year to remove any diseased, broken or dead branches. If the mock orange is grown as a hedge or screen it may require multiple prunings in the spring and early summer to maintain an attractive shape.

Rejuvenation Pruning

After several years of growth, a mock orange shrub may benefit from a rejuvenation pruning, particularly if a shrub was not pruned regularly and, as a result, became spindly and unkempt-looking. Perform a rejuvenation pruning in spring before the mock orange leafs out. Cut off all of the stems as close to ground level as possible. There will be no blossoms for a year following this severe pruning but vigorous growth will emerge and can be shaped as desired.

Related Articles

When & How to Prune Mock Orange Bushes?
When & How to Prune Mock Orange Bushes?
How to Train an Oleander
How to Train an Oleander
How to Prune Spirea Shrubs
How to Prune Spirea Shrubs
When to Prune a Burning Bush Shrub
When to Prune a Burning Bush Shrub
How to Prune Abelia
How to Prune Abelia
Do You Prune Plumbago?
Do You Prune Plumbago?
How to Prune a Vitex Tree
How to Prune a Vitex Tree
How to Care for an Alleghany Viburnum
How to Care for an Alleghany Viburnum
How to Plant and Care for Pyracanthas
How to Plant and Care for Pyracanthas
How to Prune Allamanda
How to Prune Allamanda
Garden Guides
×