For a fantastic citrus scent in the garden, you can go with Philadelphus or what is commonly known as the mock orange shrub. This spring-blooming bush appears stunning when used as a stand-alone specimen plant, groups as screening, or positioned in the border.
Mock orange is a short-lived shrub that belongs to the family Hydrangaceae and native to Southern Europe. It is a well-known ornamental shrub fully grown for its hardiness and its fragrant flowers. Mock orange can function as a privacy screen or hedge, be the center of attention, or add color to a beautiful flower bed.
These are just a few exciting things to know about the mock orange. Here are some other things to learn about this plant that will make you consider growing them in your garden.
The Mock Orange Plants
This mock orange is a short-lived shrub with a thick, rounded growth characteristic. It has irregular, dark green, sports oval leaves. Also, the plant has cup-shaped, showy, four-petaled flowers that bloom in early summer and late spring that extend across approximately from one to two inches.
These flowers have an incredible scent with a sweet fragrance, which is why lots of gardeners grow mock oranges. Upon seeing the plant, it looks like orange blossoms. That’s why the plant obtained its popular name of mock orange (Philadelphus). They are abundant with nectar that lures in butterflies as well as various other pollinators.
Philadelphus shrubs have a relatively quick development rate and can grow around 2 feet every year. Preferably, it would help if you planted it in the very early fall or spring.
Mock Orange Varieties
For mock orange shrubs, its fragrance is the main selling point of this plant, but other varieties are not equally good smelling. Thus, the best time to purchase this shrub is when it’s in full bloom, so you can get the chance to smell its fragrance before you buy.
Here are some of the many varieties of mock orange shrubs.
Variegatus – This mock orange grows to a maximum height of six feet and has green and white variegated foliage.
Snowbelle – This shrub grows to around four feet in length and width, and the sweet-scented flowers embellish this mock orange variety.
Miniature Snowflake – It is a dwarf variety of mock orange that grows roughly three feet high by two feet wide. Since it has extra petals, it also features fragrant double flowers.
Blizzard – This shrub only grows approximately five to three feet tall and wide. Blizzard is especially tolerant of cold weather as well.
Aurea – This mock orange variety grows around five feet tall and six feet wide. It is denser than the primary species plant, and in the spring, it features sports gold foliage.
Caring for Mock Orange Shrub
Philadelphus may not have much to offer during other seasons and may not be decorative enough to qualify as a specimen plant, but it is most beautiful in the spring. You can plant mock orange plants in groups to create a loose segregation hedge for summer, and you can use their blossoms as cut flowers. It would be best to make sure that the shrub’s planting spot has excellent drainage since this shrub can’t tolerate waterlog.
It’s also effortless to maintain the mock orange shrubs because they don’t frequently have issues with diseases or pests. Developed mock orange will also require watering during drought periods. Here are some simple tips on how to care for mock orange shrubs.
Philadelphus plant doesn’t like soggy soil but prefers moist soil. Once they are fully developed, the mock orange shrubs have some tolerance to drought but don’t let the soil entirely dry out on them. During drought periods, you can water the grown shrubs and water young shrubs to maintain the soil slightly moist.
This kind of plant prefers organically rich soil. It can endure different types of soils, including loamy, clay, and sandy soils. Just make sure that the area has good drainage. Also, they can grow well with an acidic to neutral soil pH.
Mock orange shrubs can grow well in partial shade to full sun. Usually, they can tolerate at least around four hours of getting direct sunlight. When planted in full sun, they will typically bloom more abundantly.
When planting mock orange shrubs, use manure, bark humus, or compost. In the late spring, you put an extra layer of fertilizer around the shrubs, all the way into the soil for their yearly feedings. Avoid using nitrogen-rich fertilizers because they can highly boost leaf growth, which can prevent or stop blossom development.
Humidity and Temperature
Philadelphus usually don’t need winter protection since they are tolerant to the cold weather within their growing areas. Mock orange shrubs will appreciate it if you water them and provide more protection from excessive heat from the afternoon sun.
Philadelphus or mock orange is a classic, attractive flowering shrub that has been a garden favorite for many. It has many varieties that are sweet-scented and comparable to orange blossom. Check out sites like Gardener’s Path if you want to know more about how to grow and care for this plant.