Mock Orange Growing Guide

Philadelphus x virginalis, Philadelphus coronaria

Mock Orange

Crop Rotation Group



Fertile, well-drained soil.


Full sun.

Frost tolerant

Yes, mock oranges are winter hardy woody shrubs, tolerating cold to -15°F (-26°C).


None generally needed.


Single Plants: 5' 10" (1.80m) each way (minimum)
Rows: 5' 10" (1.80m) with 5' 10" (1.80m) row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Mock orange cultivars bred for fragrance and flower size are complex hybrids that are propagated from stem cuttings, so it is best to start with a purchased plant of a proven cultivar. Container-grown mock orange plants can be transplanted from spring to early summer. Because fragrance varies among cultivars, it is best to shop for plants when they are in bloom, preferably during the evening hours when the flowers’ scent is strongest. Amend the planting hole with organic matter to enhance drainage, and water thoroughly as you set plants slightly high in their planting holes. Water well, and cover the root zone with a biodegradable mulch to help maintain soil moisture. Check plant tags for the plant’s mature height and width, and adjust spacing accordingly. Young plants can be held in containers for a year or two if they are attentively watered.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalized calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.


One of the few shrubs grown for fragrance, mock orange perfumes the garden in early summer with its fruity aroma. Flowers are white, and may be single or double. Plant size varies with cultivar. Some can grow to 10 feet (3 m) tall, while many improved cultivars top out at half that size. Mock orange plants bloom on old wood, so pruning should be done in summer, soon after the plants finish blooming. Overgrown or untidy plants that are aggressively pruned quickly recover.


Bud-bearing mock orange stems provide structure and fragrance for cut flower arrangements with peonies and other flowers of early summer. Cut long stems just as the most mature buds begin to open. Mock oranges can be propagated by rooting stem cuttings taken in early summer, after the plants finish blooming.


Check for scale insects on leaf undersides and stems. Powdery mildew occasionally often infects mock orange in late summer, but it does not kill the plants.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Mock Orange