Mock Orange

The mock orange in my garden  is looking splendid this year. A few years back my gardener took it upon himself to hack it back to a few lonely sticks.  I was distraught.  The devastation took place at the bud stage with the consequence that I had no flowers that year and very little the following year. Needless to say I threatened him with all sorts of unmentionables.

My reward this year is masses of gorgeous fragrant white flowers. The heady perfume is most prominent in the early morning when it wafts through open windows and doors … absolutely delightful!

More about Mock Orange:

Philadelphus coronarius (sweet mock-orangeEnglish dogwood) is a species of flowering plant in the family Hydrangaceae, native  to Southern Europe. It is a deciduous shrub growing to 3 m tall by 2.5 m wide, with toothed leaves and bowl-shaped white flowers with prominent stamens. In the species the blooms are abundant and very fragrant, but less so in the cultivars.

Derivation of name: Philadelphus coronarius

Named for a Greek king of Egypt; also means brotherly love  (fil-uh-DEL-fuss)   coronarius = Crown, wreath or garland  (kor-oh-NAR-ee-us)


The mock orange can be planted in full sun or semi-shade; it does well in temperate regions and is also hardy to frost. It will grow +-2.5 to 3m tall and +-1.5 to 2m wide.

Prune it heavily after it has flowered, thinning out the old wood, but retaining the young shoots, as they will bear flowers nest season. On older plants, one-third to one-fifth of old shoots may be cut back to the base. Grow it in  moderately fertile, well-drained soil in full sun or part shade.


Softwood cuttings in summer or hardwood cuttings in autumn or winter.


Scale insects, rust, gray mould, powdery mildew, and fungal spots are common.

Photos: Esther