Mockorange

Posted by shane - December 21, 2014 - A-Z Plant Maintenance, Shrubs - No Comments

Philadelphus lewisii (common mockorange)

Philadelphus lewisii ‘Blizzard’

A trio of 'Blizzard' mockorange planted with a north exposure.  S. LePage photo.

A trio of ‘Blizzard’ mockorange thriving in a north exposure. S. LePage photo.

Mockorange is a common native shrub in Alberta gardens.  It is extremely tough and has an excellent fragrant floral display in late June to early July.  We rarely use the common mockorange because it is a big, messy-looking shrub that doesn’t fit most small yards, and it best suited for larger spaces such as parks, burms, and acreages, where it can grow to to maturity unhindered by the power hedger.

One of my favourite shrubs, and one of the top 5 shrubs we use in landscape design, is the ‘Blizzard’ cultivar, which is considerably smaller at maturity, but has the same great hardiness and flower display.  ‘Blizzard’ is one of the first shrubs to leaf-out in the spring, suffers little or no die-back, and will grow well in shadier spots.

Exposure

Full sun to mostly shade.

Pruning time

Anytime; minimal pruning required.

Pruning

Simply shorten wayward branches to balance the overall form.

Crown Reduction and Shaping

Not recommended.  Mockorange responds vigorously to shearing, and will quickly grow back to whatever height you started with before you shaped the shrub.  Unless you want to be a slave to this shrub, keep pruning to a minimum and do not shear.  Overgrown, messy specimens can be cut back hard to within a few inches of the ground and will regenerate a new shrub from the existing root systems.

(c) Shane LePage, Wild Rose Garden & Tree Service Inc., Red Deer, AB