How to plant philadelphus – 5 top tips to growing mock orange

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Philadelphus plants are known for their delicious scent. The medium to large flowering shrubs bloom in early summer and are relatively easy to grow in the sun or light shade. They grow well on most soils and are best pruned after flowering.

How to grow philadelphus

Philadelphus, also known as mock orange, is a shrub which has been a garden favourite for years.

It is known for its pure white blooms and is reminiscent of orange blossom.

These plants appear in late spring and summer against a backdrop of dark green, also known as arching foliage.

Mock oranges grow best in moist but well-drained soil.

The plant likes full sun or light shade.

You should avoid planting philadelphus on heavy, wet soils or in the heavy shade as it will stunt its growth.

Pruning is required with these plants after they flower.

Philadelphus should be planted in the spring or autumn period when the soil is warm but moist.

To plant it effectively, dig a generous hole and then add some well-rotted compost.

A sprinkling of mycorrhizal fungi should also be added to the hole.

Fill in the hole with your plant, firm the soil and water well.

Add mulch on top as it can help to retain moisture.

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When it comes to caring for your philadelphus plant, you should apply a generous layer of mulch in the form of well-rotted manure during the spring.

This mulch will help to suppress weeds as well as retain moisture levels.

When your flowering period comes to an end, cut back the older shoots to the youngest growth.

Then leave these to shoot for the following year.

You should also remove a quarter of the old branches each year.

These plants are easy to grow and do not require regular feeding and watering throughout the year.

The shrub does best in dry soil but requires moisture during periods of drought.

Top tips to remember when growing mock orange plants

  • Philadelphus can get aphid problems so keep an eye out for this.
  • Use mulch as it helps to retain moisture.
  • The plants are best pruned after flowering in the summer.
  • Avoid planting golden-leaved forms in full sun as it can damage foliage.
  • Bear in mind that after their early summer glory, mock oranges revert to being backdrop plants – green and leafy shrubs, until they shed their leaves in autumn.

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