Philadelphus or Mock Orange
Popular for the fragrance of the flowers, Philadelphus plants and species or ‘Mock Orange’ are varied group of plants.
For warmer climates look for Philadelphus mexicanus ( Mexican Mock Orange ) which is an evergreen species with beautifully scented white flowers in summer, while Philadelphus coronarius prefers a little shade.
Philadelphus x virginalis is a very popular cultivar, we like the larger flowering Philadelphus Beauclerk which has flowers to 6cm, while Philadelphus Manteau d’hermine is a dwarf form, very compact.
Philadelphus are a group of fragrant to 3m. Grow philadelphus in full sun to partial shade depending on species, and keep well mulched. Some Philadelphus have attractive peeling bark, elegant flowers and fragrant as well.
Notes on Philadelphus varieties
Philadelphus mexicanus is the Mexican Mock Orange and is a vigorous plant that in good conditions can get to 5m + in height. This is one of those popular shrubs, evergreen and with masses of flowers from spring through to summer.
The flowers although smallish, are a creamy white, fragrant and along with mid green foliage the Mexican Mock Orange is a good plant in a place where it has the room to scramble. Be aware that this is a plant that can ‘take over’. We have seen it almost smother a 4m high camellia so for a small space it is not the best solution unless you are prepared to cut back hard every year or two.
You can happily prune Philadelphus mexicanus right back to .5 m above the ground if needed. In fact we strongly suggest you do keep this one in check, especially in warmer climates, and even more so in smaller spaces, where it can be a bully.
Philadelphus belle etoile is one of the more compact growers, and with large white flowers through spring and summer is an excellent easy care plant for the garden. Although it is a smaller shrub than many of its relatives it is still in need of a little space.The long arching canes require a space of around 2m in width to perform at their best.
A humus rich fertile soil is best. Full sun to part shade and a little water until established. After a year or two you will find that Philadelphus ‘Belle etoile’ is almost ‘bullet proof’, drought tolerant and if you need to it can be pruned back hard.
The only real problem is a poorly drained soil.
Plants can be cut back after flowering to around 1m, or right back to the ground for a new less of life.
Philadelphus x virginalis with its double white flowers will easily reach around 3m in height with a similar spread. Trademark orange blossom fragrant flowers are pure white and double. The foliage is a deep green turning to a yellow before winter dormancy
Philadelphus ‘Beauclerk’ with its white flowers sometimes pink to red centred this is a cottage garden favourite. This is a deciduous species with long arching canes. Like most Philadelphus it can be pruned back hard after flowering to keep in shape.
Philadelphus or ‘Mock Orange are available from the following nurseries
412 James Lane, Fern Hill VIC. 3458 - Phone 0419002651
Large range of Rare plants, Climbers, Bulbs, Perennials Fruit Trees, Ornamental Trees and Shrubs. Available both Retail and by Mail Order
'Justly famous for rare and unusual plants' Don Teese
34 Mt Pleasant Rd Monbulk VIC 3793
17 McCarthy Rd Monbulk, Vic, 3793, Australia
Specialising in propagation and production of over 900 species / varieties of ornamental plants, perennials & rare plants. Supplying nurseries, landscapers & others. Minimum quantities apply! Contact us to discuss plants or growing requirements.