How to Grow a Mock Orange Shrub

While there is a debate whether the mock orange plant is a tree or a shrub, there's no doubt that it's a striking and fragrant addition to any garden. If treated properly, these plants can grow tall with lush foliage and beautiful white flowers. Read the tips listed below and grow your own mock orange shrub/tree.

  • Plant your shrub where you can take advantage of its beautiful fragrance. Along walkways or in front of the main door are ideal locations. The mock orange isn't fussy, so you can plant it in direct or partial sunlight.
  • Choose soil. Although the mock orange shrub will grow in a variety of soils, it prefers sandy, loamy soil with good drainage.
  • Feed the shrub all-purpose plant food in late winter or early spring. This will promote blooming and growth [source: Hume].
  • Prune your mock orange frequently and vigorously, cutting off approximately one-third of a plant with heavy foliage. Pruning the plant in early spring will encourage growth. Pruning it after each flowering will encourage more blooms and limit its height [source: Smith].

If your mock orange is flourishing but refuses to bloom, try one of the following remedies.


  • Transplant the shrub where there is more direct sunlight. Mock oranges won't bloom if they don't have enough sunlight.
  • Switch fertilizers or use less fertilizer each time [source: Smith]. Too much fertilizer can prevent a mock orange from blooming.