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May Blooms in my Georgia Garden: Mock Orange

Philadelphus coronarius
Sweet Mock Orange or English Dogwood
Blooms are spectacular this year on my Philadelphus coronarius, most often referred to as Sweet Mock Orange or English Dogwood. Our established shrub is completely covered with the fragrant dogwood-like white blooms.

Philadelphus coronarius is a deciduous shrub that grows quickly into a large shrub, so give it plenty of room. 

Because of our very mild winter, Mock Orange bloomed a little earlier than usual this year. Usually blooming in late May, the Mock Orange reached its peak bloom the first week of May here in our Georgia garden.

The white flowers with 4 petals smell like orange blossoms, hence the common name Mock Orange and resemble blooms on the Dogwood Tree. Leaves are tender and dark green. On the Sweet Mock Orange, even the bark is lovely, which is exfoliating and orange-tinged. 

This large growing shrub will eventually be up to 12 feet tall and just as wide with a rounded habit, so it's perfect at the edge of the property. 

Philadelphus coronarius can be grown in full sun to light shade, but ours is in pretty much full shade here in Georgia. It might get a little peak of morning sun, but I don't think so. 

Although rich fertile soil is best, our soil is hard clay, and our large shrub gets no supplemental water. This year we received more than enough rain during the Winter and Spring, which might be why our plant showed out so well this time.

Mock Orange is a popular old-fashioned shrub in the Southeastern states, and although it might look delicate, it can be grown in most of the United States, since it is hardy in USDA Zones 4-7.

If you want a hedge of Mock Orange, for Summer privacy perhaps, space them about 5 feet apart for good screening. The shrubs will quickly grow to fill the space. 

If pruning is needed, do so immediately after blooming by removing old canes at the base and cut back remaining branches to create a rounded shape. If your space allows it, don't prune your Mock Orange at all. 

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