Philadelphus Growing Tips and Advice
Common name: Mock orange
These very desirable summer-flowering shrubs are noted for their fragrance, reminiscent of orange blossom, hence their common name.
Thegenus contains free-flowering shrubs, and they very usefully fill a gap between the spring and summer displays. In addition they are easy to grow: poor soils, exposed positions, salt-laden atmosphere — they take it all in their stride.
Popular species and varieties
Among the most popular is ‘Belle Etoile’ (AGM), which grows to 3m (10ft) and has masses of single white, purple-throated that are particularly fragrant. Virginal’ (AGM) is unquestionably one of the most popular of the hybrids.
The flowers are white, double, and cup shaped, and are carried in pendent clusters.
Among the species readily available is Philadelphus coronarius, which has creamy white single flowers in early summer. One to look for is P coronarius ‘Variegatus’ (AGM), whose foliage has creamy white margins. With rich, golden foliage,’Aureus’ (AGM) is another good variety for creating contrast.
There are also members of this family with a dwarf habit For example,’Manteau d’Hermine’ (AGM) grows to just 60cm (24in) in height, with fragrant cream-white double blooms.
Soil type Most ordinary garden soils are suitable provided they are well drained.
Planting This can be done in the autumn or spring, in a sunny or lightly shaded spot.
Pruning Attention is required immediately after flowering when some of the old wood should be cut out. Take care not to damage new growth which will carry flowers the following year.
Propagation Take semi-ripe cuttings around 10cm (4in) long in the summer, or hardwood cuttings in late autumn.
Pests and diseases Aphids can be a problem on new growth: spray as soon as seen with an insecticide.