Classic Mockorange plants of the past had kind of dull and not so attractive foliage and little fall color. The plants were large and leggy and not so very attractive in the landscape as they got just too large.
Why Mockorange? The flowers are wildly intoxicating and smell like sweet orange blossoms. The other reason people planted Mockorange is because the elegant white flowers come at a time when there are not a lot of other shrubs blooming. They typically start blooming in June after all the spring lilacs, Quince or Forsythia have finished.
Maybe you still have one of the old fashioned Mockorange shrubs in your yard now. As soon as the flowers are done blooming, you can severely prune them as soon as the flowers are done blooming. You can even cut all the stems down to the ground and new growth comes from the base and still get up several feet before the season ends.
Even the newer, smaller growing selections should be renewal pruned AFTER the flowers are done. You can simply cut out the fattest stems out to the ground, or if it needs a complete update, cut off all the stems down to the ground and let all of the new stems come from the roots.
Mockorange selections are far improved over the old versions of the plants…and the flowers are welcome at a time when little other shrubs are in flower. The size is much more manageable, the foliage is improved, and the flowers profuse with the incredible fragrance you won’t forget.
Mockorange, they’re not just for old landscapes anymore. Prune now for great flowers next year too.