How to Grow Sweet Mock Orange - Plant Care & Tips

By NorwichGardener Team   /   2024

Sweet mock orange is a plant. The scientific name for this plant is Citrus sinensis. The sweet mock orange is part of the Rutaceae family. This plant is native to China, but it is also found in many other countries. The sweet mock orange is a citrus tree. This tree can grow to be about 20 feet tall. The sweet mock orange has dark green leaves. The flowers of this plant are white and have a strong smell. The sweet mock orange tree blooms in the spring and summer. The fruits of this tree are orange and they are edible.

How to Grow Sweet Mock Orange - Plant Care & Tips

Also known as

  • Philadelphus coronarius
  • Philadelphus lewisii
  • Philadelphus microphyllus
  • Philadelphus virginalis
  • Philadelphus × andrewsii

Basic info

  • Sweet mock orange is a member of the citrus family.
  • It is native to Southeast Asia.
  • The plant can grow to be 10-15 feet tall.
  • The leaves are dark green and glossy.
  • The flowers are white and fragrant.
  • The fruit is orange-yellow and contains seeds.
  • Sweet mock orange is used to make marmalade, jelly, and tea.
  • The essential oil of sweet mock orange can be used in aromatherapy.
  • The plant is sensitive to frost and should be protected from cold weather.
  • Sweet mock orange can be propagated from seed or cuttings.

Related plant:
Sweet Almond Bush

How to Grow

  1. For sweet mock orange, first step is to find the location. When finding the location, make sure that the location has full sun and well-drained soil.
  2. The second step is to prepare the soil. To prepare the soil, you need to dig a hole that is twice the width and depth of the sweet mock orange’s root ball.
  3. After you have prepared the soil, you need to remove the sweet mock orange from its container. When removing it from the container, be careful not to damage the roots.
  4. Once you have removed the sweet mock orange from its container, you need to loosen the roots. To loosen the roots, you can use your hands or a garden fork.
  5. After you have loosened the roots, you need to place the sweet mock orange in the hole. Make sure that the hole is not too deep or too shallow.
  6. Once you have placed the sweet mock orange in the hole, you need to backfill the hole with the soil. Make sure that the roots are covered with soil.
  7. After you have backfilled the hole, you need to water the sweet mock orange.
  8. The eighth step is to mulch the sweet mock orange. To mulch the sweet mock orange, you can use straw, leaves, or pine needles.
  9. The ninth step is to fertilize the sweet mock orange. To fertilize the sweet mock orange, you can use a garden fertilizer or a slow-release fertilizer.
  10. The final step is to prune the sweet mock orange. To prune the sweet mock orange, you can remove the dead or diseased branches.

Related plant:
Ruby Spice Summersweet

The Soil

About soil condition, sweet mock orange prefers well-drained soils, and cannot tolerate waterlogged conditions. The roots are relatively shallow, so the plant may need extra watering during periods of drought.

About light

So, like the other citrus trees, the sweet mock orange tree thrives in full sun. It is important to plant this tree in an area that gets a minimum of six hours of sunlight each day. The tree will also do well in partial sun, but it may not produce as many flowers.

Good Temperature

The temperature condition for a sweet mock orange is relatively warm. They can tolerate some cold, but prefer temperatures above freezing. They will also do well in hot weather, as long as they have some shade during the hottest part of the day.

Ideal Humidity

Ideal humidity condition for this plant is 40% to 60%. The leaves of this plant will start to fall off if the humidity dips below 40%. If the humidity is too high, the leaves will become yellow and start to fall off.


About fertilizer, this type of plant requires little attention. A light feeding in spring is all that is needed to keep it looking its best. As for the roots, sweet mock orange is not particular and will do just fine in most any type of well-drained soil.

About light

Pruning is an important part of keeping your sweet mock orange healthy and vigorous. It encourages new growth and helps to keep the plant in shape. Prune in early spring, before new growth begins. Remove any dead, diseased, or damaged wood, as well as any suckers or water sprouts. Cut back the main stems by about one-third to promote bushy growth.

Plant Propagation

Propagation of sweet mock orange is best done through rooting of semi-ripe cuttings taken from the tips of the current year's growth in late summer. The cuttings should be about 6 inches long and should have at least 2 leaves. Place the cuttings in a planting mix of one part perlite to one part peat moss and water well. Keep the mix moist but not wet and in a few weeks the cuttings should have rooted. Once they have rooted, they can be transplanted into individual pots and grown on until they are large enough to plant out in the landscape.

Plant Growth

Usually, the plant growth rate is determined by the rootstock. Mature trees are generally 20 to 30 feet tall with a spread of 15 to 20 feet. The sweet mock orange is a deciduous shrub that blooms in late spring and early summer. The fragrant flowers are white with orange highlights and attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. The fruit is a small, oval-shaped orange. Sweet mock orange is tolerant of a wide range of soils and conditions, but prefers full sun and well-drained soil. It is drought tolerant and does not require a lot of water once established.

The Problems

Common problems for this kind of plant plants include powdery mildew, scale insects, and root rot. Powdery mildew is a white powdery fungus that can be found on the leaves and stems of the plant. Scale insects are small, hard-bodied insects that attach themselves to the plant and feed on the sap. Root rot is a condition caused by too much moisture in the soil, which can lead to the plant's roots rotting.

Tips on Growing

  • Remember to water your sweet mock orange regularly, especially during hot weather.
  • Apply a layer of mulch around the base of the plant to help conserve moisture.
  • Fertilize your sweet mock orange every few weeks during the growing season.
  • Prune away any dead or damaged branches as needed.
  • Keep an eye out for pests and diseases, and treat accordingly.
  • Make sure the plant gets plenty of sunlight.
  • transplant to a larger pot or into the ground if the plant becomes too large for its current pot.
  • Gather the fallen leaves and flowers to use in compost or as mulch.
  • Enjoy the sweet fragrance of your sweet mock orange plant!
  • Be sure to share your tips for growing sweet mock orange with us in the comments below!

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Philadelphus Lewisii- Mock orange | Urban Garden Ecology
Other sweet oranges | Givaudan Citrus Variety Collection at UCR
Pittosporum tobira - North Carolina State University

Richelle Author Photo
Reviewed & Published by Richelle
Submitted by our contributor
Shrubs Category