Mock Orange takes its revenge

schoolhouse_gwJune 9, 2011

In 2009, I pruned this big Mock Orange severely, cutting back branches and cutting others completely out. Last year, it bloomed but contained itself and I got a little worried I had butchered the poor thing. Well, it decided to show me this June that it didn't care one bit. The worse thing is trying to mow under the shrub, the branches will literally grab your hair and jerk your head right back!

I hate to do all that work again, but I will have to prune it back this year. The branches can be so long and tangled, it can be a frustrating experience.

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silverkelt(Z5b/Southern Maine)

I have seen semi hedges of mock oranges taking over the world, at least yours is in a fountain shape.

Frankly I would never plant one, I dont find the fragrance as pleasing as some people do.

There are new cultivators that are supposedly dwarf in growth and dont take over the world.

Not saying it isnt pretty.. it is. They just take up so much real estate.


    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 3:32PM
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Wow what a shrub! It does look as though it has long dangly arms, ready to hug you when you try to go by with the lawn mower! Your shrub bed sure is edged nicely. :)

I planted a Minnesota Snowflake Mock Orange on the edge of some trees this spring. I was hoping for it to eventually take up a fair amount of space and screen out a bit of our neighbors behind us. RIght now there are large oriental honeysuckles, and I am trying to get rid of them and put in more appealing and less invasive shrubs. SOmething *pruned* the poor mock orange for me though. I am suspecting rabbits...the deer generally just browse on tips, but this shrub was completely hacked off about 1 inch above ground. Bits and pieced of it were left strewn about! I even wondered if DH had weed whacked it! I hope mine comes back as vigorously as yours. :)

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 4:49PM
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I love the fragrance. I can't see it not in that spot in my garden, it's probably years and years old as my uncle planted it.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 4:52PM
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My folks planted one in the foundation bed south side of my house 25+ years ago. It's too close to the foundation for it to be removed at this point. Cut it down to 12" last spring in hopes of controlling the size. Its revenge was to grow 5 ft. tall & as wide this spring, taking up even more real estate than it did last year. I need someone to come with a backhoe and dig this thing out really, really carefully. I'd plant it in another spot where it had more room if I could find one for it...maybe the middle of my neighbors' back yard? Nah...they're nice people.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 5:48PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Gorgeous. I love your curvy beds and green, green grass. The shrub is spectacular. Thanks for pruning it and then sharing it.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 3:29AM
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kiskin (5/6 in EU)(5/6 in EU)

Very nice shrub, a beautiful shape! Mine are just starting to flower, canôt wait for their fragrance...

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 5:20AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I need to cut mine down this year too. I'm waiting until after it flowers. Since it's also a support for a clematis and the single remaining cane (now abou 1.5" thick!) of the New Dawn rose, they will all be affected too. I'm happy to see from your picture that it should come back well from a big dose of 'tough love'!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 8:22AM
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They bloom on last year's growth, so one has to kind of watch lopping off too much if you want it to flower. I used to think it bloomed "on old wood", until I actually looked the info up yesterday.

I usually end up pruning mine back every other year (not down to the ground tho, it's way too high even if I wanted to do that,which I don't) and have discovered that it doesn't like to have the ends of it's branches simply trimmed off - much of the branch will die back if you do that.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 8:54AM
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Lilyfinch z7 mid tn

Omg, how gorgeous!! i had no idea they could get that big. i have a dwarf mock orange that i forgot (again) to take a pic of when it bloomed. But its only 3ft by 2 ft and has been for years. Maybe i need to get the large specimen, i can only imagine how wonderful that smells!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 9:37AM
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It's funny because right now the mock orange is blooming, the roses are blooming, the privet hedge is blooming and somewhere a farmer has spread his field with either liquid manure or an ammonia/manure blend. Can you say sensory overload?????

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 12:40PM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

Wow, I can only hope that mine grows half as well. We have planted two Natchez and two Minnesota Snowflake and last year they did not bloom but this year they have. Curious on the scent though, when does it develop. Mine were definitely fragrant when purchased but the flowers just opened and I cannot smell a thing.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 2:52PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Mine is in bud but none of the flowers have opened yet. I have the variety Belle Etoile, very fragrant, planted under our kitchen window. I open the windows when it's in bloom and let the fragrance waft through house, love it.

Schoolhouse, you have a gorgeous specimen.


    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 3:48PM
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Thanks Annette. I would have no idea what variety it is, anyone who remembers when it was planted is long gone. Maybe I'll do a Google and see how many varieties of Mock Orange there are and which are heirlooms.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 5:05PM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

Schoolhouse, that is a gorgeous specimen and it looks perfect where it is with no other shrubs or trees competing with it. I can only imagine how much work it is to prune a shrub that large and feisty. It really adds something to the garden with the formal clipped box hedge, and then on the outside that beautiful fountain of casual.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 9:12PM
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