How to grow Philadelphus
How to grow Philadelphus the Mock Orange shrub
Philadelphus is an easy to grow shrub which flowers in late spring and early summer. Philadelphus is a popular garden shrub, rightly so, it has very attractive flowers and wonderful scent which is why it is also known as Mock Orange. Philadelphus is deciduous and varieties grow between 1.2m and 3m and a number of the popular garden varieties are fully hardy to H6 which is -15, so suitable for anywhere in the UK.
Philadelphus makes a great addition to a shrub border, requiring little or no attention, which makes it a green wheelbarrow shrub. The varieties illustrated all have single flowers, but ever popular in Philadelphus are the varieties with semi and double flowers. Philadelphus is happy to grow in most conditions with a preference for sun or partial sun.
Philadelphus will grow on all types of soil, clay, chalk, sandy, and will thrive on any PH in the soil, and in any position, sheltered or exposed. Philadelphus is a shrub you can plant wherever you like and it will thrive. The only conditions to cause Philadelphus problems (in common with many plants and shrubs,) is boggy, wet, and poorly drained soil.
How to prune Philadelphus
Although Philadelphus will benefit from pruning it is not essential every year. If the shrub is getting too large, has developed some some spindly branches, or you notice it is flowering less, prune to promote more growth and vigour. The best time to prune Philadelphus is after flowering, which will be later in July usually, and cut back to good bud and /or remove about a quarter of the the old growth. Like all shrubs regular pruning of the older growth with promote new growth and better flowering .
Good varieties of Philadelphus for the garden.
Popular, easy to grow varieties, include 'Belle Etoile' illustrated above right, a more compact variety up to 2m, fully hard arching branches with many very fragrant flowers. P. coronarius 'Variegatus' has small but very fragrant flowers, fully hardy and tolerant of most growing conditions, and P. coronarius combines well with Euphorbia to create a really bright green effect. P. 'Boule d'Argent' is less fragrant, but has the added advantage of semi double to double white flowers. There is a golden yellow leaved variety P.'Aureus' which grows up to 2.5m. and also P. Manteau d'Hermine' compact with very fragrant flowers.
The shortness of this text is a testament to how easy it is to grow Philadelphus, and so rewarding, with its profusion of blooms and scent.