How to prune a mock orange tree

Updated February 21, 2017

Mock orange -- also known as Mexican orange blossom -- grows in tropical, subtropical and temperate climates. The small white flowers are fragrant and resemble the scent of orange blossoms. This shrub grows up to 3 metres (9 feet) tall and forms a thick hedge of glossy green foliage scattered with white blossoms. The mock orange, with minimal pruning, forms a neat, rounded hedge. When pruned rigorously, the mock orange makes a pleasing, fragrant formal hedge.

Prune in the late winter or early spring. Remove any dead wood. Use pruning shears for small branches. Larger branches require a tree saw. At times, branches of the mock orange can die without apparent cause. Remove the dead wood to improve the health and appearance of the shrub.

Remove any frost damaged wood. Mock orange is hardy with minimal damage down to temperatures as low as -15 degrees C (5F); however, some branches will suffer frost damage at these low temperatures. Remove all branches with frost damage.

Prune the shrub to the desired size and shape. Left untended, the mock orange will form a 3 metres (9 feet) tall, tidy hedge. If a lower, formal hedge is required, cut the branches from the top and sides of the shrub until the desired shape is achieved.


Mock orange is tolerant of heavy pruning -- if necessary, it can be cut all the way to the ground.

Mock orange requires a sunny location out of cold winds for optimum growth and appearance.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Pruning saw
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About the Author

Eulalia Palomo has been a professional writer since 2009. Prior to taking up writing full time she has worked as a landscape artist and organic gardener. Palomo holds a Bachelor of Arts in liberal studies from Boston University. She travels widely and has spent over six years living abroad.