How to Propagate Mock Orange

Mock orange is a large and beautiful perennial shrub. During the spring, it is covered with thousands of blooms that smell like orange blossoms. The flowers feed an entire array of beneficial insects. Mock orange can be planted as a hedge or trained as a tree. Left to its own devices, it will sprawl out and grow 10 feet or more in height. Mock orange is easy to propagate from seeds, from cuttings or by dividing.

Combine compost and sand to produce a gritty, well-draining potting soil. Mix them together in a large bucket with the manufacturers recommended amount of slow-release fertiliser. Add enough water to make the soil moist but not soggy. Set aside.

Cold-stratify the mock orange seeds for several weeks in the refrigerator if you are starting with seed. A simple method for doing this is adding the seeds to a sterile medium such as peat moss in a plastic bag. Add a small amount of moisture to the peat but do not make it soggy.

Plant the seeds ½ inch deep in the potting mixture. Small flowerpots or plant flats can be used until the seedlings develop several sets of true leaves. True leaves are the new leaves that emerge when the very first set the plant produced begins to die off.

Place the potted seeds in an area that receives dappled shade and keep them watered. Do not allow them to remain wet or to dry out. As the seedlings grow larger, add mulch. Repot the seedlings into larger containers when they have more than doubled in size.

Remove 3-inch sections of softwood cuttings, semi-hardwood cuttings or hardwood cuttings from a mature mock orange. Leave a few leaves at the top of each cutting. Using a knife, carefully scrape off the outer bark in a few places from the bottom of each cutting. Place the cuttings in a bowl of water so they do not dry out.

Shake off the excess water and dip the bottom of each cutting in rooting hormone. Using a chopstick, poke several evenly spaced holes in the soil in the pots. Carefully stick each cutting into a hole and gently pack the soil down round them. Be very careful that the rooting hormone is not knocked off during planting. Add a layer of mulch to the top of each pot to retain moisture.

Water the pots with a gentle spray from a watering can and set aside in an area that receives dappled shade. Water whenever the soil begins to feel dry and never let the soil never dry out completely.

Dig around the mock orange bush that is to be divided. Using a shovel, cut off several clumps. Make certain that you leave as much of the root structure intact as possible. Plant each clump the same depth it was growing in well-draining soil in an area with dappled shade. Water in the plants well and add a layer of mulch.

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