No Flowers On Mock Orange: Why A Mock Orange Bloom Does Not Bloom

The mock orange plant, Maraya paniculata.
Image by Gurilla

By Darcy Larum, Landscape Designer

It’s late spring and the neighborhood is filled with the sweet scent of mock orange blooms. You check your mock orange and it doesn’t have a single bloom, yet all others are covered with them. Sadly, you wonder why is my mock orange not blooming. Continue reading to learn why there are no flowers on mock orange.

Why a Mock Orange Bush Does Not Bloom

Hardy in zones 4-8, mock orange shrubs bloom in late spring to early summer. When mock orange is pruned, it is important to future flower development. Like lilacs, mock orange should be pruned right after flowers fade. Pruning too late in the season can cut off next year’s buds. This will result in a mock orange not flowering the next year. Mock orange benefits from pruning once a year, after blooms fade. Be sure to also remove any dead, diseased or damaged branches for the overall health and good appearance of your mock orange shrub.

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Improper fertilization can also be a reason why a mock orange bush does not bloom. Too much nitrogen from lawn fertilizers can cause a mock orange to grow large and bushy but not flower. Nitrogen promotes nice lush, green foliage on plants but inhibits blooms. When all the plant’s energy is put into the foliage, it cannot develop flowers. In areas where mock orange may receive too much lawn fertilizer, berm up the planting site of mock orange or plant a buffer of foliage plants between the lawn and the mock orange. These plants can absorb much of the nitrogen before it gets to the shrub. Also, use fertilizers high in phosphorus to assist in getting a mock orange to flower.

Mock orange also needs adequate light to bloom. When we plant our landscapes, they are young and small, but as they grow they can cast shade upon each other. If your mock orange is not receiving full sun, you will probably not get many, if any, blooms. If possible, trim away any plants shading the mock orange. In some cases, you may need to dig up and relocate your mock orange to an area where it will receive full sun.

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