The Mexican mock orange is a beautiful shrub that produces gorgeous white flowers with a lovely scent, which can grow large enough to create a hedge for your garden. They look amazing during the summer, and are a great addition to most gardens.
In this guide, we will be looking at all the things that you need to know about the Mexican mock orange.
The Basics Of The Mexican Mock Orange
The Mexican mock orange, or the Choisya ternata, is a stunning evergreen shrub with lovely leaves and fragrant, long-lasting blossoms.
It is also sometimes referred to by other names, such as the Mexican orange blossom, or, more simply, as the Mexican orange. Below, we have listed all the basics that you need to know about this evergreen shrub.
The Appearance Of A Mexican Mock Orange
The small, rounded form and stunning, snow-white blossoms of the Mexican imitation orange plant help to identify it. This evergreen shrub is medium-sized, and has three broad lobes on each of its lustrous dark green leaves.
These opposing, complex leaves are each about 2 to 3 inches (5.08 to 7.62 cm) long, and when they are broken, they release a potent fragrance. The 1-inch-wide, perfumed white blossoms also have a strong scent, and they appear grouped together above the dark foliage.
The pristine sweet, white blossoms of the Mexican mock orange are highly beautiful when they are in bloom, and they frequently continue blooming into the colder months of the year.
The Origin Of The Mexican Mock Orange
Mexican mock oranges are a shrub that are indigenous to Mexico and the southwest United States. This may lead you to believe that this plant does better in warmer climates, however this is not the case at all.
This plant loves full to partial sun in cooler winter climates, as opposed to those that are warmer. It grows more effectively when shielded from the intense midday sunshine, as too much sun exposure can harm the plant.
However, excessively cold climates are not recommended for growing the Mexican mock orange, either. Although it can withstand temperatures as low as 14 °F, temperatures below 5 °F are more likely to cause serious harm.
The Average Size Of A Mature Mexican Mock Orange
The fresh, beautiful leaves and aromatic, spectacular white blossoms that thrive all summer long are the trademarks of the Mexican mock orange. It can develop into a respectable hedge for your own backyard.
The flowers that grow on the shrub will typically grow to around an inch wide, while the leaves grow between 2 and 3 inches each. When fully grown, it typically reaches a height of 6 to 8 feet in shrub form, with a spread of roughly the same width.
In some cases, this plant can actually grow up to 10 feet tall. Taking both the height and spread into consideration, this indicates that the plant can spread out sufficiently to be employed as a garden hedge.
Consequently, a Mexican mock orange plant might give you the privacy you desire in your yard.
The Average Growth Rate Of A Mexican Mock Orange
The Mexican mock orange is capable of growing to an average height and spacing of 6 to 8 feet, with the average rate of development of the plant being roughly 20 inches, or 1.66 feet, per year.
However, the Mexican mock orange is capable of expanding up to 2 feet each year when grown and maintained under ideal conditions.
This indicates that, assuming the plant has been cultivated in the finest conditions and has been adequately maintained during its growth, it may only take a Mexican mock orange plant, on average, four years to reach its full maturity.
How To Grow A Mexican Mock Orange?
Now that you are familiar with the basics of the Mexican mock orange plant, you may be wondering how much maintenance will be required to grow one in your own back garden.
Below, you will find the light exposure requirements, as well as the soil requirements, that will need to be considered while growing a Mexican mock orange.
Light Exposure Requirements For Growing A Mexican Mock Orange
The Mexican mock orange must be exposed to sunshine in order to develop, and it must do so in a location that is extremely sunny and gets plenty of light throughout the day. It thrives in direct sunlight, although it can also tolerate some shade.
The Mexican mock orange can survive in lower temperatures, although it cannot survive in temps below 5 °F. The main thing to remember is that this plant will need a lot of sunlight to grow.
You must put your Mexican mock orange in a bright area that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight if you want to grow it indoors. The plant will require three hours at the very least.
The majority of plants that tolerate part sun can also grow in full sun, however Mexican mock oranges are more adaptable than plants that need full sun or part shade since they need a smaller amount of sunlight for photosynthesis.
Soil Requirements For Growing A Mexican Mock Orange
When growing your own Mexican mock oranges at home, you should keep in mind that rich soil is preferable for the plant’s growth. Additionally, the plant will need well-drained soil, ideally with a sandy texture.
You should incorporate organic compost into your planting soil before planting in order to increase the soil’s organic content. This will enhance drainage as well. Mexican mock orange plants often grow best in soils that are somewhat acidic, with an optimal pH range of 6.5 to 7.0.
Propagating And Planting A Mexican Mock Orange
It is up to you which method you want to use for your initial plant, as you may reproduce your Mexican mock orange from both seeds and cuttings.
Each seed should be planted shallowly, wrapped in a plastic bag, and kept in a bright environment between 16 and 27 °C when propagating indoors.
If you’re using cuttings, though, they should be between 10 and 15 cm long, bathed in rooting hormone, and planted in damp soil at a temperature of 16 to 27 °C. Typically, cuttings take 3–4 months to take root, whereas seeds need a bit less time to mature.
Should I Prune My Mexican Mock Orange?
Pruning is not mandatory for the Mexican mock orange to remain healthy, hence it is not one of the planting criteria. However, it is important to note that pruning the plant can aid in the shrub’s development into a particular size and structure.
You might wish to consider trimming your Mexican mock orange if you would prefer a smaller plant. Additionally, giving your plant a small trim to eliminate any decaying branches or faded petals can keep it healthy and flowering.
It is better to carry out this treatment after the flowering season. When doing this, be sure to always use some clean, well-kept loppers with long handles. To prevent cross-contamination, make sure that you always clean your instruments after each cut.
Do Mexican Mock Orange Plants Grow Oranges?
When first hearing of the name ‘Mexican mock oranges’, one may assume that this is a plant native to Mexico, on which oranges grow.
Or, at the very least, you would think that ‘mock’ oranges would grow on this plant, e.g., small, orange-colored fruits that bear some sort of resemblance to an orange.
While it is true that this plant is native to Mexico, as well as Southern areas of the US, it is not true that oranges grow on the Mexican mock orange. In fact, no fruits at all can be found growing on this kind of plant.
The name comes from the fact that the small, white flowers that grow on the Mexican mock orange give off a sweet scent that some have found comparable to the scent of an orange. Otherwise, the only things that grow on this plant are the white flowers and leaves; no fruit whatsoever.
Therefore, if you are planning on buying some seeds to propagate the Mexican mock orange in order to grow some juicy, fresh fruit in your garden, you will be deeply disappointed once it has matured.
Why Isn’t My Mexican Mock Orange Growing?
If you have planted Mexican mock orange seeds or cuttings, only to discover that the plant is not growing as quickly as you would have expected – or, even worse, not growing at all – you may be bitterly disappointed.
While planting a Mexican mock orange is rather simple, there are a few considerations that, if ignored, could prevent the plant from growing as effectively. In fact, it may prevent the plant from growing at all.
Below, we have listed a number of reasons why your Mexican mock plant may not be growing to your satisfaction, along with some ways that you can fix these issues.
The Plant Needs More Sunlight
The Mexican mock orange may thrive in the shade and can even withstand certain lower temperatures, as we have already indicated in this guide. They will, however, need a lot of sunlight to grow.
In order to produce enough flowering, they specifically require six hours of direct sunlight, particularly in the morning. If the plant does not receive enough sunlight, it will not grow.
You Used The Wrong Kind Of Soil
The Mexican mock orange needs a rich soil to grow in, in order to develop properly. In the spring, mix in some compost, and in the fall, give your plant a fertilizer feed if it still isn’t blooming.
You Fertilized The Plant At The Wrong Time
The optimum time to feed Mexican mock orange is with compost in the spring, followed by a little feeding in the fall. In the beginning of the season, too much nitrogen will encourage green growth at the cost of flowering.
You Pruned The Plant At The Wrong Time
If Mexican mock orange is pruned in the winter, or pruned prematurely in the spring, its flower buds will be lost since Mexican orange blooms on old wood that was created throughout the preceding season of growth.
If pruning is absolutely essential, carry it out as soon as the plant finishes flowering so that there is sufficient opportunity for the development that will produce the flowers for the following season.
You Just Need To Be More Patient
Mexican mock oranges often grow at a pace of 20 inches, or 1.66 feet, per year. This indicates that it could take the plant up to four or five years to reach its full potential. It might just take some time to bloom, so be patient!
While this plant doesn’t produce any oranges, it produces some lovely, white-colored flowers that look amazing when they bloom throughout the year.
The Mexican mock orange isn’t too difficult to maintain, so we definitely recommend that you think about getting your own. We hope you found this guide helpful.