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Mock Orange - shaping/pruning

I have a mock orange - Philadephus Belle Etoile - it had a slightly rough start with not only lots of wet weather and winds but also the unwanted attention of a rabbit. It is now looking healthy enough but I had expected it tonforma shrubby shape, instead it looks a bit like a starfish - lots of branches all very low, almost on the soul and no height at all. Is this something I can correct with pruning? If so, how and when do I do it? Thank you.


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700

    Did you cut this shrub down after flowering in early summer? If not, it's probably why it's quite floppy at the moment. I don't know the age of your shrub, so I would suggest you cut around half of the stems down quite low. The issue is, if you cut all down, you have a risk with no flowers at all for next year.

    The idea for cutting back hard on some stems, especially the ones almost onto the soil is for them to start to growing back for next year's shape. They do fall everywhere if you have never cut them in previous years, so it's an idea to cut some stems back.

  • This Borderline - the plant is new, only planted in March, no flowers at all this year. Do you still recommend cutting back? Thank you

  • mushermusher Posts: 389

    If you want to see a good display of flowers next year?. I'd leave any pruning until  after it's flowered next year.

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700

    Hi Honeyheart, if you saw no flowers this year you'll likely see them next year. If you have some branches flopping, it could be due to the lack of support as your shrub is very young and there's not enough strong base stems to hold them up. Don't worry too much, I'm sure in years to come, the plant will thicken up and you will be able to cut back after the flowers. I would leave them be for now.

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