Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to light shade. Tolerates a wide range of soils except poorly-drained ones. Prefers moist, organically rich soils. Flowers appear on prior year’s growth, so prune as needed immediately after flowering. May be cut to the ground (also just after flowering) if shrub becomes scraggly, unkempt or otherwise in need of rejuvenation.
Philadelphus is a genus of about 40 species of deciduous shrubs commonly called mockoranges from Eastern Europe to the Himalayas, East Asia and North and Central America. They are grown for their fragrant flowers.
Genus name honors Ptolemy II Philadelphus, Macedonian king of Egypt from 285 to 246 B.C.
Common name refers to the sweetly fragrant flowers which, in single-flowered form, generally resemble orange blossoms.
‘Innocence’ typically grows to 8’ tall. It is a multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub with an upright, arching habit. Features extremely fragrant, 4-petaled, single white flowers (to 1.5” diameter) that appear in late spring in loose clusters (3-7 flowered terminal racemes). Oval, dark green leaves (to 2” long) are sometimes variegated with creamy white.
No serious insect or disease problems. Some susceptibility to leaf spot, canker, powdery mildew and rust. Aphids, nematodes, scale and leaf miners are occasional visitors.
Foundation plantings, hedges, shrub borders or low screens. This shrub has minimal ornamental interest when not in flower.