En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - August 20, 2008

From: Manchester, England
Region: Other
Topic: Non-Natives, Shrubs
Title: Problems on mock orange plant in England
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I have a small mock orange plant that is about 3 years old. It is currently in a 12 inch plant pot in full sun. It bloomed beautifully this year but the leaves on both the new and old growth are starting to curl and have a brown spots. There appears to be no \\"bugs\\" and the plant seams to be growing ok.WE live in the north west of England. Any suggestions as to the cause??


We have a little problem here. We love to hear from gardeners in England; however, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the use and propagation of plants native to North America, in North America. We really have no information on what the soils or hardiness zones or general climate in your area are. What we can do is find some websites on the plant itself and see if you can get some help from them.

Mockorange is, of course, a common name for a number of members of the Philadelphus genus. It is in the Hydrangeaceae family, as are the mockoranges native to North America. We believe that what you probably have is Philadelphus coronarius, which is not native to North America. It is a native of southern Europe, and other common names for it are English Dogwood and European Mock Orange. Perhaps you would be interested in seeing the webpage in our Native Plant Network on Philadelphus lewisii (Lewis' mock orange), which grows in the Northwestern United States and Western Canada. That's about as close as we can get to English climatic conditions.

This site from BackyardGardener.com Philadelphus coronarius had the most comprehensive information, including, if you scroll down, a section on Problems that hopefully will address what is happening to your shrub.


More Non-Natives Questions

Native Species List for Ponca OK
June 24, 2011 - I planted daylilies in my Austin garden and did not do well. I moved these daylilies to my garden in Ponca City Oklahoma and have done outstanding relying only on mother nature's rain. My garden in ...
view the full question and answer

Removing non-native juniperus x pfitzeriana in Arvada CO
June 25, 2009 - We have 200' of large juniper pfitzers (3' tall - 4' wide) that completely enclose our front yard. We want to remove all of them but the estimates to dispose of them have been extremely high. One...
view the full question and answer

Plant called Jesus in a Manger from Florence AL
June 10, 2010 - Where can I find a plant called "Jesus in a Manger"?
view the full question and answer

Non-native pothos ivy from Houston
May 30, 2013 - My pothos devils ivy is about 5 years old and grows outside. A couple of years ago its leaves became spectacularly large, like 12" wide and its stalk about 1 - 2" wide. A couple of years ago i gui...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Ruda plant drying up in Florida
February 19, 2009 - I have a RUDA plant at work, but do not know if I am putting too much water on it, it is about 1 meter high but I think is drying up. How often do I water it? I'm in Miami Fl. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center