Murraya is a beautiful shrub with a lush tropical appearance and wonderfully fragrant flowers that’s ideal for hedging. Try adding this beautiful and versatile plant to your garden.
What you need to know about murraya
Name: murraya, orange jessamine, mock orange (Murraya paniculata sometimes M. exotica).
Plant type: medium to large shrub.
Height: 3–4m, but normally pruned to less.
Foliage: small, glossy dark green.
Climate: tropical and sub-tropical, warm temperate, warm, sheltered areas in cool temperate.
Soil: prefers quality, free-draining soil enriched with organic matter, but adaptable.
Position: full sun to shade.
Flowering: small, white richly fragrant. Flowers mainly in late winter or early spring, but may also spot-flower throughout the year.
Feeding: annual application of controlled-release fertiliser.
Watering: needs reliable moisture, especially during hot or dry periods.
Appearance and characteristics of murraya
When establishing their garden, there are a couple of key points home owners often need to address: hedging or screening and easy-care plants. Murraya can cover both of those areas off, and a whole lot more. It’s technically a shrub, but can be used in all manner of situations, and when established it is a very robust plant.
- A medium to large shrub, Murraya generally grows 3–4m, but given ideal conditions, and if left unpruned, it can reach 8m or more.
- Its natural form is best described as vase-like, generally with a very short trunk
- Murraya is most often seen trimmed into hedges.
- Its small deep green leaves form a dense canopy, giving it a very lush, tropical look.
Uses for murraya
Murraya can be grown for many uses, including:
- An excellent, reasonably fast-growing hedging and screening plant.
- Suitable for everything from formal hedges to loose screening.
- An ideal choice for creating living walls as dividers between garden areas.
- Can be trained into topiary forms.
- Works well as a single feature planting when pruned for shapes.
- Flowers multiple times a year, often following heavy rain after a dry spell.
- The flowers smell very much like orange blossoms, and will fill the air with perfume.
How to plant and grow murraya
- Murraya can grow in full sun through to shady spots, however it will become more “leggy” in shady areas and will require extra pruning to keep it dense and bushy.
- In cooler regions it will require higher levels of sunlight, and must be in a warm, sheltered location.
- Murraya does not generally tolerate temperatures below 0˚C.
- It is adaptable to most soils, but will do best in a quality, open soil with a good quantity of available organic matter.
- For best performance, provide reliable moisture over warmer or dry periods.
- Very hardy once established.
Murraya planting tips
For best results, follow these tips when planting murraya:
- Improve soil with the addition of composted manure or quality compost at planting time. This should be blended through well.
- Add a controlled-release fertiliser at planting time.
- If planting as a hedge, leave at least 1m intervals between trunks.
- Mulch well after planting.
Caring for murraya
With a little care, your murraya will thrive:
- Feed annually with a quality controlled-release fertiliser.
- Top up mulch every spring. Before you lay mulch, spread and lightly rake in quality composted cow manure, around half a bag between each plant in a hedge, and water in well.
- During dry periods you may need to water your murraya to keep it dense. It has a tendency to shed leaves when water-stressed.
How and when to prune murraya hedge
- Regular light pruning will keep your plant dense and lush.
- Prune after flowers have fallen and after any foliage growth flushes leave the plant looking shaggy.
- If a murraya gets too straggly it can be pruned back as hard as you need to.
Diseases and pests
Murraya does not suffer from any notable pests and diseases.
- Aphids may occasionally attack new foliage or flower buds. They are easily eradicated with a pyrethrum-based spray.
Growing murraya from seed
Although not often seen in most climates, the small bright red-orange fruits can be collected for their seed, and these can quite easily be encouraged to germinate.
- Clean the skin and flesh from the seed.
- Fill a small pot or seed tray with a seed-raising mix.
- Place the seed in the mix and cover lightly. Water well and keep warm and moist until germination takes place.
- Covering the pot or tray to increase humidity will speed up germination.
Growing murraya from cuttings
Growing murraya from cuttings can be somewhat unreliable.
- Take semi-hardwood cuttings in autumn or early winter. These should be at least 10cm in length and ideally have a small “heel” of older wood at the base.
- Fill pots with a suitable propagating mix and drill small holes with a pencil.
- Remove most of the leaves from the cuttings, dip into propagating gel and then position in holes. Water in well, and keep moist, not wet, in a warm position.
If you like this then try
How to plant a tree: all the tips you need for preparing the soil for larger plants.
Clumping bamboo: perfect if you need a taller, super-fast-growing screen.
Roses: roses look stunning when planted against the solid green backdrop of a hedge.
Start planting today
Check out our huge range of plants now and get your garden growing!