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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.

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

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Saturday - September 18, 2010

From: Newton, KS
Region: Midwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Seasonal Tasks
Title: Wintering of non- native jasmine in Newton KS
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I received a gorgeous jasmine for mothers day and I planted it in my front yard in the flower area close to the house. Can I keep it there all winter or do I need to dig it up and place it in our house? It is so beautiful and I really don't want to lose it! Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks,

ANSWER:

There are a number of plants called "jasmine," including Jasminum laurifolium, J. multiflorum, J. grandiflorum, J. humile and J. angustifolium. None of these are native to North America, mostly they are from tropical Asia, and/or Africa. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is focused on the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plants are being grown. Another is Jasminum multiflorum, Star Jasmine, native to India. We are assuming that all these members of the genus Jasminum, native to tropical areas, are going to have similar cold hardiness. According to this article from Floridata on Jasminum multiflorum, it is hardy from USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11. Harvey County KS appears to be in Zone 5b, which doesn't offer much hope for your jasmine to be evergreen, but digging it up would probably be more harmful. We suggest that when it has begun to die back to the ground, you clip the vines to about 6" above the ground, mostly to help you remember where it is. Then, put shredded hardwood mulch over the roots. Between the warmth of the earth, and the protection (and warming) of the mulch, the plant should survive, and grow again in the Spring.

 

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