En Español

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?

Share

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - April 26, 2011

From: Pleasant Garden, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Pruning, Seasonal Tasks, Transplants, Vines
Title: Carolina Jasmine failing to turn green in Pleasant Garden NC
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We planted Carolina Jasmine last year and it did great. This Spring we only have about 2-3 small green leaves beginning on the vines. We did not cut them back in the Fall. Is it time for them to be turning green?

ANSWER:

This is a little puzzling. According to our Native Plant Database page (which read) on Gelsemium sempervirens (Carolina jessamine), this plant is evergreen and blooms yellow from December to May. I know everyone on the East Coast had unusually cold weather this past Winter. Did your plant have leaves on it that dropped off in the cold? In view of the fact that it is supposed to be evergreen, those few leaves may be all that survived the cold. Don't give up, yet. According to this USDA Plant Profile Map, Guilford County, in north central North Carolina, is slightly out of the natural range of this plant; however, we don't think it is far enough to be significant. The fact that it was just planted last year makes us think of transplant shock. If it was planted in very hot or very cold weather, or the roots were somehow damaged in the transplanting, the plant may still be trying to recover from that. The results of transplant shock can show up from one to three years after the planting. We would suggest you coddle it a bit, trim off some of the dead growth (in the process, seeing if there is some green under the bark), and keep it well-watered. Do not fertilize. Fertilizing a plant under stress, which this one obviously is, will result in trying to push the plant into new growth when the plant is just trying to survive. If it does begin to leaf out, we don't think you can expect any bloom on it this year, but if you cover it if there is extreme cold again, we think it will rise to bloom again next year.

 

From the Image Gallery


Carolina jessamine
Gelsemium sempervirens

Carolina jessamine
Gelsemium sempervirens

Carolina jessamine
Gelsemium sempervirens

Carolina jessamine
Gelsemium sempervirens

More Vines Questions

Opinion of 5 best native garden plants in Oklahoma from Burneyville OK
September 07, 2013 - What would you say are the 3 to 5 BEST native garden plants for south central Oklahoma?
view the full question and answer

Vine for arbor in Eugene, OR
May 01, 2009 - We have an arbor that is partial shade and stays fairly wet and want to plant a climbing plant on it with shallow roots, preferably with flowers. We had a wisteria but got roots and shooters everywher...
view the full question and answer

Vines to Cover Brush Pile in Maryland
April 29, 2013 - We have a large brush pile on our property that we'd intended to burn, but it is big enough now that it would require the help of the fire department! I'm thinking I'd like to cover it with native ...
view the full question and answer

Vine Choices Scarce in Beaverton Oregon
June 08, 2012 - Hi, I am looking for a hearty vine that we could use to cling to and cover a cement wall that is about 8 feet tall and 30 feet long. It is on the south side of our house but never gets direct sunli...
view the full question and answer

Vine with red berries in North Carolina
November 04, 2011 - I found a plant/ vine pink teardrop with red berries in the Pusgah Forest in North Carolina and no on knows the name of it. I have a photo, can you help?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center