Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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
3 ratings

Monday - June 30, 2008

From: Walnut Creek, CA
Region: California
Topic: Non-Natives, Transplants
Title: Decline of non-native Star Jasmine in California
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We just had 2 trachelospermum jasminoides planted in a redwood planter box about a month ago. We can't figure out if we are watering too much or too little but some leaves are turning yellow and there has been little new growth lately. Please help save our jasmine!

ANSWER:

The first thing that comes to mind is transplant shock, since you only planted it a month ago. This is something people overlook, as they buy a fresh, blooming plant, stick it in the dirt, and it suddenly droops. The most important thing: is there good drainage in that redwood planter? In other words, when you water, does water come out through drainage holes? Nothing will wipe a plant out sooner than standing in water. Once you've examined the drainage, here are some things to consider. The Star Jasmine, which is a native of China, needs a year or two to get a good root system going. Also, it blooms in April and May, ordinarily, and should bloom only sporadically the rest of the year. It is fully hardy in USDA Hardiness Zone 8, in a sunny location. The best we can tell, Contra Costa County, in the north central coastal area of California, is Zone 8, so it should be fine. Now, to deal with the transplant shock. Prune off the upper 1/2 to 1/3 of the plant, and trim out any crowded vines that are not looking well. This will give the as-yet undeveloped roots a little breather, with less upper growth to get water and nutrition to. Then, use a slow drip to water, sticking a hose in the planter, and just let it dribble (watching the drainage) until it seems all the soil is moist. You need to check the soil, and repeat this fairly frequently. Planters will dry out faster than plants in the ground, because they are exposed on all sides but the bottom to the air. Removing those leaves from the upper part of the plant will also help in preventing moisture loss by transpiration. Early next Spring, before blooming time, give it some fertilizer with a good proportion of phosphorus in it, to encourage blooming. And be patient!

This University of Florida Cooperative Extension website Trachelospermum jasminoides will give you more information.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Care for non-native bougainvillea in Blackfoot, ID
June 29, 2009 - Can I plant Bougainvillea in Blackfoot, ID? I would like to plant it but am concerned about the harsh winter killing it off.
view the full question and answer

Plants for planting in gourds
March 15, 2009 - I enjoy painting dried gourds. This spring I got the idea to paint a gourd and cut holes in the side and plant some small blooming flowers. I have seen "hen and chickens" growing out of holes in the...
view the full question and answer

Dividing non-native daffodils from Austin
April 15, 2012 - The foliage on my daffodils is lush and healthy, but I have no blooms. Should I divide them?
view the full question and answer

Control of suckers on non-native crepe myrtle from Bay Point, CA
March 08, 2011 - I wrote to you a while back and haven't heard back. I wanted to know if Naphthalene Acidic Acid will keep the suckers on my Crepe Myrtle at bay? And if so, where might I find it? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Shade tolerant plants for privacy from Larchmont NY
April 19, 2014 - Love your site! We have a 4'x4'x50' stone wall, full sun, with a planting bed 30"H by 24"D. We're looking for privacy, so a hedge with pruning is needed. We have looked at Ilex Crenata (8'),...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.