Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Evergreen groundcovers for NE NC
April 20, 2015 - Can you please provide a list of evergreen native groundcovers for Northeastern NC?
view the full question and answer

Poison ivy? vine in NJ
July 30, 2012 - I have a vine growing among some vegetation in my backyard. It has a leaf with 3 "points" with ridges along its edges. The smaller leaves are reddish which is why I thought poison ivy but definite...
view the full question and answer

Vine in New Braunfels for Baytown, TX
July 25, 2009 - I have seen a vine in New Braunfels that looks nothing like the trumpet vine or trumpet creeper; however, the flower is almost identical. The flower is more pink though, and the leaves look more like...
view the full question and answer

Getting rid of poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac
July 30, 2011 - How can I rid my yard of poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac? I have tried roundup, poison ivy roundup and even a clorox solution and nothing seems to kill it, I keep seeing it come up. Any help ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on pruning Clematis
August 26, 2005 - I would like to know about pruning clematis. The one I have is getting very large. Should I cut it back, and if so, in the Spring or Fall? I live in Michigan. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

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