Tea Olive time

rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7September 16, 2011

Isn't that aroma heavenly? For some reason, our Osmanthus fragrans has gone nuts with flowers. The hummingbirds are swarming it....do you think they can actually get nectar out of those blossoms? I know that bees do, but I've never seen any butterflies paying it any attention.

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The "tea olive" (Osmanthus 'fragrans') is not only drought-tolerant, but it seems to be especially fragrant during or after periods of drought. I've got somewhere around 20 planted in my yard just for the fragrance.

I have found this to be true with my night-blooming jasmine also (Cestrum 'nocturnum'), which is in heavy bloom right now for the third time this season. It's fragrance can be enjoyed throughout the entire yard and beyond. It's special, the only potted tropical I will never give up!


    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 11:16PM
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rhizo, have wanted to plant some osmanthus but concerned about the size. We saw one in bloom at Piccadilly Farms up by Athens and it was gignormous - at least 30'x30' - obviously a mature plant but I don't have anywhere near that space available. Can you suggest a cultivar that doesn't get huge?

Many thanks, Rosie, in GA

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 7:24AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

hmmmm. I can't think of a smaller growing Osmanthus, but I'll look around. Back when I lived in a zone 8-8b location in SC, I saw lots of tea olives that size. Even here, where I would expect this plant to grow relatively slowly, our little three gallon baby has grown to about 7 or 8 feet in about five years.

Are you wanting Osmanthus in particular, or something with that light, sweet fragrance?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 12:26PM
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I have three tea olives, they are planted between the old house & the new house. I planted them because they are evergreens, didn't know about the lovely fragrance. Some day the old house will be for rent, & we wanted lots of green things in between the 2 yards. The smell is flowing up the terraces nicely, but someday I plan to move one near the porch of the new house.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 8:41AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I'm not sure how well Osmanthus transplants. Does anyone have any experience with this? I've got a little voice whispering from my memory bank about this and wonder if it's a red flag.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 12:18PM
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Knew I'd posted but couldn't remember where. Glad I found it again.

nelson, how large are your most mature plants?

Rhizo, Floridata lists then to 20'tall x 6-8'width. I'm limited. Only have 11 1/2' from driveway to property line. Some overhanging on neighbor's lot wouldn't present a problem, but 30 + feet in width would. I'd enjoy the frangrance but primarily looking for an evergreen to screen a view about 2 blocks away. My other option is wax myrtle, which I definitely like and know I can control with pruning.

Thanks Alabamans, glad y'all are here to help.

Rosie, Sugar Hill, GA

    Bookmark   September 24, 2011 at 8:54PM
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