Jasmine Sambac leaves turning yellow

true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)February 28, 2014


I bought a small Jasmine Sambac last spring. It is in the gritty mix, and since October it is under fluorescent lights (4 inch).

I fertilize at each watering (approx once a week) with 1/4 tsp Foliage Pro 9 36 and the same amount of Pro-tekt per 2 gallons.

As you can see in the photo the veins are green and the leaves yellow. According to my research it seems to be magnesium deficiency.

Can anyone advice me, what can I do to counter this?

Thanks a lot....

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jujujojo_gw(6b 7a)

Your pot is too large. The soil appears to be for orchid. I use normal potting soil and small pot, they are blooming, check here: http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/houseplt/msg0115063322432.html?80

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 4:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you are using Foliage Pro, you will have no deficienies.
The foliage Pro is specifically designed to provide all the minerals the plant needs.
My big Jasmine Sambac is doing fine, I have it in Fafard professional growers mix, and fertilzie once a week like you with dilute Foliage Pro. It's green as grass.
It's about 4 years old.
You are either watering too much when you do water, or just cut down to using only the Foliage Pro fertilizer, you could be over fertizing it, remember, it's winter unless you live in a tropical climate. Or it could have buggies on it that you don't see, so just check it carefully to make sure that isn't the problem either.
Hope it greens up for you soon.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 4:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Thanks jujujojo & Butterfly.
jujujojo, I'll consider repotting it in a smaller pot. I used the gritty mix, though as you pointed out my bark isn't the right size.
And that should be the problem.

Butterfly you're right I probably over watered, but I under fertilized actually. I realized I'd been fertilizing 1/8 of teaspoon per gallon.

Here is a link that might be useful: Al's Gritty Mix 1-1-1

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 3:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)

Hi True Blue!

I've got some Jasminum sambac cuttings growing in the gritty mix and I've got some large plants in the 5:1:1 mix.
I don't think your mix is the issue however I am wondering if you're tilting your pot after you water your jasmine to drain off the perched water?
Sure the pot looks a little large but it depends on the size of the rootball. I've got a Mysore Mulli in what appears to be a pot that is too large however I know the roots are occupying all the areas of the pot so the top doesn't necessarily match the bottom. :)
The large bark and rocks on top are being used for mulch I'm assuming but inside I would remove them. They may be keeping your medium too moist inside.
Also I would not be using Protekt unless the plant is actively growing. It could be raising your pH too much which might be causing the leaf color issue.
If you do want to continue to use Protekt perhaps you should consider adding some vinegar to the water to help lower the pH? Just a thought.
Lastly I too use Foliage Pro which I love but I also use the all purpose Dynamite slow release fertilizer in my mixes which might not be necessary but my plants seem to like it.

Good luck and hopefully you can get your leaves to a nice dark green state.
No one has mentioned your flower buds! Woo hoo!
I noticed today a tiny flower bud on one of my Belle of India cuttings that I rooted.
Can't wait for it to bloom! :)


    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 12:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Hi Robert,

First of all thanks for taking the time to answer in such a detailed fashion. It made me realize what are the probable factors, i.e. Bad soil structure and maybe pot size.

This is my first Jasmine. I wish I had more space for more, but sun space is very limited in my garden. You seem to have quite a collection. It is such a great feeling that after months of waiting one sees a flower budâ¦.


1) This was my first attempt at making the gritty mix. While the turface and stones are the right diameter, the wood is the orchid mix and is much larger. The problem with this mix is that it keeps the moisture for quite a long time, as you pointed out. I was reluctant to repot it in fall. I'll probably repot it, after it has finished flowering.

2) The original rooted cutting was in a 2" by 2" plastic pot. The plant has doubled so far, since last June. But not anything compared to jujujojo's cutting in the link above. I wonder maybe I have to pot it in a smaller pot. Anyway when I repot, I'll knowâ¦.

3) As for watering, I alway water my plants in the gritty mix on sort of a grilled platform. I've posted a picture, it's easier to explain my setupâ¦.

4) The rocks were originally from summer time. The squirrels have a tendency to uproot plants in my neck of the woods, I will remove them.

5)I'll stop adding protekt. And I've noticed that adding slow release fertilizers helps, so I might add some when I repot.

Thanks again....

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 3:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)

You're welcome and yes, I have quite the collection of fragrant and hummingbird plants. I'm totally nuts. Laugh.

I like your plant watering set up! It's similar to the plants I have on a humidity tray. Still if you don't tilt the pot to the side after watering or if you don't have a wick to draw out the perched water you'd be amazed at how much water remains in the pot even in a gritty mix.
Just passing on tips I've learned from this forum.
When it's warm enough for my plants to be outside I usually shove a rock underneath one side of the pot to help drain off the water after watering them. :)

Yes. I understand about those darn squirrels! I brought out my Mysore Mulli a few weeks back when we had temps in the 60's (it's currently 12 and we're having snow and sleet) and those pesky critters dug in my pot either trying to bury acorns or look for some they put their in the fall. Where's my dog when I need her? ;)

I'm sure your jasmine will be fine.

Here's to spring! Wish it would hurry up already.


This post was edited by robert1971 on Sun, Mar 2, 14 at 18:30

    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 6:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

I normally leave the pots there over night so that they drain well. I wasn't aware of the tilting. A couple of my pots have the wicking system. But not the Jasmine. Do you mean tiling like this in the photo?
I assume, now is too late?
In summer my Jasmine is in direct contact with the soil, so I don't bother about the tilting then, as Al said the earth acts as a giant wick!
I lost several Acacia's and my one and only attempt to growing a Plumeria (all grown from seed) thanks to squirrels :-(
Yes, I wish spring was here, last year it came in May, hopefully this year it will in April...

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 12:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hello and what awesome advice from the wonderful folks here!

Robert.....How are you?

Butterfly...good to see you!

As for the yellowing....Mine did that when it was actively growing but not fertilized enough..
I also had one that did that because the root temps were to cold for them to take up nutrients..

I hope you get to the bottom of it..Please let us see them greening up and once you discovered what it was, will you?
I have a feeling that once it gets very much needed warm sunshine and fed better with Foliage Pro, it will be green before you can blink your eyes!


    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 7:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jujujojo_gw(6b 7a)

The pot is large. Now, I think the culprit is over fertilizing.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 1:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)

Hi True Blue!

Yes. Tilt the pot the next time you water it and let it sit over night and see if any additional water runs out. :)
Sambac jasmines like moist but not wet soil which of course is hard to do. Laugh.
And as Mike pointed out they love heat.

So sorry to hear about the loss of your acacia and plumeria!
That's just not right. :(

Hi Mike!
Glad to see you and hope you're doing well!


    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 2:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jujujojo_gw(6b 7a)

Robert, if you check my Jasmines, they sit in half an inch of water, in the outer pot, most of the time, because I do not have time to water them often. More importantly, they show no problem. I don't think this is a plant that cannot handle a little extra water.

Some images of mine in February 2014:

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 3:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)

Hi jujujojo!

Your jasmines look great! Congrats on all the blooms. Wish I could sniff them. :)

If you don't have time to water them often and your method is working for you then by all means stick with it.
If you do have extra time then why not try growing one pot not in water and tilting the pot after each watering and see if it grows any better than your other jasmines?
By tilting the pot after watering it allows the roots to occupy more of the growing medium since you're draining off the perched water level.
My experience is that sambac jasmines like a fast draining mix and don't like constantly wet soil but again this is my experience which could be different from yours. :)


    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 3:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)

Here's a pic of my Belle of India jasmine from last July.

Oh, how I miss the scent of jasmine but hopefully spring will be here before we know it! :)


    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 3:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hey Robert, thanks and I hope you are well too!

That is one beautiful plant..I pray for spring as soon as possible too..I am so tired of this cold..Again, but a beautiful plant you have there! I hope mine can look as good as yours some day:-)


    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 4:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Mike, Robert and jujo,

Thanks all for your input and suggestions.
Mike is good to see you. Hope you're doing fine. I agree with you it's been one long winter. I try not to think too much of the fragrant bulbs I planted last fall :-)

Robert, got it, I'll water it next time your method. With pests, I try to be philosophical, however hard it is.
Juju that's a lovely Jasmine.

However, with my plant it cannot be over fertilization, trust me. It's more under fertilization.
There are 2 types of Foliage Pro application:
1) Maintenance 1/4 tsp. per gallon of water every watering
2) Production 1 tsp. per gallon of water one a week.
During the summer I did the production fertilization. But since fall, I have been on the maintenance regimen. At least that was what I though until I realized that my watering can was a 2 gallon one. So, I've been fertilizing â of a teaspoon per week or every 10 days, as the soil remains humid.

The jasmine is in a room where the temp. is around 16ðC/ 60ðF.

At this stage, I have 3 course of action:

1)Keep under lights:
ààa) At next watering going either to ü teaspoon and slowly hope that it will green.
ÃÂ ÃÂ b) Go to 1 teaspoon (i.e. production) per watering.

2) Take to south-east window:
ààTemperature will be 18ðC/64.5ðF more ore less.
ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ Sun from 7:00 - 11:00 am
ÃÂ One of the two fertigation options above.

3) Drastic
ÃÂ ÃÂ a) Remove flower buds.
ààb) Repot in a smaller pot with correct size bark and fertigate either ü or 1 teaspoon weakly
ÃÂ ÃÂ c) Keep under lights
ÃÂ ÃÂ ÃÂ d) and pray ;-)

What do you guys think?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 4:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

True..I was thinking..

I see nothing of mentioning vinegar use in any of your regimend which can mean the difference between life and death on most of my acid loving tropicals..I do have friends that live where you do and they say the tap water is much to high to be healhy for most acid loving plants....
I have one in which I have not used vinegar in over 4 months and it is starting to look just like yours. I'll be dealing with that as soon as this weekend..It's actively growing and I am feeding it, but it will continue to be yellow until I provide an acidic solution..

The pH of your water can have a SIGNIFICANT impact on the colors of your leaves and vitality..Too high and it prevents many nutrients from feeding your plants properly turning them yellow like that...Have you ever tested your pH?

Do you have white vinegar? I use this loyally and nevr have a yellowing issue with my plants unless the temps are too cold, another reason why nutrients don't get absorbed..
Mostly though, 90 percent of the time especially with jasmine, it's a lack of proper acidity in the water solution and vinegar can correct that easily if used often....
If I pull back on vinegar when I water, then many of mine loose their green color and start turning yellow..

Just a though and a possible great solution. Try this as oon as today every time you water for the next couple of months and see what happens..You could unlock the nutrients in the soil..


This post was edited by meyermike_1micha on Tue, Mar 4, 14 at 17:16

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 4:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I find that it's a bit difficult to grow Jasmine Sambac during cold temperatures and limited sunlight. Have you considered increasing the humidity for the plant?

I usually cover my Jasmine Sambac with a clear plastic bag and fertilize once a month with a bit of epsom salt diluted into plant food mix. The bag creates excellent humidity and preserves leaf colors during long winter months.

This post was edited by uncharted on Tue, Mar 4, 14 at 17:19

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 5:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)

Thanks, Mike!

True Blue,

Ugh. This is a tough one. If you tilt the pot after watering personally I would leave it be until the flower buds open and drop. Why sacrifice what you've been waiting so long to sniff? :)

I would leave it in its pot and move it to a sunny window if you've got the space.
Heck. I'd grow it in the sunny window during the day and then move it back under the lights at night.

If you think you're going to lose the plant then go ahead and repot in a better mix but I'd still leave the flower buds. They might drop off on their own after disturbing the roots.

Hopefully others will give you good advice.
My Belle of India in the pic above is down in the basement under lights. I don't fertilize when it's dormant and not showing active growth.

My Mysore Mulli is inside under lights and is showing active growth so I do the maintenance regimen though I don't really measure and just splash a little bit in the watering can when I water it since I'm lazy. ;)


    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 5:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jujujojo_gw(6b 7a)

I love jasmine but they are never a challenge for me. They never dormant in winter either, in such cold north. I use small pots and rich soil. They love it. They are setting new buds right now.

I love gardenia far stronger. It has been a challenge. I have to be far more careful with gardenia and they have a spicy and strong perfume. Blue, maybe you should buy some gardenia too.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 5:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Mike, I think you nailed the problem! It is the ph acidity. I was just now looking the median ph of our water, it is 7.5!
I always have a gallon of vinegar handy.
How much do you say per gallon of water? Will a cup of vinegar be enough, or more?

Robert, I think, I'll try this method and somewhere in May or June, I'll repot. I'm lazy too, I honestly don't see myself shuttling the Jasmine back and forth ;-)

I wonder why a lot of people mentioned that the pot was too big? I planted my pineapple sage (it was the same size as my Jasmine) in a much bigger pot. It out grew the pot and became 4-5 feet tall....

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 9:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have chased a solution for yellowing leaves on my plants, especially citrus, gardenia and jasmine for years to no avail until a professional grower at a citrus grove told me that vinegar would be the key to very green foliage..

It unlocks the nutrients tied up in your mix allowing the plant to finally thrive..In short, you can fertilize and provide all the best conditions in the world, and still end up yellow leaves like that if your pH solution is too high.

I am not sure if there is a safe product for indoors potted plants other than vinegar, but it sure is a life saver on all my tropicals!

I use 2 tablespoons seems to be spot on for everyone I know every where across the globe without testing their water..My water pH stands at 7.5 to 8.5 at times and this does the trick.

Please, start as soon as possible and watch your watering until you decide to repot..You may find your plant greening up even without added fertilizer..


    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 9:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Great, Mike!
The soil is still damp a tad, but I'm gonna try it right away. That's why my Meyer Lemon is stunted a bit too, even though it flowered profusely in Januaryâ¦

2 tablespoon per gallon, seems reasonable. And keep everyone posted.

I just love this forumâ¦.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 10:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kemistry(8 - Oregon)

My jasmine Maid of orleans had this problem when it didn't get enough sunlight and especially when I didn't add vinegar to my water. It's a tough plant so I'm sure yours will be fine.

Wow I realize how much I miss smelling a jasmine sambac when looking through the pictures in this thread. : )

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 6:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You are in Canada, zone 4.
You are trying to grow a plant that thrives in hot humid weather.
Please just let it go for now, let it rest, til the weather warms up and you can give it a good dose of fresh air and sun.
Don't fuss with it too much, it really doesn't like the weather in your house, trust me.
It isn't going to grow and thrive like you want until the nice real sun hits it, and it gets the nice humid summer outside.
Gardenias also hate it inside a home in the winter.
Sometimes you can kill something by trying to be kind to it.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 9:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Update: I watered it yesterday with vinegar and today it's sunbathing, Robert I inclined the pot. I didn't find any water in the saucer, strange, probably the mix.

Kemistry, Butterfly thanks a lot for your feedback and help.
I am aware, that most plants don't like the indoors, I'm not the type to fuss about them normally, unless I see something drastic, like yellowing leaves etc. It's either live or die hereâ¦

Each year, I've had a different challenge. I've noticed that when I ask questions on this forum, I learn something and that's the most rewarding thing.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 10:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)

Awesome! I'm sure your plant will make it.

I've been battling spider mites and aphids inside (not to mention the annoying fungus gnats).
Ugh. Growing plants indoors can be quite the challenge.
It's so much easier to squirt them with a hose outside! :)


    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 11:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

I'm sure it will. It looks fine.

Yes that's tough with the bugs. I put them in the shower and give them a blast :-)

I read somewhere on the forum of a guy using mosquito dunks, other put a layer of sand in their pots.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 2:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)

Ha! I totally put my passiflora in the shower when I saw it had spider mites (after trying to smoosh them with my fingers of course). I see we think alike! ;)

I've never heard about the mosquito dunks being used for indoor bugs. I'm assuming they help with the gnats?
I've got some so I might as well give it a go. Why not?
Couldn't hurt. :)

I've tried the sand before and it does work but of course you've got to allow enough room between the sand and the top of your pot or you'll get sand everywhere when you water plus it's harder to gauge when the plant needs water with a layer of sand on top.

Thanks for the tip!


    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 2:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Yes we do see a like, it's quite fun giving the plants a shower!

Yes, the mosquito dunks are for the gnats. I haven't tried it, myself. But from what I've read some people put one in the water can over night and then water the plants the next day.
Others crush them and put them directly on the soil.

I sprayed the soil after the water with my neem oil/ insecticide soap mix (Basically a superficial soil drench).
It seemed to work too.

Good luck...

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 5:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kemistry(8 - Oregon)

Because of this thread I got myself a Mysore Mulli sambac! My first plant purchase of 2014 lol. I'm so excited.

Wonder how's Robert's Mysore Mulli doing? Pic, Robert?

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 4:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Congrats Kemistry! My jasmine finally flowered, though I have to say the scent is quite subtle, yet pleasing.

Robert I did a trick last night.

I watered my Pachira aquatica (it's in the gritty mix also). After all the excess water dripped away, on a hunch, I inclined the pot twice, and each time a nice dribble of water came out! So maybe this inclining the pot should be done right away after the watering....

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 11:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)

Hooray for blooms and hooray for Kemistry finally adding another plant to his collection!

True Blue,

Your gritty mix is quite gritty with those huge bark chunks.
I think when your particles are more evenly sized you'll see more water coming out, at least I know I do! :)

My Mysore Mulli is quite lopsided.
I'm hoping if I can keep some of the rooted cuttings I took from it alive then I'll plant them in the pot on the bare side to even things up!


    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 9:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kemistry(8 - Oregon)

You guys... I was googling sambac pictures all afternoon.. Help. lol.

Now I'm waiting for Logee to offer the Plore plena again so I can get a replacement. I still can't forget how pretty kandhi's plore plena looks.

And I need to find myself one of these:

Source: http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/fragrant/msg0500063030080.html

Yeah. I think I'm falling in love with sambac all over again. :p

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 1:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Kemistry, the thread is quite confusing, it seems flora plena is another name for the Grand duke and the flora plena from logee's is Mysore Mulli, which you just bought !
Anyway regardless the name it's a lovely plant and that's what counts!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 3:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

kemistry, the above pic you posted in not j.flore plena, it's some other sambac variety that I would like to have one too. J. flore plena petals are somewhat pointed not like the flower you posted.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 9:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kemistry(8 - Oregon)

Hey everyone. I know it's not Plore plena. Sorry for the confusion. I only want to show that picture because it's so pretty :))

I think it's a cultivar from China. But some (I think it was mrao..wonder if she's still around?) were able to find it at their local nursery. I'm hoping one day it'll be offered online. : )

It's nice to see the many varieties of sambac out there.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 10:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Kermistry see if this plant resembles the one you want...

Here is a link that might be useful: Jasmine

This post was edited by true-blue on Tue, Mar 11, 14 at 9:18

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 8:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jujujojo_gw(6b 7a)

Blue, do you have gardenia? If you do, how are they doing?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 2:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

No I don't, juju. But I have a Cestrum nocturnum which say hi :-)
I have one of those CFL "grow lights".

On a hunch, I put it on top of it and it looks much happier and it even started flowering.
It doesn't smell much (the room is on the cool side), so there is just a hint of scent at night, which is lovely.

However in the morning, the scent is much more pronounced but not overpowering.....

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 2:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kemistry(8 - Oregon)

Thanks for the link true-blue. But I think that is just a Grand Duke. The unknown jasmine above is similar to Grand duke but with less petals? I might be wrong.

Cestrume smelled too strong for me. Especially during the Summer. I think it smells like corn bread.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 3:12PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Ixora odorata
Hello, does anyone have this on the mainland U.S.A.?...
Petunia 'Cottage Queen'
Has anyone ever sniffed this petunia? I noticed it...
Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)
Doesn't look like MOO to me
Since it's a snowy weekend and I'm stuck inside I've...
Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)
Suggestions for Southern CA Zone 9b
Hi All, After my first of gardening, I have discovered...
Hamamelis mollis
I have a new spot under a huge cedar that has been...
Maggie (Vancouver, BC 8a)
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™