Does anyone dare to grow Jasmine in pots in Chicago?

apple_2007May 1, 2007

What plant can compete with jasmine's fragrance! I am eager to grow jasmine in container/pot in my south facing, good sun (min 6 hours) balcony in Chicago (zone 5) apartment. I understand it is a tropical plant, but I am planning to give it a try. I did a lot of search online and came up with star jasmine, pink jasmine, jasmine sambac and gardenia as my choices. I would greatly appreciate it, if anyone can let me know that they succeeded in growing any of these varieties in a balcony here or in any Zone 5 place. I can get them indoors during winter, but have no basement, so would have to be in my living room under lights. Please guys respond soon. Also any suggestions about where I can buy them, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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Ispahan Zone6a Chicago

You can find several types at Gethsemane Garden Center here in Chicago. I have grown these as summer pot plants for years and they always do well. The one that does the best for me is Jasminum sambac and its many cultivars (especially 'Maid of Orleans'). However, I would be cautious about giving J. sambac too much sun outdoors. Six hours of direct baking sunlight sounds like a lot. Mine have always done best in northern exposures outdoors or in dappled sunlight. I never bother to save them over the winter since they are rather finicky indoors (low humidity = big problems) and are so readily available during the warmer months.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 12:02PM
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Great! Ispahan, that was a wonderful news you gave me. Can't thank you enough! I shall sprint ahead.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2007 at 2:08PM
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siliconmage(z5 NE)

Jasmine Sambac take Full Sun to Shade, but don't expect many blossoms in the shade. The only true problems with these plants occur in the winter when the air is dry due to furnace use. If you can keep the humidity near 50% with temperatures above 60 degrees they will survive the winter. If humidity is low, the leaves get leathery or brittle then they fall off. In Spring, Summer and Fall just set them outside in the sun. Water them deeply then let the soil dry out before watering again.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 6:25PM
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Ispahan Zone6a Chicago

Mine have always bloomed beautifully *and* have had nicer looking foliage when grown in the shade outdoors. It is only when they are grown in the shade *indoors* that I have ever noticed problems.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 8:49PM
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Siliconimage & Isphagan, I appreciate your valuable ideas very much.

But what about the star jasmine?? It's maintainence is similar to jasmine sambac?? Because meanwhile I am in this research, I just got star jasmine today as a summer surprise gift from my sister who always remembered my fascination for these little guys, as she came down here for a visit and I am sooo pleased! So you see, I really want to put all my heart into growing it, besides getting others. I am planning to sprinkle (water) them twice a day, put them outdoors for the coming summer heat in the day, but bring them indoors in the night (due to this varying weather), put them under study light (40 watt), and turn it off around late night, so they can rest for the day. That way they get nearly 10 hours of light (6 hours sun+4 hours light) Do you agree??

Also I read online that it is definitely hardy till Zone 4 (chicago is zone 5, so shouldn't be a problem?) My sister says it is a bush, not a creeper! that can't be it , right?? Please advise me. Thanks in advance.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 10:35PM
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Also my sister says that the greenhouse lady asked not to re-pot this plant to a new one, at least for this year!? Now I am worried because the pot is 7 inch diameter, and the plant itself is 7 inch in height and 6 inch in width. Isn't the pot too small for such a plant as it has to grow more?? Please suggest me.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 10:43PM
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Apple, with a little effort, you should be able to grow jasmine year round..In summer, place outside..Though a southern exposure might be a little too harsh..My jasmines get sun from each direction, but a maple tree blocks strong rays..Heat shouldn't matter..
I disagree watering them daily..I'd wait until soil dried out a bit..otherwise you'll drown the poor plants. (S)
In winter, any south or west window will do..Mine live in a west window..Maid of Orleans blooms throughout the year. Raising humidity isn't too much of a problem..for one, a humidifer works best..I keep one going on the main floor, but jasmines are upstairs in the bathroom..Because my jasmine live in the bathroom, everytime someone showers this increases humidity..I mist leaves daily, and try showering them once a wk. You can also use humidity trays under pot/s. Just add pebbles in a tray, fill with water, and set pots atop pebbles. There's all sorts of tricks raising humidity in homes where we live.
Do you plan on bringing jasmine indoors at night during summer? There's no reason to do this. They will adapt to a 10-20 degree drop at night.
If your jasmine was really rootbound, I'd disagree w/the clerk where you sister purchased it, but a 6" tall plant in a 7" diameter pot is more than sufficient. In fact, jasmines like being a bit potbound to promote flowering. Jasmines vary..some are deciduous while others are evergreen..If you happen to buy a deciduous type, don't toss in winter when leaves drop..this is a natural process..they'll grow in as soon as daylight hours increase..Toni

    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 12:43AM
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Thanks Tony! That was a very good reply you gave, that's just what I have been looking for.Appreciate a lot. Will go ahead cheerfully now.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 9:37AM
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chills71(Zone 6b Mi)

I've got a potted Jasmine that I've moved in and out as the weather changes for over 3 years now. It sulks and about half the leaves either dry or drop off, but by this time each year it is blooming and making the effort worthwhile. I know its a common Jasmine (with the wonderful scent and all) but, I don't know what one as I saved it from my neighbor's trash one cold December morning years ago.


    Bookmark   May 5, 2007 at 9:59PM
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HI Apple I also live out side of chicago and put my two jasmines out side for part sun/ part shade. they grow like crazy. what I do Is I group other plants around them for xtra humidity on those dry days then In a sunny window sill In the winter time. however, I have yet to see either one bloom. I dont know them a misting also helps.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 11:58AM
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When growing indoors during the winter, be sure to look out for bugs -- I think Jasmine is prone to whiteflies and aphids, depending on the varietal that you chose. My sister just prune her's back if it becomes infested with bugs. I am sure a systemic would work as well. Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 3:50PM
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I am infested with Aphids this season! I tried spraying them with water; I'm resulting to chemicals- any suggestions?

    Bookmark   August 11, 2007 at 8:30PM
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gentian(zone 5b, central Illinois)

The problem with Jasminum sambac is that it needs it warm all the time and goes into a kind of dormancy if it is chilly at night. That is why you can get great plants and then later they stop growing. It should be brought in when you would bring in something like caladiums cool nights start

    Bookmark   August 25, 2007 at 9:40PM
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About half a liter of water mixed with neem oil.
Don't spray the flowers and the leaves as that will cause them to shrink in the sun.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 9:36AM
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Aphids, white fly and spider mite can all be controlled very easily with just 8 drops of liquid dish detergent in 1/2 gal. sprayer nearly filled with distilled water. I soak all my tropicals down in the garage each fall before bringing them in and I usually have good luck. I do this over the course of 3 days, spraying them each day in the morning. Shake up the container very well, it will foam a lot, but it's no big deal. Make sure there are no dead leaves on the soil and soak the living leaves on both sides and all stems and trunks, especially at the joints. Mites are the worst, they'll hide in every nook and cranny, thus the soaking. All it takes is one mated to survive and your plants will end up suffering all winter. This is a good remedy and does not involve chemicals at all.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 9:29AM
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ladylotus(Z3/4 ND)

How do you get rid of mealy bugs? I have some one a few of my plants and I don't want to have them spread through my greenhouse all winter long.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 10:16PM
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Dear ladylotus,

I assume you are talking about mealy bugs on a jasmine.
The first line of defence is old Dutch cleanser. That is to say, summarily through the affected plants out.

If you cant do this, you will need rubbing alchohol and Q-tips. Dip the cotton end in the rubbing alchohol, and touch it to the bugs to exterminate them. Go over every _centimeter_ of the plant looking for bugs, and repeat weekly or twice weekly for the entire winter.

What you should do now, since it is only October is`put the plants out each and every day the temperature rises above freezing, returning the plants into the greenhouse if frost threatens after dark. Mealy bugs only pose a serious threat to indoor plants. Outdoors the mealy bugs are kept in check. The sunlight, fresh air, wind, cool temperatures and critters will help you control the mealy bugs.

Additionally, while the plants are outside, give them a firm spray with a hose. Using a jet of water in this way wll dislodge and wash away the pests before they have a chance to establish themselves again in anticipation of your next weekly rubbing alchohol assault. You can continue doing this once the plants are indoors for good with an indoor spraying wand, or by bringing the plants under the sink. Just keep in mind, that you want to wash the foliage - not drench the soil each and every day. Turn the plant gently on a forty-five degree angle as you do this.

Addditionaly, mist and spray your plants at least daily. This should be part of your routine no matter what. Plain water that you have filtered or allowed to sit over night in order that the chlorine should dissapate is great. Rain water or melted fresh snow is even better. These will raise the humitity for your plants, wash off evil-doers, and in general help keep your plants healthy, just like gentle morning mist and dew in California and England do the the plants in those blessed climes. In your case I would add a very mild solution of Doctor Bronners Peppermint Castille soup to your spray, and apply it once a day. This inhibits insects, deters them from chewing and sucking, and prevents them from becomming a problem. You could also use a mild organic pesticide according to the package directions. In either case, remeber that spraying is preventative medicine, and only works in that capacity - not as well when resorted to as a last measure.

Finally, now that I have converted you to the merits of spraying, I reccomend that you use a mild organic foilar feed (miracle grow organic choice is fine - compost or worm casting tea is excellent) in your spray each and every day. In addition use SprayNGrow (a micronutrient formulation) every week according to package directions. It is ok to go down to once a month with SprayNGrow in the winter when plants aren't growing in the winter. In your specific situation with mealy bug infestation and recovery though, I would keep up the regimen all winter. These measures help keep the plant in tip-top shape, and give it the vim and vigor to fight off any insect assault.

Best wishes,
Matt Di Clemente

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 8:42PM
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ladylotus(Z3/4 ND)


Thank you so much for the information. I've been spraying the infested plants with a mild solution of neem oil and dawn dish detergent. Just when I think I get one plant cleaned up of those pesky mealies....they move on to other plants. Winter is not even here and I'm already frustrated.

I will try misting all my plants every day. There are way to many plants to use a Q-tip. I am off to research Doctor Bronners Peppermint Castille soap. Perhaps that will help. I've sprayed my plants so much they are beginning to drop leaves already. ARGH.

Thank you for taking the time to help me.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 10:11PM
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