Jasmine sambac flowers and buds very tiny?

forever_a_newbie(z7/8 VA)May 29, 2008

I bought a normal jasmine (I believe it is a sambac) 2 months ago. It is in a 6 or 8 inch pot, 1.5 or 2 feet high. The plant is healthy and full with glossy leaves. However the flower buds and the flowers are very small, only a third or half of what normally should be. And a lot of buds drop before they bloom.

I wonder whether this is just a particular variety (I noticed all the plants they sold had tiny buds and flowers)? Or they will later grow bigger?



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I wonder if there's a problem with the roots -- sometimes plants from a store can have horribly rotted roots at the bottom due to overwatering, but the plant "looks" healthy -- ease the plant out of the pot (don't pull it by the stems) and see if you've got plump, white, healthy roots or soggy, brownish, rotten ones. If you do, cut off all the rotten parts, prune the plant back by a third (don't worry, sambacs can take hard pruning) and repot with fresh, well-draining soil mix (i.e. extra perlite or sharp sand).

If not, it could be our old enemy spider mites, which sometimes distort the flowers and cause bud drop -- look for tiny spiderweb things underneath the leaves, and give the plant a serious shower in the sink or tub every day or so for a week.

The only other thing I can think of is exhausted soil, that might respond to weak fertilizer -- jasmines don't like too much, so don't overdo it.

Hope this helps!


    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 9:03AM
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Has anybody else noticed how much the size of sambac flowers can fluctuate? I agree with Jim's advice, especially if your plant is dropping buds, but I do notice that my plant's flower size really varies depending on the temperature. They start off about 1 cm. in spring, and by the heat and humidity of August, they'll be at least twice that at around an inch in diameter. I say if your plant looks healthy otherwise, don't worry yet!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 9:59AM
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forever_a_newbie(z7/8 VA)

Thanks Jimshy and mare for your input. I checked the roots and they are fresh white and I assume they are healthy.

I'll keep an eye on it and wait. Maybe when the weather gets hot it will produce bigger flower buds.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 8:44PM
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Changsong.. this is a guess, but I'm having a similar problem with my Gardenia tree.
After bringing the Jasmine home, did you repot?
In my case, since the gardenia hasn't been repotted in 10+ yrs, I'm thinking the flowers are smaller because roots need more space to grow.
On the other hand, when a plant is potted in too large a pot, growth (leaf and flowers) slow down, sometimes drastically.
One other thing..if buds are dropping, it's possibe you are overwatering..and most times than not, a plant potted in too large container, with excess soil, gets overwatered. Especially if soil is heavy and holds moisture. Not all, but most bud drop is caused by overwatering.
Did you repot? Toni

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 5:12PM
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forever_a_newbie(z7/8 VA)

I repotted to a slightly bigger pot. Yesterday when I checked, the root is already pot-bound. So I assume it is OK?

The reason I'm thinking this might be a variety issue is since the plants sold there all look similar, with tiny flower buds. Also the buds are not the pure white color, but a little yellow tint.


    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 6:55PM
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Hai, Jasmine lovers. I have about 7 or 8 varities of Jasmines 3 of them in the ground and rest of them in pots. I live in San Antonio, TX which gets enough hot in summer as in India. I take care of them very well by protecting them in winter and all, my problem is that I see cluster of buds but they turn purple or brown and drop off before they bloom. even the flowers which bloom are not healthy. I feed them with slow releasing fertilizer and with super bloom during the blooming season. However, since the soil here is alkaline I add little bit of Miracid once a month.I water them as needed every two days when there is no rain the plants in the ground have automatic sprinkler which is activated 2 times week or when needed. What am I doing wrong so that they are not flowering as they used to. I used to get plenty of flowers. From past two years I am not getting flowers as I used to get. The plants look luscious and healthy. I changed potting soil and all. Some one please please help me with this. These are my babies. I had these plants from so many years.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 8:58PM
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changsong, I think it is the weather we are in. Lately the weather is one day 80degress and later on lower than 50degress. This may be one of the reason. I have several jasmines some are indoors and they are doing fine,but the ones outside are with small buds as you said and are not growing much.
Where did you buy your jasmines plants, is that from Wal Mart? I am in Northern Virginia, I bought recently from Walmart and the plant was similar to what you have mentioned above

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 1:30PM
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It sounds like you're doing everything right -- I'm with kandhi, we've had a wildly changing spring, going from hot to cold and back again in days, and I think j. sambac isn't really happy until temps are no lower than the 60s, with daytime sun and heat. My sambac snoozes all winter, and is only now really putting out new shoots and flowers.

Also, are the plants getting hit with the sprinkler water? That may cause buds to wither and drop, especially if they are wet for long periods or during the evening.

Finally, I'm come to think that sambacs tend to decline over time unless you cut them way back or divide the rootstock every couple of years -- old woody stems don't seem to have as much vigor as new, green shoots that pop up from the roots. Other jasmine species have different requirements, if you can tell me what you've got I can try and make suggestions.

Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 11:43AM
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forever_a_newbie(z7/8 VA)

Hi folks: Thanks very much for your inputs.
I think Kandhi is right. Today I wake up to find a big flower with unbelievable fragrance. And there a a few more big buds in the plant also.
So the temparature makes a big difference. I do notice a lot of buds still don't make to this stage. I hope eventually it will do better
Happy gardening

    Bookmark   June 28, 2008 at 12:32PM
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longriver(SF Bay Area)

I do not have a Jasmine Sambac. I had one 20 years ago and it was not a happy event. I just had a club picnic today and met my friend, holding a very healthy J. sambac. She received this plant from her friend, a J. sambac expert. I shall make a connection to learn how to grow and to propagate this fragrant plant. As I understand that there are a few important rules to follow for gowing good looking J sambac.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 2:02AM
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I have bought a jasmine, repotted to 12" pot, very healthy leaves, but buds dropping off. Soil is heavy with compost and peat moss and hasn't had a change to dry up much. We've had a wet and sometimes cool spring, could this be the problem? I'm looking forward to longriver's important rules. thanks

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 8:11AM
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forever_a_newbie(z7/8 VA)

In my experience with my plant this season, I think the weather could be the reason for your jasmine to drop buds.
Updates: this evening my plant is blooming with almost 20 big flowers and the fragrance is a little heady. I can smell it soon after I open the door to the deck. so happy

    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 9:48PM
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hlily(z5 IL)

I have a fairly large J sambac which I have had for 10+ years. I repot it approx. every spring. One year I decided I wanted to pot it in a small pot so I put it in 8 inch fairly shallow pot and that summer I had plenty of miniature blooms. The next spring I repotted it in a large 14 inch pot and the blooms became larger again. This has been my experience. HTH
Also every spring I prune just the tips of all branches and remove almost all the leaves leaving just about 5 large leaves on the plant and I water and feed regularly. It soon comes alive with a rush of leaves and then blooms. The fragrance is unbelievable when the plant is in full bloom.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 6:29PM
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