Osmanthus Fragrans Questions

luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)June 22, 2005

Two questions:

1. I saw some Osmanthus fragrans for sale at a local nursery and have been wondering where people in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area are growing theirs: on the ground? in a container?

  1. Which variety do you like and why? Fudingzhu, aurantiacus, thunbergii, others?

TIA, Luis

3. Well, one more question... any words of wisdom from experienced growers? I am aware that some of the above named varities will require growth of several feet before they flower. Any watering/sunlight/location issues?

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longriver(SF Bay Area)

Os fragrans is a tough plant. It can be on ground or in pot. In DW area, sometimes there ice strom and light snow. When plant is young, it is nice to give special protection.

There are about 24 cities in China to name this flower to be the city flower. I have seen hundreds and hundreds Os plants about 20 to 30 feet tall in the city Huangzhou in March, 2005. When the plant is established, some snow and ice will not hurt it.

In may green house I have 10 grafts still in the process of calus. I use regular Os fragrans as understock to graft better cultivars such as Fudingzhu and Nanjing Beauty.

There are four groups Os in China, a total of 62 cultivars. Unfortunately most of them are not here:

1. Silver
2. Four Seasons blooms about 280 days per year
3. Yellow or gold
4. Orange red

    Bookmark   June 24, 2005 at 9:04PM
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Im no expert by far! I tried my Os in two spots in my yard one site had too much sun the other had too much water. Now I have it in a huge pot where it gets morning sun and better drainage. It is much better now but the leaves are still puckering I have on idea what that means. I just can't please this plant! If it wernt for the sent I would'nt even bother with it.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2005 at 10:25AM
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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

Thanks for the info, Morgan2475. I currently await the start of Fall before deciding to purchase one as well as deciding where to lant it (ground or container). For that reason, I am curious as to exactly what you meant when you said that the leaves are "puckering" on the pot. Can you describe the symptoms? Also, did you move it into the pot recently?

Thanks, Luis

PS - I am aware of some leaf problems meaning, 'not enough water', 'too windy' or 'too much sun'. But I am not sure what it could be in your case. Did the plant suffer much from transplant shock when you moved it into a pot?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2005 at 3:44PM
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Luis, you are in the same zone I am. I have all 3 varieties you mentioned and they are thriving in the ground. Sometimes the new growth in the early spring will get nipped by a hard frost , but the plants are not harmed at all and in fact come back more lush and full with this natural pruning. BTW they are in full sun until about 3-4 pm. Bill

    Bookmark   July 26, 2005 at 3:37PM
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Heavinsent(z9 La)

The leaves on mine some times have a crinkled look to them but it doesn't seem to be a bad thing and I think the brown tips may be water related too much or too little or maybe drainage?
I have 2 Osmanthus Fragrans both in the ground and get sun till about 3 or 4pm. Very well drained soil is a must! The wind will blow the flowers off but we don't get strong enough gusts to do any other damage.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2005 at 12:21PM
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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

Thanks for the info, Heavinsent! I will keep that in mind when preparing the hole and selecting the plant. Luis

    Bookmark   August 22, 2005 at 1:17PM
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Luis, I had quite a few O. Fragran plants in Dalls. They always stayed outside and I never lost one. It is much easier to take care of than the Gardenias.

When you choose plants, better get them when they are in bloom. No matter how they are marked, some plants have disappointing scents.

When you plant it, stay from the hot sun. It will burn the leaves. Also, add as much organic matter as you can. The plant still likes rich acid type soil.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2005 at 9:37PM
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I live in Texarkana and have 30+ sweet olives. No specific kind, just o. fragrans. The ones in the shade are blooming right now. I've got some in the sun, some in the shade. The sun doesn't seem to bother them at all (and mine are in full - all day sun), and I've never had any problems out of mine. Some didn't get much water in this drought we just had, and they did fine and are blooming more than the others that are near my roses and got watered once a week.
The ones in the sun look better, because they are fuller. If you want them to be full, chop them down by 1/3 each spring (after they bloom). These things will bloom during all of the cooler months. If it's not over 90 outside, or freezing at night, they are blooming. GREAT PLANT.
The soil here is red clay, very acidic, not rich at all. I've never had one die from anything, not cold, not heat, not even neglect.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2005 at 10:45PM
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The real Chinese species are native to the province near Vietnam and Burma. We all know the climate there, rain-forest type, very hot and humid. The species are also quite hardy and adaptable to other sub-climates. But it grows best in climate similar to the native. So people would have more success and have the full plant in part of California and central America.

Its leaves are waxy, and with the humid climate, they do not evaporate so much water into the air. So never water-clog it. At least for young plants, since there is no pressing need for extensive root system, the leaves can be scorched by hot sun. This has been discussed many times before in this forum. The solution is to mist the young plant. Established plants may not have this plant.....

    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 8:25AM
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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

Thanks for the info guys! It is planting time over here. Temps finally went down from the 100's!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 2:59PM
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mtindixie(7A, SC)

Luis, I have 3 regular O. Fragrans planted on the Northeast side of the house, probably gets 3/4's of the day full sun, shade from late afternoon after that. They had been in the ground 3 years, no special soil, no additional watering, grew like crazy to 5 feet but was totally disappointed with the scent. In fact this was the last year and I was gonna yank em out in the spring. SO glad I waited, first week of October I walked around that side of the house and WHAM!!!!!!!!! That lovely apricot/rose scent almost knocked me off my feet! I'm hooked now! I think I'm gonna try a Fudingzhu next, wondering if it's really longer flowering.... the really powerful scent from mine only lasted about 2 weeks......

    Bookmark   October 26, 2005 at 6:17AM
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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

Yes, the smell should last longer than 2 weeks! I get the feeling sometimes that, if someone hybridizes O. Fragrans to re-bloom from Spring to Summer, that person will become very wealthy!

    Bookmark   October 26, 2005 at 7:09AM
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imari2(z5a IL)

I need help! My sweet olive is losing all of it's leaves and appears to be dying. I have it inside in basement under plant lights and on a timer. How much water does it need and what feeding? I don't want to lose it.I also have a banana tree,pineapple bush,2 hibiscus,palms,&3poinsettas
They are doing fine,

    Bookmark   December 26, 2005 at 5:25PM
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Mari, do you have windows in your basement? I'd say Osmanthus requires cooler temps and it's possible the light is making the area too warm, therefore drying out leaves. Toni

    Bookmark   December 26, 2005 at 10:46PM
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longriver(SF Bay Area)

To Mtindixie.
Please do not get rid of it. You need to graft better cultivars. The understocks are very vigor to form a large new plants in two years.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2006 at 5:04AM
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I live in Sacramento California, where I can buy OS Fragrans?

Tex Lu

    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 6:32PM
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