Newbie needs Confederate Jasmine help!

elisabeth_aAugust 26, 2009

First off, let me confess that I *stink* at gardening, so I'm not at all surprised that I'm having trouble. (Glad I got that off my chest!)

Okay, so I got these two Confederate Jasmine plants at my local big-box hardware store in May or June. I don't know what gallon container they came in, but they were about 3-4 feet tall. My mother - who is less of a plantkiller than I am - re-potted them for me into gigantic pots. They went in front of trellises on either side of my front door. Western exposure, about 6-7 hours of full HOT sun per day. They both dropped all their blooms right away, but other than that they seemed okay. Now the one on the right is growing like gangbusters, seems super-healthy with nice green shiny leaves and tons and tons of new growth. It has already grown all the way up the trellis and arches beautifully above the door. Still no blossoms, which is a bummer, but it seems to be doing really well other than that.

Now the plant on the left is a totally different story. Very slow growth, and it drops its leaves like crazy. It's had trouble with aphids (at least I think that's what they are?), but I spray it with soapy water to try and take care of them. It's bushy with large, dark green leaves at the bottom, but the new growth up top is flimsier than on the other plant, and the baby leaves seem more sensitive to the hot sun, as they turn reddish and fall off before they get very big. So there are teeny baby leaves at the tips of the new growth, then basically long sticks until it gets down to the bottom growth. The plan was to have the two meet in the middle, above the front door, but I'm afraid to have the healthy plant even touch the sicklier one for fear of it catching weak-plant-cooties.

Should I pull the sickly plant off the trellis and replace it with a new one? Is it too late in the season to do that? Should I keep the two plants apart, sit back and wait and see how they do through the winter? I've really treated both plants the same, they get water at the same time and all. (The pots have drainage holes ... just trying to think of any info that might be pertinent!) I tossed a little Miracle Gro for flowering plants in the pots about a month ago in hopes of getting the blossoms to come back, but that was all I've done as far as feeding them.

I just want to know if I should give up on the poor plant on the left and put it out to pasture in the back yard and start over with a new one. Since I don't know what I did wrong though, I'm hesitant to subject another innocent plant to my poor gardening!

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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

What plant are you calling Confederate Jasmine?

Do you know the Latin name? I know of two different vines called that and one usually cannot take full hot sun.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2009 at 12:52PM
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elisabeth_a

I dunno, I think it's Trachelospermum Jasminoides. It seems like it was Madison Confederate Jasmine, although I looked at a lot of them and I could be getting it confused with the one I didn't buy. The one I have has (or is supposed to have) white flowers, not yellow. I'm inclined to go back to the store and just pick up another (if they even still have any this late in the year), and chalk up the raggedy one to a big-box-store dud. (Rather than credit my ineptitude for its woes, LOL.)

    Bookmark   August 28, 2009 at 11:30AM
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jimshy

The main flowering season for Confederate Jasmine is spring, and they need some cold temps before blooming, so don't be surprised if you don't see more blooms until spring. However, there's another problem with getting to spring even before dealing with the unhappy plant -- this vine is only hard to z6 at best, and in a pot, it's going to have a tough time surviving the winter at all, especially as a recent transplant. Do you have space to overwinter them indoors, even a cold garage or basement?

As for the sad plant, box-store plants often have root problems due to standing around in small pots getting overwatered or neglected by employees who don't really know how to care for them. It's likely that this one is still struggling to put out new roots while it's been blasted with full sun and summer temps. Get it out of full sun and give it just morning sun, keep it moist but not sopping wet, and see if the new growth looks healthier. If not, you may have to turn it gently out of its pot to look at the roots -- brown, rotten roots need to be cut off and then the plant needs repotting with fresh, well-draining potting mix.

Hope this helps!

Jim

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 1:46PM
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