My Fudingzhu Sweet Olive from AE bloomed!

Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)August 24, 2012

I just got my Osmanthus fragrans 'Fudingzhu' plant from Almost Eden on 8/15/12. Of course it was a large, healthy specimen about 14 inches tall. I shook off about half the potting mix it was in and repotted using a fast draining mix and hoped I'd get some blooms this fall.

This morning I noticed some white things on some of the stems and at first thought they might be insect eggs or a disease. Little did I know that my Sweet Olive was already pumping out blooms! They smell amazing for such tiny things. The first time I smelled them was in New Orleans in January or February so the scent reminds me of NO. I remember Olympia's tale of being in a forest of Sweet Olives in China. I think I could happily die there. ;)

-Robert

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olympia_gardener(5)

Robert, sooo glad you like your Sweet Olive. I think 'Fudingzhu' is a 4 season bloom type. I could be wrong too. My memories are not very reliable now.

If you like the scent and want to indulge yourself into the froest of sweet scent . Visit city called QuiLin ( forest of sweet olive) in southern China. You will be amazed to see those unusual mountains and rock formation along the Li river.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 6:03PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Robert! I remember when mine first flowered and I was thrilled. So thrilled, that I went and bought 3 more! lol

I found the fragrance to be very elusive, unless you stick your nose into the flowers and very short lived. That explains why I bought more.
On cool humid mornings, I find the scent travels. Worth every cent for buying mine. They do only flower for me once the nights start to cool.

Enjoy!

Mike

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 12:38PM
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musaboru(Inland Calif.)

Yay! Congrats Robert. I love the scent of these. Sometimes its there, sometimes it's not but if I lived in a cooler/less arid climate I'd definitely have a bunch of Fudingzhus. Unfortunately this is one of the plants I don't have any luck with. :(

Dar

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 5:56PM
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Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)

Olympia,

Thank you! My flowers are starting to fully open now. That region of China is indeed beautiful (just did a Google image search). Probably will never go but one can always dream!

Mike,

I know what you mean about the fragrance being elusive. It seems it is most fragrant in the mornings/afternoons. Just had a neighbor try to smell it in the evening and she could just barely catch a whiff. Still I'm sure once our plants get larger that won't be an issue!

Dar,

This is one of my guilty 'gotta have fragrance in winter purchases'. :)
I don't know if it will take our extremely hot and dry summers but we'll see!
I might just grow it in a pot next year until it gets bigger and see how it fares with our extreme weather.
I would love for it to survive and thrive and to smell that divine scent outside the backdoor in the fall/winter/spring (the backdoor is south facing so that should help protect the plant from the cold northern winds).

-Robert

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 10:32PM
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olympia_gardener(5)

Robert, yours is still small. When it grows bigger and more branches , it will have a lot more flowers. You don't have to have your nose close it to smell the scent. It can take hot weather in your zone without any problem. If you plant it in a pot, make sure to flush out the salt built up from time to time. The salt causes the tip of leave turn brown.

The flower is edible. you can collect the flowers and make wine out of flowers. Last time I was in China , I bought couple of Sweet Olive wine from local shop. It has unique aroma.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 9:05AM
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Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)

Thank you for the tips! I've read they're sensitive to fertilizer so I plan on using small amounts of seaweed and fish emulsion (probably next year).
I knew that the flowers were used to scent tea but this wine is very interesting indeed! If mine ever gets big enough I just might try this. :)

-Robert

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 9:16AM
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fenius(9)

Way to go robert! My osmanthus has not bloomed yet and its new leaves are curled..I want to try other cultivars too but I hesitate until I figure out how to care well for it.. What is the salt build up olympia and what do u mean flush it out? How is this done?
Robert, where did u read about it?

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 7:17PM
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Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)

Hi fenius!

I found tons of info right here on good old GW! ;)

Here is a link that might be useful: Tips on GW

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 8:16PM
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fenius(9)

thanks!!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 8:41PM
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Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)

Glad to be of service! :)

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 10:23PM
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olympia_gardener(5)

Different people have different ways of growing plants successfully. I just share how I grow my Sweet Olive... I have yellow flower type of ( golden) Sweet Olive which has stronger fragrance than 4 season bloom type. But there is another type has even stronger fragrant than mine. That one has darker gold/redish color flowers.

Mine is about 6 years now grew from a cutting. I just planted it in regular, cheapest, no brand potting soil. I only fill the soil to about 2/3 of pot then put a deep layer of moss on top of it, 1/3 of pot . The moss keep the soil and air moistured. I don't water, or fertilizer often. Once I watered my plant, I leave it for 2-3 weeks depends on season and weather. I go by its leaves.. If I see the leaves start to look dry/dull, then I water it. It grows happily flowers every year for me in later fall/winter( mine has few flowers on the branch now, but it is not its full bloom season yet).
The leave tip brown is very common among sweet olive, no need to pay too much attention to it as long as it does not bother you cosmetically, or as long as the brown is limited on leave tips. I just flush the salt out from time to time with a lot of water. Leave it alone and let it grow is key.It is a very easy plant to grow...

I know we want to baby them , but they are not babies!The more analysis you do, the more action you take, the sooner your plant dies. Just like the ton of pills we take everyday... The more you take, the often you need to visit the doctor...

From time to time , the lower leaves will dry and drop... no big deal as logn as there is no pests. I rarely see any pests on my Sweet Olive. Keep prune it in shape... its branches kind of having mind of its own sometimes. Mine, I prune it whenever it is not in bloom, spring, summer. Once you prune, it will send out a lot more new branches.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 1:53PM
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olympia_gardener(5)

Different people have different way of growing plant successfully. I just share how I grow my Sweet Olive... I have yellow flower type of ( golden) Sweet Olive which has stronger fragrance than 4 season bloom type. But there is another type has even stronger fragrant than mine. That one has darker gold/redish color flowers.

Mine is about 6 years now grew from a cutting. I just planted it in regular, cheapest, no brand potting soil. I only fill the soil to about 2/3 of pot then put a deep layer of moss on top of it, 1/3 of pot . The moss keep the soil moistured. I don't water, or fertilizer often. Once I watered my plant, I leave it for 2-3 weeks depends on season and weather. I go by its leaves.. If I see the leaves start to look dry/dull, then I water it. It grows happily flowers every year for me in later fall/winter( mine has few flowers on the branch now, but it is not its full bloom season yet).
The leave tip brown is very common among sweet olive, no need to pay too much attention to it as long as it does not bother you cosmetically, or as long as the brown is limited on leave tips. I just flush the salt out from time to time with a lot of water. Leave it alone and let it grow is key.It is a very easy plant to grow...

I know we want to baby them , but they are not babies!The more analysis you do, the more action you take, the sooner your plant dies. Just like the ton of pills we take everyday... The more you take, the often you need to visit the doctor...

From time to time , the lower leaves will dry and drop... no big deal as logn as there is no pests. I rarely see any pests on my Sweet Olive. Keep prune it in shape... its branches kind of having mind of its own sometimes. Mine, I prune it whenever it is not in bloom, spring, summer. Once you prune, it will send out a lot more new branches.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 1:54PM
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Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)

OG,

Thanks for the tips!
It is easy to over 'baby' a plant and kill it. Laugh.

-Robert

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 1:57PM
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