Reality Check requested

dallasblooms(Dallas)November 23, 2012

Being a flower lover and getting bonus points if it's fragrant, I'm considering buying a Sweet Olive Fudingzhu and a Maid of Orleans Jasmine Sambac from Logees. BUT living in north Texas, so not a tropical kind of place, I wonder if I'm dreaming about getting it to grow/bloom here. I have grown African Violets by putting them in self watering pots, and by putting them in clay pots placed inside a ceramic pot with no drain hole, then filling the ceramic pot with water which is absorbed by the clay pot. Will that work with tropicals as "humid"? Or should I just stop kidding myself - I love gardenias and camelias too but can't grow them here either!

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greentiger87

Jasmine sambac will do just fine. Use a large pot, and hack it down when temps get too cold. Bring it inside for the winter. Water sparingly and give it the best light you can until/unless it drops its leaves. Even if the top growth doesn't survive, it will regenerate from the roots in the spring, I can pretty much guarantee it.

Clay pots are good for other reasons, but it's unlikely that method will significantly increase the humidity around the plant. If you want to keep the plant truly evergreen, You'll be best off using some kind of "humidity tent". If you can get a big enough bell jar or a greenhouse box, this can even be pretty. Remember that lots of people grow this as a houseplant.

I don't have as much experience with sweet olive, but I do know that people grow it outdoors in Zone 7 with protection from drying winds. People even grow it as a houseplant further north, though it can be difficult to get it flower without enough light.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 1:28PM
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dallasblooms(Dallas)

Thanks Greentiger! While I don't think they make bell jars quite big enough, I have seen glass greenhouses that are very pretty and may be big enough. Kind of expensive but a great Christmas present, no? Big hint time for the DH :)

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 7:06PM
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dallasblooms(Dallas)

I do have one question: if I put it in a greenhouse to keep it humid (50% they say is best) then how am I going to ever smell it? Seems like a silly question but I've never had a bell jar/greenhouse box plant before!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 7:49PM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

Sweet olives will benefit from protection from winter winds and some shade from summer sun.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 11:13AM
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debndal(8a DFW, TX)

My Sweet Olive is about 4 years old and still pretty small, so even tho it blooms 2-3 times a year, not enough blooms yet to be able to smell it unless I'm standing over it. It's done well, but it does get good protection from the fence and a couple of large trees. It is an understory tree and gets fairly good morning sun and dapplied sun the rest of the day. Don't know about the Jasmine, but maybe you could put it in a "greenhouse" just for the winter? I have a "flowerhouse" I put my tropicals in overwinter, and even tho it is not heated, it gives enough protection that I usually don't lose any.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 1:07PM
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cynthianovak

This is the shrub I have. It is very drought tolerantand cantake full west sun. It must be something different than what you are ordering...right?

I have camelias planted all over. I thought they were fussy but they aren't...at least not where I live in Arlington. They are happiest with weekly water, twice weelky in the hottest part of the summer. And don't plant deeply. I made that mistake

I have been tempted by Logee...let us know what the plants are like

c

Here is a link that might be useful: sweet tea olive

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 12:56AM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

cynthianovak,

It probably had more to do with very cold weather 2 years ago then very hot summer last year. They were pretty tough on my sweet olives that I planted prior to that very cold weather. Only one out of 4 made it to this summer then I had to sell house and move to another city. I'm hoping the new homeowner has been taking care of it!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 2:49PM
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dallasblooms(Dallas)

I did get both these plants and the sweet olive looks just like yours, cynthianovak. Of course I only got the little ones so it will be forever before I plant outside, but I put each of them in a 6" pot inside a table top greenhouse where they seem happy so far. I think they both got one or two tiny flowers over winter. Big sunny window and misting when I remember too. I broke the cold window sill habit finally and hope they continue to do well. Not much to look at but if they live I'm calling this a win! :)

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 3:28PM
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