Water Star Jasmine Well in Warmer Weather | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 28 February 2013 15:10

022813reBy Buzz Bertolero

The Dirt Gardener

Q: Last spring, I planted two staked Star Jasmine into a container about the size of a five-gallon pot. I wanted them to climb over and cover an arbor. They were watered weekly and have showed almost no new growth. Also, the foliage is a dull-green color with brown spots. Boy, was I disappointed. How do I go about pruning them now for more growth this year?

A: Pruning is not the answer to your problem. Increasing the water frequency and nutrients is the solution.

Your watering schedule was not adequate enough last year. Water stress from going dry in-between watering hampered your plants growth potential. When the temperatures are over 75°F, new plantings are typically watered every other day.

This year, I would water daily. The water must flow out the bottom of the container otherwise root rot becomes a problem. This assumes that the pot size is adequate enough for the plant. In your case, it’s not.

Star Jasmine become root bound quickly in a five-gallon-size pot. The pot size is critical as this is not a short-term planting.

There is a direct relationship between the amount of top growth and the root mass necessary to support itself. The bigger the root mass, the less soil there is in a container. With less soil, water stress becomes more severe when the days become longer and warmer.

I would replant the Star Jasmine into pots the size of a wine barrel or larger. A container with detachable sides would be ideal; however, it would have to be custom built. The detachable-side container allows you to keep the plants thriving, indefinitely, in the same container.

Every two to three years, you would remove the sides, reduce the root mass by root pruning and add fresh soil.

It’s nearly impossible to root prune a Star Jasmine or any other vining container plant without cutting off all the top growth. How else would one be able to slide the plant out of the existing pot?

I would also revisit whether you need two plants.

For nutrient replenishment, I would apply Osmocote twice a year, four months apart. Osmocote will release a little bit of fertilize with every watering. There is many other fertilizers that will work but you need to be diligent with the follow-up applications. Nutrients, along with soil, will leach out the bottom of the containers when you water.

Buzz Bertolero is Executive Vice President of Navlet’s Garden Centers and a California Certified Nursery Professional. His web address is www.dirgardener.com and you can send questions by email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or to 360 Civic Drive, Ste. “D,” Pleasant Hill, CA 94523, and on Facebook at Facebook.com/Buzz-Bertolero.

 

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