The Q&A Archives: Jasmine

Question: We recently moved and our beautiful potted Jasmine has taken it hard. It continues to lose most of its leaves but has some new growth in sparse areas. It seems even these leaves fall off even before they get a chance to grow larger. It obviously has not bloomed since we've been here (6 months). It looks like Charlie Brown's Christmas tree at this point. Please give us some suggestions as to how to save it. Do we trim it down? Use fertilizer? Help! It is indoors, within 68 degrees at all times and sitting out of the direct sunlight in a southwest window.

Answer: It's not unusual for plants to go through an adjustment period when moved, but six months seems an excessive amount of time for adjustment. I'd venture that the conditions aren't quite right for your jasmine. The basic rules for success with jasmine are to keep the plant cool in winter, give it plenty of light (some direct sunlight is beneficial), keep the potting soil moist at all times, and mist the leaves frequently to increase humidity around the plant. Since yours is looking pretty pathetic, I'd cut back the stems to encourage new growth, move it to a brighter location, water as required, and hold off on fertilizer until this spring when it begins to grow vigorously. At that time you can feed it lightly with a diluted liquid fertilizer. Your plant will benefit from spending the spring and summer months outdoors, where it will develop the flower buds that will open during the winter months when it is indoors.

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