The Q&A Archives: Orange Jessamine

Question: I recently bought a small tree that was labeled a jessamine orange. It has branches like a Ficus benjamina and has small red bloom clusters. Have you heard of it? Any advice on how to grow? Potted or planted, light or shade, dry or wet? Also can you cut it way back and have it grow back?

Answer: I believe you are talking about orange-jessamine, Murraya paniculata. this ornamental plant is common in the tropics and subtropics, and is also popular for greenhouse growing. Native to India, this tree or shrub grows to a height of up to 12 feet. It prefers full sun to part shade, and a well-drained but moist soil.

In cold climates, the plant adapts well to container growing. It can be placed outdoors during the summer, then brought indoors during the winter months. Indoors, it prefers a bright, sunny location where nighttime temperatures are cool --in the 50s is ideal--and daytime temps. in the 60s.

You can prune the plant in late winter or early spring, before its new flush of spring growth. Annual pruning is better than dramatically cutting back an overgrown plant.

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