The Q&A Archives: Murraya Paniculata

Question: My local nursery sold me a staked 5 gallon murraya paniculata to be used to grow up a post on the west side of my patio shade structure. After doing some research, it appears that is is really a shrub or small tree. The planter box in my patio is only 18 inches square with a bubbler for water. Can I train it up to post into an espalier and will it take the hot west sun in the Palm Springs summer? I have not yet planted it and can take it back. I was looking for something fragrant for that space.
Thank you,

Answer: Murraya paniculata, or Orange Jasmine, is a shrub which can be trained into a tree form. It will reach a mature height of 6'-10'. The site you describe doesn't sound ideal for such a large plant. Better choices for your gardening region, and for your purpose of training it on a trellis (or espallier) are 1) Campsis radicans, also called Trumpet Vine. It's a fast growing deciduous vine with 3 inch long orange trumpetlike flowers. A vigorous climber, this plant can be used to cover an overhead trellis to which they will cling with aerial rootlets. Or 2) Wisteria, a highly adaptable deciduous vine, with fragrant violet-blue flowers. Can be grown as a climbing vine, or with pruning as bushes or small trees. Reasonably drought tolerant, but likes a little extra water during bloom or for fast growth.

Best wishes with your new patio plant!

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