The Q&A Archives: Chilean Jasmine care

Question: I've had a Chilean Jasmine vine for over 2 months and was growing very well in my planter box (2 x 4). It's just now starting to bloom! However, I just recently noticed that many of the leaves are/have fallen off and it's beginning to lose it's fullness. The leaves are either dried up on the vine or are turning a light yellow. I only water approx. once a week when the top of the soil is dry. What's causing the leaves to dry/fall off? What should I do? Thanks

Answer: Mandevilla ?Laxa? or Chilean jasmine (although it is native to Argentina) is a climbing, woody, deciduous vine. It grows to 15 feet. Leaves are opposite, oblong or heart-shaped at the base. They are 2 to 6 inches long, thin and dark green with gray-green undersides. Clustered summer flowers are white, 2 inches across and trumpet-shaped with a powerful gardenia-like fragrance. Provide rich soil. If the plant becomes badly tangled, cut it to the ground in winter. It will bloom on the new growth. Roots are hardy to about 5 ? F.

If the leaves are yellowing, your plant may be getting too much afternoon sunshine or too little fertilizer. Mandevillas prefer to grow in partial shade. They need rich, well-drained, sandy soil with humus added. Feed your plant every two to three weeks with a half-strength dilution of liquid fertilizer. Pinch the stem tips back to encourage new growth and to keep your plant dense rather than leggy.

Feeding and pinching back to encourage new growth should correct the problem. Enjoy your new plant!

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