The Q&A Archives: care of star jasmine

Question: I live in southeastern Wisconsin and recently was given a star jasmine plant/shrub. It is fairly little at this time. I was wondering on how I should prepare it for repotting. And how to take care of it on year round basis.

Answer: Trachelospermum jasminoides or star jasmine can grow fairly big, even as a container plant. Repot it when it is actively growing during spring and/or summer as needed so the roots do not become cramped. Move it up to just a slightly larger pot each time. This plant can grow quite big over time even if cut back annually so plan on eventually using a large container. Use a good quality commercially formulated soil mix blended for container plants.

Pinch or lightly trim the new growth tips periodically to keep it bushy and dense. Prune it back as hard as required to control size after it blooms -- late summer or fall. Fertilize during the growing season with a complete water soluble fertilizer such as 10-10-10 plus minors per the package directions. Water more generously during the growing season so the soil stays evenly moist. In winter, water as needed to keep the soil slightly moist but never sopping wet/saturated.

In fall, bring it indoors before temperatures drop below 50 degrees. Keep it in a bright location (direct sun during winter is fine) at a cool room temperature (mid 60's is fine, slightly cooler at night.) In spring, gradually acclimate it to being outside again by placing it in a sheltered location with morning sun for an increasing length of time each day. It's better to keep it outside as much of the year as you can, so consider setting it outside on nice days and bring it indoors at night during early spring and late fall.

Enjoy your plant!

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