The Q&A Archives: Jasmine problems

Question: I have 3 very old Jasmine bushes that I would like to save, if possible. The trunks on 2 of them are about 3 or 4 inches in diameter. The upper leaves are covered in tiny white bugs. About this size (-). The new leaves are clean, but the blooms aren't opening this year, possibly due to the drought. Are they too old to save?

Answer: Jasmines are long-lived, as you have discovered. They do tend to decline as they age and for some reason insect pests can sense this and will attack plants under stress. Droughty conditions can stress a plant - enough to keep it from blooming. When a plant is stressed it prefers to grow new foliage which it needs for photosynthesis rather than put its energy into opening flower blossoms. Tiny white bugs could be aphids, or they could be something else. Since we don't know, I can't suggest an insecticide but will instead recommend you hose the pests off the plant, repeating as often as necessary. Give your jasmines a little more time to recover from the drought and they may surprise you with healthy new growth and a second flush of flower buds. Hope they open for you!

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