How to care for my Jasmine ( Orange Jessamine , Murraya Paniculata) plant - Knowledgebase Question

Toronto, On
Avatar for vivbod
Question by vivbod
August 21, 2006
Dear plant expert,

I purchased a Jasmine plant in june and placed it outside on the patio, and it's been doing very well so far giving flowers and producing new branches and leaves. It is right now in a part sun/shade location and I have been fertilizing it about every 2-3 weeks. Being in Toronto Canada with September fast approaching our temperature will start dropping about 50F. and below soon, so I have to bring my Jasmine tree indoors I guess before it freezes and dies.
I would greatly appreciate any information you can give me regarding it's care indoors in the winter months. I need answers to questions such as location, light,frequency of fertilizing in the winter months,spraying for pests, changing pot sizes, kind of soil, kind of fertilizer et... I am using Miracle Grow fertilizer right now which is basically for flowering plants, should I be using something else?
I love my Jasmine tree so much that I don't want it to start yellowing and dropping flowers on me as soon as I bring it in. I once heard that it is best to bring a plant indoors a few hours at a time at first than gradually increase the hours so that it will get used to the indoors atmospere slowly, is this a good thing to do?
I have one more question , when I bought the plant the leaves had a white powdery residue on them , like some chemical was sprayed . What could have been sprayed on it? Was it some pesticide ? Do I need to spray it with something from time to time?.
If you could answer my questions I would greatly appreciate it . Thank you in advance.

Vivian B.

Answer from NGA
August 21, 2006
It sounds as though you're doing everything right to keep your orange jasmine healthy. It's true, you'll need to move it indoors when the weather begins to change; the best way to avoid too much stress to your plant is to move it in gradually. I move mine indoors before I turn on the indoor heat so that the temperatures indoors and out are similar. Start by moving it inside at dusk and keeping it in until morning. Each day keep it inside for longer and longer periods. In a week to 10 days it should be spending 24 hours indoors. It will grow best inside in a brightly lit spot (no direct sunshine), in average household temperatures. Continue your watering and feeding regime until it slows or stops its new growth (about January). At that time water regularly but don't feed. If it continues to bloom and grow, continue feeding, but usually growth stops in mid-winter and doesn't begin again until spring.

As for the white powdery residue, your plant may have powdery mildew which is a fungal disease. This can happen when days are warm, nights are cool and air circulation is poor. You can prune away the affected leaves and stems (prune stems back to a few leaves after they have developed 6-7 leaves). Pruning will open the plant up to better air circulation and will remove the fungal spores to keep the disease from spreading.

Your plant is a wonderful addition to any collection so enjoy!

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