Potted Star Jasmine New Growth

jbw1984September 7, 2013


I posted this in the California Gardening forum, but it was suggested that this may be a better venue, so I'm posting again here :-).

I have a potted star jasmine plant on my balcony that I purchased in May. It was about a foot-and-a-half tall when I bought it, with flowers. I repotted it, it eventually dropped the flowers in late June and now seems to be very QUICKLY releasing new growth. The balcony is south-facing and the plant gets at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day, and it's very bright during the remaining daylight hours too.

But, the new growth is very sparse in leaves. Whereas the plant I bought has nodes and leaves about every inch or so or even denser, the new growth sometimes leaves 2-3", even 4", between nodes.

I am trying to wrap the new growth around a trellis. I am wondering if I need to be doing something else to get more leaves. The idea is to cover up the hideous wall on my balcony--and that won't happen if the plant doesn't create many, many leaves.

I would be very grateful for ideas, insights, and suggestions.

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nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

it's been pretty hot, and that will cause internode stretch. Also, excessive Phosphorus fertilization can cause longer internodes. What potting medium and fertilizer are you using?

Personally, I wouldn't worry about it too much. As long as you grow it well, it will fill in. You can always pinch it to encourage side growth.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 11:19AM
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Thank you for your response, nil13; I appreciate it!

I potted the plant in a MIRACLE-GRO type potting soil, and the properties from the label are attached as a photo in case it tells you anything.

I haven't added any fertilizer; I figured the crazy stuff they put in this potting mix should be fine for the time being (is that a safe assumption?).

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 5:05PM
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Oxboy555(Las Vegas)

You're going to want to get some fert with ALL required nutrients (both NPK and the micronutrients/trace elements) in there well before the big spring growth spurt.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 8:43PM
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The fertilizer portion of the mix, has the ratio about right, I would expect fertilization to be adequate for at least 3 months. My concern regarding the mix, is it is only intended for one season use. Repotting a large vine annually does not seem to be easily done. The reason for the short life is the breaking down of the mix structure that has a negative effect on the drainage. To achieve a mix with a life of several years in a container, it must be made of ingredients carefully chosen for their long life. This can be done, but the trade off is more frequent watering and fertilization. Maybe someone on this forum has had the experience with a fast growing vine in a large container, and how to maintain the soil, over years. Al

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 9:58AM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

Usually with Jasmine you do need to transfer often anyway. With the vine form, not sure? Anyway a point will come where it is root bound, and that will happen before the soil breaks down. The soil should last 2-3 years. Change soil when you repot. After a while you may not have enough room for a bigger pot, and instead can trim the roots down, repot with new soil. You will need to fertilize after 6 months. I prefer to add my own micronutrients with say a kelp powder or liquid, or azomite or both.. I have found it more effective to use various products to ensure proper nutrition. These additives never really hurt anything if not needed. They can be added to water. All potting soils these days are soilless mixes. Even the 5-1-1 mix is going to breakdown with time. Using a more mineral soil that will not breakdown is an option, but I prefer to use the soilless mixes and just maintain them with fresh soil at repotting. You might want to try Happy Frog or
Fafard. I found these potting mixes far superior to Miracle Grow.
As far as more leaves, that may come with time. If not you may try adding another plant, or a different jasmine. Many fragrant types exist that might work better.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 11:51AM
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nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

So I went down and looked at my potted one. It has internode lengths that are about the same as yours. It's growing well. I wouldn't worry about it. It will fill in. Sometimes commercially grown plants will be grown with very little Phosphorus in order to keep the plant very compact because people like tight plants. Also space costs money and small tight plants are easier to handle.

I have my perennial potted plants in gritty mix so that I don't have to worry about structural failure anytime soon.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 8:50PM
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