Night Jessamine
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Jennifer
Posted on: June 7, 1999

I have recently received 2 night jessamine plants for a house warming gift. Could you give me some advice as to what I should feed them, and how often.

While the plant is growing, feed it after every second or third watering. To get maximum flowering and minimum of vertical growth, use a fertilizer with the middle number, or phosphate percentage highest. It is better to use about half the recommended rate on the fertilizer package, since overfertilizing can do more harm than underfertilizing! A slightly slower growing plant will have harder growth and thus be less prone to diseases and insect attacks. Only if the plant is not fed often enough does it again become weak and therefore prone to all the diseases and insect attacks that an overfed plant is also susceptible to.

Should they be transplanted right away, or should I wait for a while before doing so?

If at all possible it is usually best to wait a month before disturbing a plant that has been moved to a new environment. During that month the plant can grow new roots and foliage that is adapted to the new environment and will then be in better shape to have little set-back from the transplanting root disturbance. Usually the plant should be repotted when is is root bound - usually roots will be coming out of the bottom of the pot, or if the soil has become so old and broken down that it cannot contain enough nutrients or air to supply the plant or has build up so much salt in the medium that the roots are being killed. Generally repotting a plant into partially fresh soil once every second year is most advisable.

If they are to be replanted what type of soil do I use?

Night jessamine likes a well-draining water retaining rich soil. The type of mix that is available in garden centers as "tropical plant potting mix" works well. It usually consists of a bit of loamy garden soil augmented with peat moss, sharp builder’s sand or perlite and a slow release fertilizer. By loamy garden soil we mean a mix of clay, sand and humus.

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