Jasmine, Jasmine, on the wall…..

Why did your leaves decide to fall?

After the response to my gardening post yesterday I thought there are some pretty knowledgeable, green-fingered gardeners out there. Willing to help, to boot!

So here are some more shots of the poor jasmine. This is one of the few remaining flowers.


Most of it looks like this


There are some healthier patches but they are becoming the minority


And this is the root of the jasmine


It is against a North facing wall. About 3 years old, healthy until 6 months ago. Any suggestions as to treatment, remedy etc. gratefully received.

The other white one is thriving nicely. This is against a South facing wall.


And finally, for all you dog lovers out there…..

Take care of me, don’t abandon me.


I think the dog was called Jasmine, too.


14 thoughts on “Jasmine, Jasmine, on the wall…..

  1. Andrew, this is when we need ‘Gardener’s question time’ on Radio 4….I can’t help I’m afraid. I love gardens but I’m crap with plants – it’s nothing short of a miracle that the plants on my balcony haven’t died yet – I can only think that they enjoy the pollution and thrive on my easy-come easy-go methods of caring for them.

  2. Here we go again. [Note to self, remember to write long responses in text edit before posting to blog]

    Yes, it is the same as mine. Technically it is jasmine polyanthum, also known as winter jasmine, white jasmine and pink jasmine. True winter jasmine is actually yellow. Always best to start with some confusing clarification I find.

    I sometimes get brown leaves – but they don’t look like your brown leaves! – and I usually ascribe it to sunburn. And I tend to just cut them out. Got to leave the place looking tidy for the neighbours and passers-by.

    I also prune it quite heavily when it has finished flowering, apart from anything else the dead flowers look pretty unsightly. You’ll need to check this out, but I think the flowers come on old growth and not new growth, but I’m not sure. It’s a couple of years since I gave mine a really hard prune, and this year it is all over the place. You can also take cuttings from it apparently. You might want to think about doing that!

    It sounds like your gardener was right. The problem is basically either watering or pests.

    Let’s start with watering. Mine pretty much looks after itself which is just as well because when José waters the garden he concentrates on the veg, and the flipping roses. When I’m there, I’ll water it once every couple of days in winter but that’s mainly because I’m doing the rest of the garden. I’ve got poor soil and lots of drainage. You do know to water in the early morning or late evening don’t you? as watering in full sun will cause leaf burn. Sorry if I’m telling you to suck eggs but i thought I’d mention the basics.

    Can’t remember your seasons in HK, but obviously you water less in the wet season and more in the dry season. Our not very wet , and slightly cooler, season is anywhere between September and April. If yours is the same, don’t over-water in winter.

  3. Regarding pests, apparently they can suffer from mealy bugs and spider mites. I garden organically, so I looked up an organic forum for you.

    You need to check for pests, most usually found under the leaves, or (as your gardener said) grubbing around in the roots.

    Solutions on the forum were to spray with seaweed solution (again choose time of day ie not in sun), which I fully endorse as I think seaweed solution is great. I just can’t buy it here. I used it a lot in the UK though, mainly as a supplement for my veg crops.

    Other options according to the forum are a spray of milk solution, or flour solution. I use a spray of Ecover washing-up liquid, which doesn’t have too much junk in it, water, surfactants, and small quantities of citric acid, salt and whey.

    • Thanks very much for so much effort, Rough Seas. A small confession, we don’t water ourselves, the helper does it so I don’t know how much she waters. But she does only water when the sun is off to avoid scorching. And she has been taught to test the soil below the surface to see if it is damp rather than just the surface itself. So I suspect watering is not the cause. It could be pests. I have resolutely refused to put any chemicals onthe garden other than some organic fertilizer pellets. We had great difficulty explaining to Snr. Marco that we would rather have dead grass than dead birds as he proudly assured us that yes, his chemicals would kill everything including the birds (but hopefully not the dog) if he ‘saved our scruffy bit of lawn with his magic killing juice. The milk solution is interesting because the Frangipani also has rust of some sort on it and we were told a diluted solution of evaporated milk would help. And it did. So perhaps it is worth trying. If it is something in the soil I fear we may have a more intractable problem and unless we dig out the old and put in new then I don’t know how to be sure that I a) solve the problem and b) don’t kill every insect in Sai Kung. Very bothersome indeed. I don’t know if we can get Ecover. I’ll try to find out. Much appreciated ma’am.

  4. Depending on how old and tired your soil is, when you poke around in the roots looking for nasty pests, you may want to add some new soil/compost. Again I use organic compost when I can get it, although right now, I have plenty of chicken manure which is full of nitrogen. That may not be an option for you.

    If you can get the seawood solution, an occasional dose of that in the soil may help. Don’t go overboard with it though. As I say, mine thrives on neglect.

    Hope that helps. Any questions do ask.

    • Yvonne, the dog was a wall painting in Ushuaia. No name. But we did see dogs just like that on the street. We asked about on every loveable dog lying on the pavement opposite our restaurant. Who takes care of it? The waiter said,everyone and no one. We gave it a little food after we left. We looked for it again after our trip but 19 days later we couldn’t find it.

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