Garden Detective

Garden Detective: Sick jasmine can bounce back

Garden Detective: What’s wrong with this star jasmine? Pruning at the wrong time of year can lead to sunburn and slow re-growth.
Garden Detective: What’s wrong with this star jasmine? Pruning at the wrong time of year can lead to sunburn and slow re-growth. Special to The Bee

Experts tackle readers’ garden questions.

Q: Our jasmine privet was lush and fabulous until a couple years ago when my husband pruned them midsummer. The one on the left has been struggling ever since. Any idea what the problem is?

Julie Virga, Sacramento

Master gardener Anna Symkowick-Rose: From the photos you supplied, your plant has been identified as Trachelospermum jasminoides, commonly called star jasmine.

Botanical jasmines grow more rapidly in good soil and bloom more profusely in sunny sites, but all adapt well to less-than-perfect conditions.

When plants become tangled or untidy, cut them back heavily just before spring growth begins. Pinch and prune as needed throughout the year to control growth.

To keep star jasmine looking lush year-round, routinely remove portions of old wood to promote new growth.

Because your plant was pruned heavily in midsummer, it probably is taking a bit longer to recover.

The majority of landscape plants should be pruned only if necessary. It is recommended that it is done in the fall or spring when temperatures are milder. However, if a plant is excessively pruned at any time of the year, it can suffer sunburn damage.

Luckily, it looks like your plant is recovering. It just may take a little while to get back the lush plant that it once was.

Anna Symkowick-Rose is a UC Cooperative Extension master gardener for Sacramento County.

Garden questions?

Questions are answered by master gardeners at the UC Cooperative Extension services in Sacramento and Placer counties. Send questions to Garden Detective, P.O. Box 15779, Sacramento, CA 95852. Send email to h&g@sacbee.com. Please put “Garden Detective” in the subject field and include your postal address. To contact UC Extension directly, call:

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