gilding the jasmine

Plant Delight’s 2013 fall catalogue has just been released and offers this gold-leaved jasmine, Jasminum officinalis ‘Frojas’ (Fiona Sunrise Jasmine) that I’ve been tormenting for a couple years.
Mr. Avent suggests pairing it with colorful shrubs like loropetalum or smoke bush/cotinus. Plant fanatics are always on the lookout for a two-fer. Got a shrub? Grow a vine through it! Or two or three!

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My bright idea was to make its tendrils twine under and through the purply-blue flounces of Melianthus ‘Purple Haze.’ The jasmine valiantly struggled to realize my vision but finally gave up exhausted. Right before its last gasp is when I remembered where I planted it and found it diminished, nearly dead in dry, dry soil, reduced to just a few leaves. I dug up what little there was and potted it up.
I really did happen to have an empty blue pot available at the time.

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I’m just amazed it held on as long as it did, and that it had the reserves to come roaring back to life. Maybe in the wet and humid South they can play fast and loose, combining vines with shrubs. But in gardens with no summer rain, whose caretakers are not always the most observant and/or liberal with supplemental irrigation (clearing throat)…I say this beautiful vine can stand on its own considerable merits. The golden jasmine doesn’t need any more gilding by partnering it up with shrubs, though if your garden can support that, some wonderfully colorful friendships are definitely possible.

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After such abuse, it’s no surprise that I’ve yet to see any flowers. The new growth has a lovely peachy cast to it.

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The torment is over, and I’m making nice now, giving it a container all by its lonesome. Some arrangement of less than full-day sun seems preferable here. Zones 7 to 9.

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1 Response to gilding the jasmine

  1. Les says:

    I bought J. officinalis ‘Aurea’ before I knew about Fiona. It is in the ground next to my front steps where it can run up the railing, and I always have a potted burgundy coleus on the steps for the jasmine to play with.

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