Star Jasmine Failing & Turf Moss

Question:

 Last spring, I planted two-staked Star Jasmine into a container about the size of a five-gallon pot. I wanted them to climb over and cover an arbor. They were watered weekly, but have shown almost no new growth, and the foliage is a dull green color with brown spots. Boy, was I disappointed, How do I go about pruning them now for more growth this year? 

Answer:

  • Pruning is not the answer to your problem. Increasing the water frequency and nutrients is the solution.
  • Your watering schedule wasn't adequate enough last year during the summer and fall months. Water Stress, from going dry in between watering, hampered your plants' growth potential.
    • When the temperatures are over seventy-five degrees, new plantings are typically watered every other day. This year I would water daily. The water must flow out the bottom of the container otherwise root rot becomes a problem. This assumes that the pot size is adequate enough for the plant. In your case, it's not.
    • Star Jasmine becomes root-bound quickly in a five-gallon size pot. The pot size is critical as this is not a short-term planting. There is a direct relationship between the amount of top growth and the root mass necessary to support itself. The bigger the root mass the less soil there is in a container. With less soil, water stress becomes more severe when the days grow longer and warmer.
  •  I would replant the Star Jasmine into pots the size of a wine barrel or larger. A container with detachable sides would be ideal; however, it would have to be custom-built.
  • The removable side container allows you to keep the plants thriving, indefinitely in the same container. Every two to three years, you would remove the sides, reduce the root mass by root pruning and add fresh soil.
    • It's nearly impossible to root prune a Star Jasmine or any other vining, container plant without cutting off all the top growth. How else would one be able to slide the plant out of the existing pot? I would also revisit if you need two plants.
  •  For nutrient replenishment, I would apply Osmocote twice a year four months apart. Osmocote will release a little bit of fertilizer with every watering. There is much other fertilizer that will work, but you need to diligent with the follow-up applications. Nutrients, along with soil, will leach out the bottom of the containers when you water.

Question:

I have moss growing in my lawn. Will a weed killer be effective in killing it? 

Answer:

  • If the moss is mixed in with desirable grass, then the answer would be no. If it's in open or bare spaces then you could use a non-selective herbicide similar to Round Up and spot treat the areas.
  • You'll need to protect the desirable grass with a cardboard plant shield. The best option is to use a specific Moss Control for lawn product. There are several available, but be sure to read the label. You want one that can be applied to turf.