With its quickly growing vines and fragrant, bright flowers, yellow jasmine (Gelsemium sempervirens) is a favorite vine in temperate areas, hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 to 9. Despite its tenacity as a grower -- in fact, largely because of it -- transplanting the extensive vines and roots of a yellow jasmine can be difficult. The best time to transplant is in spring.
Description and Growth Habits
Yellow jasmine is commonly called jasmine because of its fragrant flowers and jasmine-shaped petals, but is not a true jasmine of the Jasminum species. It is also called false jasmine, yellow jessamine and Carolina jessamine. The plant is native to North America and is the state flower of South Carolina. Yellow jasmine is sometimes evergreen but, depending on the severity of a particular region's climate, can also be deciduous. It sometimes even drops its glossy, oblong leaves in a hot summer or times of drought. Yellow jasmine often climbs fences to heights of over 20 feet.
One of the first spring plants to bloom, yellow jasmine begins flowering in late winter and is typically covered in yellow blossoms by early spring. Because yellow jasmine buds on old wood, it is important to prune or cut back the vine only immediately after the bloom season is over to avoid cutting off next season's flowers. The vine typically stops flowering in April, depending on the region.
Transplanting from the Ground
When attempting to move a yellow jasmine from its place in the ground, it is extremely important to dig with care. The roots will have spread into existing soil, and damage to the roots can be very harmful to the plant.
Early spring just after the bloom cycle has finished is the best time to transplant. This will both ensure you don't cut off next season's blooms and give the jasmine some time to establish roots in its new location before the first summer heat wave or winter freeze. Cut the plant back by at least half to avoid tearing any branches that may be entangled with each other, a fence, or other plants. When digging to remove the yellow jasmine, start from a wide radius around the plant and pay close attention to the soil, avoiding harm to any roots. Be sure to give the jasmine plenty of water the following summer.
Transplanting from a Pot
Moving a yellow jasmine from a pot to the ground or a larger container is simpler than transplanting from the ground because the roots will be contained. In spring after flowering has finished, cut it back to half its size or less to conserve energy and prevent entanglements with other plants. Given the spindly nature of the vine, pay extra care not to tear or injure any of the vines or roots. Make sure there is plenty of room for the plant in its new location, and give it extra water the following summer to prevent any shock to the roots.
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