Jasmine leaves turn yellow in response to overwatering, underwatering and nutrient deficiencies in the soil. If the leaves are curling, turning brown or dropping off this is due to a combination of too much heat, sunlight and dry soil.
Whilst too much sunlight and heat is usually the reason for a dying jasmine here is a table summarizing the most common reasons for dying jasmine plants…
|Symptoms of a Dying Jasmine Plant:||Reasons for Dying Jasmine Plants:|
|Jasmine Dying Back in Winter:||Not all jasmine cultivars are Winter hardy and some varieties die back in freezing temperatures.|
|Jasmine Leaves Turning Yellow:||Overwatering and underwatering cause yellowing leaves. Nutrient deficiencies and alkaline soils can cause yellow leaf veins (chlorosis).|
|Jasmine Leaves Curling, Turning Brown or Dropping Off and drying out:||A trifecta of too much heat, too much direct sunshine and drought stress all cause curling leaves that turn brown and drop off. Leaves can also drop off in Winter. Small pots also dry out too quickly in the sun causing the leaves to curl.|
|Jasmine Leaves Dropping Off in Winter:||Most jasmine species are deciduous and drop some of their leaves in Winter.|
|Jasmine Leaves Turning Red and Dropping Off:||Star jasmines (Trachelospermum jasminoides) have leaves that turn red in Winter before dropping off naturally. If the leaves are turning red at any other time of year it is likely to an environmental stress such as a nutrient deficiency or overwatering.|
To revive dying jasmine plants recreate the conditions of their natural habitat by growing jasmine in morning sun followed by afternoon shade, replant it in soil that is amended with organic matter and protect it from freezing temperatures in Winter.
Keep reading to learn why your jasmine is dying and how to revive it…
Jasmine Plants Dying Back in The Winter
If your jasmine is dying back in the Winter this is usually because several species of jasmine are either not cold hardy or only half hardy and therefore are likely to die back due to cold temperatures.
Jasmine are native to tropical regions and have adapted to climates mild to warm consistent temperatures even in Winter and typically die back due to cold when cultivated outside of there native range.
The only jasmine species that I have grow reliably in a garden that experiences frost is the appropriately named ‘Winter Jasmine‘ also know as Jasminum nudiflorum which prefers a sheltered spot but can tolerate frosts and freezing temperatures in Winter, although it may suffer with extreme, prolonged cold.
All other species of Jasmine need to be either in a very sheltered spot which is free of frost or grown in pots and brought indoors if your climate is particularly cold with some cultivars such as Jasminum polyanthum needing to be brought indoors (ideally in a conservatory or heated greenhouse for the light) and protected from temperatures as mild as 55˚F to 59˚F (13˚C to 15˚C) at night such is its intolerance to cold.
I should emphasize that most popular jasmine cultivars are deciduous and lose leaves in Winter as part of their natural cycle, so as long as they are not exposed to freezing temperatures, the jasmine should reemerge next year.
How to Revive it…
To be honest most non hardy jasmine plants die in Winter frosts and cannot be revived.
However I would recommend using a thick layer of mulch ( such as compost) of about three inches to use as insulation around the base of the jasmine to protect the root stock which may still be alive under the soil even if all the foliage and branches look dead.
It is possible that the jasmine cold regrow in the Spring with warmer temperatures, so it is worth waiting to see.
The best advice is to simply plant dig up any jasmine that has not survived Winter and replanting with the cold hardy Winter jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum).
You can grow tender or half hardy variety in a pot and bring them indoors in the Fall to protect them for the cold if there is a specific non hardy variety that you want to grow in your garden.
Reasons Jasmine Leaves Turn Yellow
Jasmine leaves turn yellow in response to a range of environmental stress such as overwatering, poor drainage, underwatering, alkaline soils, low nutrients, low light or humidity.
However if just a few leaves are turning yellow and dropping off this is just a normal part of the jasmine’s life cycle and is not a cause for concern.
Overwatering and Underwatering Turning the Leaves Yellow
The appearance of both an overwatered and underwatered jasmine is very similar with yellow leaves that can curl up and drop off.
Therefore the best way to determine the cause is to check the soils moisture. Jasmine plants need moist, yet well draining soil, which means they do not tolerate saturated soil.
The soil may be too damp for the jasmine to tolerate due to:
- Watering the jasmine too often.
- Pots without drainage holes in the base.
- The jasmine is planted in slow draining soils such as clay.
If the soil is too damp then yellowing leaves is usually the first indication. Too much water around the roots prevents root respiration.
If the roots cannot respire then they cannot draw up the moisture and nutrients that the jasmine needs which results in yellowing leaves. Chronically overwatered jasmines tend to develop root rot which makes it difficult to revive.
However the soil can dry out too much and cause the leaves to turn yellow if:
- There is a heat wave or drought.
- The jasmine’s pot is too small and therefore dries out too quickly.
- The soil is sandy and doesn’t retain much moisture.
How to Revive Yellow Leaves due to Overwatering and Underwatering
To revive a jasmine with yellow leaves, it is important to address the environmental stress and create the optimal growing conditions. If the soil feels damp…
- Reduce how often you water the jasmine. Consider that jasmines outdoors typically only need to be watered in their first year of planting to ensure they establish a good root system. After which it is usually only necessary to water in times of drought (assuming the jasmine is planted in good soil that retains moisture).
- Ensure that the jasmine is planted in a pot with drainage holes in the base and empty any saucers or trays of excess water regularly. Jasmines need good drainage to avoid their leaves turning yellow therefore it is imperative that any potted jasmines have good drainage.
- Transplant your jasmine if it is in a boggy area of your garden or you have heavy clay soils. The best time for transplanting is typically Spring, but if the leaves are turning yellow due to boggy soil it is important to transplant at any time of the year to prevent it dying. If you have clay soils consider repotting jasmine in pots as you can plant it in its ideal potting medium of good, moist compost whilst also being well draining.
With the right care the jasmine can recover and regrow healthy green leaves in the Spring. However if it has been in boggy soil for too long and all the leaves are yellow and dropping off, it can be too difficult to save the jasmine.
To save to drought stress jasmine with yellowing leaves:
- If the jasmine is in a relatively small pot, repot the jasmine. A bigger pot has the capacity for more compost and therefore the capacity to retain more moisture which should alleviate any drought stress.
- Water the jasmine regularly if potted and generously during its first year of growth (and during heat waves). Pots can dry out in the sun too quickly for the jasmines roots to uptake the moisture so water as often as required to keep the potting moist.
- Always water jasmine with a generous soak to as this promotes good root growth which should increase its resilience to drought.
- If you garden soil is sandy then you can either repot your jasmine or use mulch around the base of the plant to help retain moisture. Use a thick layer of mulch (compost is best) to keeps the jasmine”s roots cool and retain moisture. I would recommend mulching every year at the start of Spring, especially if the garden soil is particularly fast draining.
With a good soak the jasmine should revive.
If the leaves have turned completely yellow then they do not turn green again, however new green growth should emerge in the Spring and Summer.
If is unlikely the jasmine flowers if it has been under stress so you may have to wait until the following year to see new flowering.
Jasmine Leaves Turning Yellow due to Low Nutrients or Soil pH
If the jasmine’s leaf veins are turning yellow then this typically indicates a nutrient deficiency in the soil (usually iron) or the soil is too alkaline.
Jasmine prefers slightly acidic soil (around pH 6) but can grow in neutral soil (pH 7), However it may struggle if the soil is much higher then pH 7 because the roots cannot uptake certain nutrients due to alkalinity.
If you have other plants with a preference for acidic soil in your garden (such as roses) then alkalinity is unlikely to be the problem.
However if the jasmine is planted in poor soil or in a pot then it is possible the roots have exhausted the nutrients in the soil which can turn the leaves yellow.
Other symptoms of a jasmine suffering due to low nutrient soil are poor growth and a lack of flowering.
How to Revive Yellow Jasmine Leaves due to a Lack of Nutrients
Fortunately it is relatively easy to revive a jasmine that is turning yellow and dying due to a lack of nutrients.
Apply a slow release granular rose fertilizer in in the Spring and Summer to the jasmine as this contains all the nutrients that the jasmine needs at the right concentration.
Add a healthy layer of mulch to any jasmines that are planted outdoors as this adds nutrients to the soil, retains moisture, stimulates the soil ecology and keeps the weeds down, all of which benefits the jasmine.
For potted jasmine, fertilizer if very helpful but it may be necessary to repot the jasmine to a larger pot. Jasmines can be demanding for nutrients (depending on their maturity) in the Spring and Summer during active growth and the roots can exhaust the available nutrients of the pot quite quickly.
A larger pot has a greater capacity for soil and therefore more nutrients.
If you suspect your soil is alkaline then I recommend testing your soil and transplanting the jasmine to a pot with good compost.
Jasmine with yellow leaves can revive their appearance if the cause is low soil nutrients.
Jasmine Leaves Curling, Turning Brown and Dropping Off
The most common reason for jasmine leaves curling turning brown and potentially dropping off is because of too much intense sunshine, heat and dry soil.
The ideal lighting conditions for jasmine growth and flowers is 4-6 hours of morning sun followed by afternoon shade or filtered light throughout the day.
Jasmine will still flower and thrive even if the conditions are not optimal but scorching sunlight in Summer can be too much for the jasmine to tolerate causing the jasmine to have a drying out appearance.
Morning sunlight is best as this provides the jasmine with enough energy to grow and flower whereas in the afternoon the temperature is typically much higher in Summer so the jasmine has to contend with scorching sun and high temperatures which in combination are most often responsible for brown, curling leaves that drop off.
Too much sunlight and Summer heat increases the rate of transpiration from the leaves to the extent that the roots cannot draw up moisture quickly enough. This causes the leaves to curl to reduce their surface area to try to conserve water as a survival strategy.
Jasmine ideally need to grow in soil that is amended with organic matter as this provides the right soil structure and retains moisture which helps it to survive drought.
The curling, browning leaves problems can be compounded with dry soil that drains too quickly, such as sandy or rocky soil or perhaps a sloping garden.
If your jasmine’s leaves are turning brown and it is in a pot consider whether the pot is too small as the roots may not have enough soil to draw up sufficient water and the pot may be heating up too quickly in the sun which can stress the roots of the jasmine.
The leaves eventually turn brown and drop off to prevent any further water loss. If the jasmine is in too much sun and heat then the stem is also likely to turn brown. The tips of the leaves are the first part of the plant to turn brown.
It is important to note that most of the popular cultivars of jasmine are deciduous and lose their leaves in Winter, therefore if the leaves are dropping in Winter this is part of the natural seasonal cycle and there is likely nothing wrong with the jasmine.
How to Revive a Jasmine with Curling, Browning Leaves that Drop Off
To revive the jasmine that has suffered both heat and drought stress, it is important to recreate the conditions of its native environment.
- Give the soil a generous soak and then apply a 2 inch layer of mulch around the base of the plant. Ensure that the surrounding soil is thoroughly watered. The soil can bake hard in Summer which can cause it to run off the surface so I recommend using a hose pipe for watering. Place the compost mulch around the base of the plant after watering as this locks in the water and keeps the surface of the soil cool which reduces evaporation.
- If you jasmine is planted in the ground (rather then in a pot) then you can either transplant it (which I would not advise as the plant is already stressed) or provide it with some temporary shade. A sun umbrella is a good temporary option to prevent the glaring sunlight causing further damage to your jasmine. You can also use other shrubs (that are well positioned) to form shade in the afternoon. I have personally used potted bamboo successfully for this purpose as it is very tall and can tolerate the sun.
- If your jasmine is potted then you need to repot the jasmine in a much larger pot and move it to a location that is not in afternoon sun. A larger pot contains more moisture and the cooler location reduces the associated heat stress.
- If the jasmine is indoors consider misting the leaves as jasmine prefers humidity. Misting the leaves creates a humid micro climate which reduces the rate of water loss from the leaves which alleviates drought stress.
Whilst the jasmine is unlikely to revive in the same year (if all the leaves are brown and dropping off), it can survive if the conditions are amended so they are more favorable and you should see new growth the following Spring.
Jasmine Leaves Turning Red and Falling Off
If your jasmine leaves are turning red then this is because the plant is reacting to the drop in temperature in Fall/ Winter.
Not every jasmine cultivar has leaves that turn red but varieties such as Trachelospermum jasminoides (also known as star jasmine or confederate jasmine) turn red and drop off at the end of the reason as part of its seasonal cycle.
The star jasmine is deciduous and the green leaves turn red leaves providing Winter interest before dropping off. Star jasmine is however not cold hardy and can die back in freezing temperatures, so it is best grown in climates with mild Winters.
If your jasmine leaves are turning red and it is not a star jasmine then, it is likely that the jasmine is suffering due to a nutritional deficiency. In which case use a slow release granular rose fertilizer in the Spring provides all the nutrients that the jasmine needs at the right concentration.
Ensure that the jasmine is growing in compost amended with organic matter, use a mulch every Spring and avoid overwatering. Jasmines typically only need to be watered in the first year by which time the root system should have grown sufficiently to access the water they need without additional watering. However I would recommend watering jasmines if there is a drought during the Summer.
- Yellow jasmine leaves indicates that the plant is either being over or underwatered. Jasmine plants need moist yet well draining soil. If the soil is consistently saturated the jasmine suffers from root rot causing the leaves to turn yellow and drop off. Dry soil also causes the leaves to turn yellow, curl and drop off.
- Curling, browning jasmine leaves that drop off are because of heat stress, too much sunlight and dry soil. Jasmine plants need morning sun and prefer shade in the afternoon during the hottest part of the day.
- Star jasmine leaves turn red and drop off during Fall and Winter in response to cooler temperatures and fewer hours of light. This is a natural part of the jasmine’s life cycle and does not necessarily mean the jasmine is dying.
- Most jasmine varieties are not cold hardy and die back in freezing temperatures. Only the Winter Jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum) is reliably cold hardy.
- Most species of Jasmine are deciduous and drop their leaves in Winter.
- To revive a dying jasmine ensure that the soil is moist yet well draining, locate the jasmine in a sheltered, frost free area and use a fertilizer in the Spring and Summer. Shade the jasmine from afternoon sun and repot any potted jasmine plants into a larger pot which retains more moisture.