Winter Jasmine offers a pop of color through year

Winter Jasmine offers a pop of color through year

Tracey FitzgibbonQ. Earlier this week I was driving away from Old Town eastbound on Mountain Road. Between Sixth and Fifth streets – in front of a building on the south side of Mountain – I noticed a shrub that is covered with bright yellow flowers now. It is truly eye-catching. I didn’t have time to stop and get a closer look, but I’m sure it isn’t our spring bloomer forsythia since I think it’s too early for them to be in flower. Any clue as to which shrub this might be? W.O., Albuquerque

A. I’m thinking this “eye-catcher” you noticed is Winter jasmine – Jasminum nudiflorum – and why it’s not planted more often in this neck of the woods is a mystery to me.

This variety of Jasmine isn’t renowned for fragrance like several of its cousins, but know that it is a sturdy grower and doesn’t take too much water. Granted, they will perform best with water offered periodically, but they can actually stand quite a bit of abuse.

With proper pruning, the Winter Jasmine as a living hedge too. The bright yellow flowers offered seem to almost sprout all along its willowish arching branches before popping out into leaf just after the bloom. The leaf color offered is a glossy green that lasts well into the autumn. They take to pruning well, especially if one does decide to spread itself in an unwelcoming manner. Just remember to wait until after the bloom is complete before you start to train-prune this charmer. I have several favorites here in town and will now have to add the one you spied to that list as an early season pick-me-up. I see them growing in full sun to semi-sun locations, but with growing environmental concerns on all of our minds, you might consider planting where your treasure could get a break from the wicked hot sun.

NOTE TO READERS: I received an email from S. Parker “in regard to your repotting tips of Feb. 26.” … I mentioned wiping off the “hard leaf plants” and suggested a delicate vacuuming or very soft paint brush to clean “fuzzy” leaf plants. Sir S. has offered a way to tidy those fuzzy leafed plants taught to him by his mom. His mom, being an “African Violet enthusiast” uses the perfect ‘sweeper’ for these plants – one of their own soon-to-be-dropped leaves. Cut the leaf out of the mother plant and, fuzzy side down, swipe the leaf that needs sweeping. Remember to support the leaf you need to sweep with your palm and wipe from inside outwards when swiping. The fuzz on the cut leaf cleans the viable leaf while putting minimum stress on the plant.

Also in the mail, a note from Janet Dooley, publicity chair with the Albuquerque Garden Center. She asks that I offer information on ongoing “Gardening University” classes taking place at the Albuquerque Garden Center. The next one is at 6:30 p.m. April 5. Shirley Tetrault will teach planting containers for Mother’s Day. There is a $5 fee, collected at the door to attend any of the classes offered at the Garden Center. See the Albuquerque Garden Centers’ website for a schedule.

Keep on learning and Happy Diggin’ In.

Tracey Fitzgibbon is a certified nurseryman. Send garden-related questions to Digging In, Albuquerque Journal, 7777 Jefferson NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109, or to


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