Murraya paniculata orange jasmine flThis tropical evergreen tree or large shrub is native to southern China, India, and Indonesia. It is neither a citrus nor jasmine but is closely related to the former and has bright orange to red fruits and white jasmine-like flowers with a very strong fragrance similar to citrus trees. Only a few flowers in any cluster bloom at one time but they are quickly replaced by others as soon as they fade. The leaves are pinnately compound with each leaflet being small and creating a delicate look. The bark of young trees is pale and smooth reflected in another common name, satinwood tree, but forms ridges with maturity. Orange jasmine is best grown at a size of twenty inches or more because of the nature of the leaves but many styles are suitable; informal upright, slanting, semi-cascade, cascade, twin-trunk, clump, and group.

Murraya paniculata orange jasmine berries Position: Remember that this plant is from the tropics so likes heat and humidity. This plant can be grown indoors all year round in bright light, with temperatures between 61o to 80o F. It can be taken outdoors in summer to a place that is shaded from the midday sun but must be wintered in a heated room where the humidity is high. The use of pebble trays is highly recommended.

Water: During the growing season give the plant plenty of water; at other times let the soil become partially dry between watering, especially during cool winter months. Tap water is suitable. Avoid spraying as it may make the bark swell and peel.

Fertilizer: Apply a liquid bonsai fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season; every four to six weeks at other times.

Repotting: Repot in the spring every two to four years. Root prune at the same time and then keep the pot and soil warm to encourage the regeneration roots.

Soil: Use bonsai soil or a mix of loam, peat moss, and sand at a ratio of 2:2:1.

Pruning: Branches can be pruned any time of year. Trim back young plants to between one and three leaves when new shoots are eight inches long. Trim older specimens to one or two leaves when the new growth is four inches long. Flowers are produced at the tips of the shoots in early summer so plan pruning so that you have flowers if you want them.

Wiring: One or two year old branches with the thickness of a pencil can be wired anytime after they have become lignfied. The bark separates easily from the heartwood so much be handled carefully.

Propagation: Cuttings root easily in mid-summer; seed should be removed from fruit and planted immediately.

Comments: Orange jasmine is susceptible to scale and may be attacked by spider mites in dry conditions.

How to care for Bonsai pointer

By Karen