Saturday, January 28, 2012

FAQ: Is Carolina Jessamine salt tolerant?

(Note: I'm often asked whether certain plants are salt tolerant. I intend to address the subject generally in a later blog article.) 

Q. We are interested in purchasing some Carolina Jessamine, but have a question.  We plan to use it to climb on a pergola at our beachfront home.  The local county agricultural extension agent says that it is salt-tolerant.  What do you think?  Do you know of anyone who has grown in successfully in a beachfront environment?

A. I can not think of a specific beachfront property where I've seen Gelsemium sempervirens growing, but that's probably because it is so ubiquitous in S. GA. I've seen it growing in the wild all over Skidaway Island. I was on Jekyll Island recently, and saw plenty of it near the rivers and beach.

A paper, SALT TOLERANT PLANTS Recommended for Pender County Landscapes published by Cooperative Extension Service, Pender County, NC, shows Gelsemium as being moderately salt tolerant.

I could not find a similar document from your state that names Gelsemium, but if it's salt-tolerant in NC it's salt-tolerant where you live.

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