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Osmanthus fragrans are blooming (Sweet Olive tree)

matt38
2 years ago
last modified: last year

My Osmanthus fragrans are blooming since two days ago. Their sweet and soothing aroma reminds me of the beginning of Autumn.

Osmanthus fragrans var. latifolius (Silver Gui Hua; Silver Kwai Fa)


Osmanthus fragrans var. thunbergii (Golden Gui Hua; Gold Kwai Fa)


Osmanthus fragrans var. aurantiacus (Red, Orange Gui Hua; Red, Orange Kwai Fa)

color comparison:

from left to right:

O. f. var. latifolius O. f. var. thunbergii O. f. var. aurantiacus

Comments (51)

  • matt38
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    They all have about the same aroma, similar to a mixture of apricot and peach, very pleasant and sweet smell. The thunbergii and auranticacus have stronger scent than latifolius.

  • matt38
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Osmanthus fragrans is native to China. Their flowering season is from late September to mid-November (in Northern Hemisphere). The only one exception is the var. semperflorens (Four Season Kwai Fa), which flowers several times during the year. It has white to light yellowish flowers like var. latifolius. The scent is not as strong, but still very pleasing.

    I usually fertilize my Osmanthus in Winter with regular time-released fertilizer. It will promote new growth in Spring. The new growth of small branches will host the flower buds and flowers in Autumn. I fertilize the plants the second time in July with more phosphate ratio rich fertilizer. The fertilizer will help the plants to store more energy to promote more flowers in Autumn.

    As for var. semperflorens, since it flowers several times in the year, I would lightly fertilize it every 2 months to promote its continuing flowering.

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  • Just Started(Sydney)
    2 years ago

    Means one of the three I have got is a semperflorens. It grows like there is no tommorow. It is most bushy and biggest of all. And keeps spot flowering almost the whole year. Heavy flowers come in the beginning of winters.

    matt38 thanked Just Started(Sydney)
  • matt38
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Hi @Just Started(Sydney), thank you for sharing your experience.

  • matt38
    Original Author
    last year
    last modified: last year

    My Osmanthus fragrans are flower budding again. They are ready for another round of blooming in Autumn. Usually I water them less when they are flowering. Otherwise the flowers will drop early. I also collect some of the flowers. The best time to pick the flowers is between the 2nd and 4th day when they are in their full bloom and the most fragrant state.



  • Kukane Wyndell
    last year

    Very nice! Thanks for sharing.

  • Grant Yang (Sydney Australia)
    last year

    @matt38: There are sayings in China that thunbergii variety (Jin Gui i.e. Golden Osmanthus) is stronger in scent than aurantiacus variety (Dan Gui i.e. Dark Red Osmanthus), yours do not support this theory?

  • matt38
    Original Author
    last year

    They both have very strong, pleasing and sweet scent. I cannot tell which one is stronger. The flowers of my aurantiacus are quite bushy. I found that the aurantiacus is more cold resistant than the others.

  • Grant Yang (Sydney Australia)
    last year

    @matt38: Thanks for your info., would appreciate your photos for those trees in their next autumn blooming.

    How many years your thunbergii and aurantiacus trees waited before they first time bloomed after being planted? How old are they now, and their heights ?

  • matt38
    Original Author
    last year

    Hi @Grant Yang (Sydney Australia), my sweet olive trees are blooming since last week. They were in pots for at least 3 years before I planted them in ground about 5 years ago. They were about 3 feet at the time. Right now, the O. aurantiacus are about 7 feet tall, O. thunbergii is about 6.5 feet, and the O. latifolius is about 6 feet.


    Two O. aurantiacus were planted together.



    Osmanthus aurantiacus.


    The O. aurantiacus took the longest time to mature to flowering, at least 4 to 5 years. The O. thunbergii took shorter time, about 3 to 4years. The O. latifolius took the least time, about 2 to 3 years (sometimes, the next year). i think the local climate and the micro climate have effects on them too.

  • Grant Yang (Sydney Australia)
    12 months ago
    last modified: 12 months ago

    @matt38: Oh how lucky you are! you must be enjoying these wonderful scents everyday now. My osmanthus aurantiacus plants have been in pots & ground for more than 4 years or 3 years and they have no sign of blooming yet, they are around 1 metre tall though. There is another variety called osmanthus super orange I picked up from our australian nursery & planted the same time as the aurantiacus and it is waiting to bloom togethet with the aurantiacus : these guys are really slow in their first blossom, but once they do bloom they will repeat their annual carnivals for hundreds of years, so we keep waiting. This is a local garden lover’s neighbour’s aurantiacus tree said to be blooming each year:


    In Australia we can’t find osmanthus thunbergii, unfortunately .

    This is somewhere in China this year:


  • Sunny Do
    8 months ago

    Matt38

    Do any of your Osmanthus fragrans bloom more than once a year?

    Thank you

    Sunny

  • matt38
    Original Author
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    @Sunny Do,

    Yes, I have a young O. fragrans, var. 'Fudingzhu', which belongs to the "Four Season" group. It is blooming right now. This group of O. fragrans flower almost year round.

    The Autumn group, which I mentioned in the early part of this forum, they only bloom once in a year, from around late September to Mid-November each year in San Francisco Bay Area.


    Osmanthus fragrans, var. 'Fudingzhu'

  • Sunny Do
    7 months ago

    Matt38,

    thank you for replying.

    Where did you get the silver and gold osmanthus?

    do you have any contact information from any osmanthus fragrans seller from China?

    I try to collect as many cultivars as i could.

    i already bought couple ones from Nurcar, wilson bros and Homedepot.

    Everything is sold out at Nurcar.

    How many years did it take before your silver, gold and orange osmanthus bloom?


    Sunny

    matt38 thanked Sunny Do
  • matt38
    Original Author
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    Hi @Sunny Do, I bought my Silver Osmanthus, Golden Osmanthus, and the Orange Osmanthus at local nurseries in SF Bay Area more than 20+ years ago.

    My understanding, if we buy live plants from overseas (import), we need to have the supplier to give us agricultural certification from the original country to certify that the plants are free of pests and diseases, and meet other U.S. State and local governments' regulations, besides paying taxes and custom fees ourselves. For the commercial nurseries, they will do all those paper work with ease. For us, it would be quite a hassle.

    Most likely due to its long flowering period, the white flower Four Season variety, Osmanthus fragrans var. semperflorens, is more readily available at Home Depot and other nurseries during the year. If we are looking for specific varieties, we need to go to some specialized nurseries to look for them.

    When I bought the Silver Osmanthus (O. f. var. latifolius) and the Golden Osmanthus (O. f. var. thunbergii), they were relatively big and mature at the time, they flowered at the same year. But it took a few more years before the Orange Osmanthus (O. f. var. aurantiacus) to flower. So, it also depends on how mature they are when we buy them. About 15 years ago, I saw several Orange Osmanthus plants were on sale in a nursery with many flowers on them. They were about 5 feet tall, 80 dollars for each plant, relatively expensive. It is true that the Orange Osmanthus (O. f. var. aurantiacus) takes longer time to mature.

  • RoseMe SD
    7 months ago

    Yours are all doing so well. Mine keeps growing two leaves and then leaves falling off dried up. Stem doesn't grow much taller either.

  • Sunny Do
    7 months ago

    Matt,

    thank you for replying. My osmanthus fragrans keeps blooming since early Jan to now inside. I love the fragrans so much. So far I bought 8 different cultivars.


    matt38 thanked Sunny Do
  • RoseMe SD
    7 months ago

    I may have to repot my anorexia osmanthus...
     What type of potting soil do you all recommend?

  • matt38
    Original Author
    7 months ago

    Hi @Sunny Do,

    I am very happy for you. Could you share the 8 different cultivars you have collected so far? Thanks.

  • Sunny Do
    7 months ago

    I got all the plant below from mail orders. Except nr 9, 1 and 2, I got the rest since 1-4 weeks ago. Nr 1 and 2, I got them 3 months ago.

    Bought from Nurcar

    1. Fodingzhu, 1 f, flowering now, scent is still weak. Maybe because the plant is small. When i got it in Oct, it did not grow or flower. I took it inside in Dec, it grew with new branches, leaves and flower. It is the same for nr 2 below.

    2. Rixiang Gui, 1 f, flowering now, scent is still weak. Maybe because the plant is small

    3. Os Fragrans aurantiacus, 3g, 3 f tall, just bought recently. Hope it will flower in 1 or 2 years.

    4. Kaori Hime, 1 f, have not experienced the flowering yet.

    5. Qiannan Guifei, 2f tall, skinny. Can not comment on leave colour yet.


    From Wilsons bros:

    6. Fragrant white olive, 3 gallon, bought 4 weeks ago, it is flowering heavily, with nice scent.

    7. Apricot echo 3g, 4f tall, flowering, little orange cluster of flowers, scent is weak. Blooming in Jan & Feb now.

    8. Yinbi Shuanghui, 3g, 2.5f tall, nice leave, the plant already flowered before I received it. Can not comment on flower and scent yet


    From Homedepot, Baucom nursery:

    9. White tea olive, i got 4 of this plant in March 2021. 2x 7 gallon, 2x 3 gallon. I think this one is sempefloren (4-season). They all grow much bigger. I only put one small one in the ground and kept 3 in pots. I took one small one 3f tall inside early Dec, when the temp dropped to 40-45F in zone 7. The picture I posted, is from this plant. To my amazing, the shoots came out with new leaves and flowers, I can smell the fragrans when I entered the room, or if I put it next to where I sit, I can smell it.

    2 biggest ones in big pots that I kept outside, experienced a little leave burn on top. The lowest temp I recorded in Jan was around 15F at night. I took one of this big one inside 7 days ago, now it is growing with new shoots.

    One small one about 3f tall that I put in the ground experienced only leave burn with the young leaves.


    I might need a couple round of flowering to share which one has a better fragrans.

    At this moment, it seems that plant nr 6 had slightly stronger scent, but I need to compare further to share the information.


    I have never smelled fragrans of the silver, golden or Aurantiacus, so I dont know if they would have much better fragrans or not.


    I love flowers with fragrans and I started to buy and search for them online or any where since 1 year.

    matt38 thanked Sunny Do
  • matt38
    Original Author
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    Hi @Sunny Do,

    Thank you very much for sharing the detail information of your collections. I really enjoy reading them all.

    The aroma of Osmanthus fragrans is indeed intoxicating.

    I highly encourage you to continue to search for the Silver, Golden Osmanthus varieties. I am sure you will enjoy their fragrance too.

    Thank you very much again for sharing.

  • Sunny Do
    7 months ago

    https://nurcar.com/pages/osmanthus-a-care-guide


    this is link from nurcare explaning about potting soil and care for osmanthus fragrans.

  • RoseMe SD
    7 months ago

    Thanks Sunny.
    That article says "90% pine bark with a little sand added as well as lime, superphosphate and minor elements." This practically sounds like orchid media? I never.knew that?

  • Sunny Do
    7 months ago

    Roseme,

    i think you can buy potting soil and mix with a lot of fine pine bark. If you have perlite, you can use it in the mix to.

    Sand is very fine, and it comes out on the bottom when you water.

    The pine bark using in this potting mix needs to be on the smaller size, not as big as the orchid mix.

    I got my Osmanthus from Homedepot (Baucom nursery), the one i showed in the picture.

  • Tobias Hofer
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    Thank you, I have wintered 2 orange Auranticus in Austria EUropa - not Australia- :) at 605 meters above sea level with ice and snow. Everything is fine, but the tips of my leaves are always brown. I also saw the error in a picture here. What can you do? I have mine from Italy, they flowered in the first year and were delivered at 120cm.

    About the instructions: I have already overwintered 2 fragrant flowers indoors and it wasn't a problem

  • Grant Yang (Sydney Australia)
    7 months ago

    You are lucky enough to have your Osmanthus Aurantiacus flowering so quickly: here in Sydney Australia my 5 years old Osmanthus Aurantiacus is still waiting for its first flowering

  • HU-512680813
    7 months ago

    I thought that in Italy, cuttings are made from old branches that flower immediately. I'm not sure but that's what the plants looked like



  • HU-512680813
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    When they were delivered they were healthy. In Italy they don't have brown tips.
    I suspect it's the dry air and I have 2, one in the pot and one in the ground. The one in the soil has developed better in clay soil.






    Big Osmanthus in Italy (Mailand)


    01:36 Ill Osmathus


    matt38 thanked HU-512680813
  • matt38
    Original Author
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    Hi @Tobias Hofer,

    Thank you very much for your sharing.

    I agree with you that the O. f. var. aurantiacus can resist cold weather better than many other cultivars.

    The brown tip leaves on my Sweet Olive plants are due to hot, dry summer in my area. During summer days, the outdoor temperature is between 95℉ to 105℉. About three years ago, I installed several micro-sprayers above all my plants to solve the problems. It helped. But due to the drought in California last year, we had water usage restrictions, I had to turn the sprayers off for the whole summer. The plants got less but enough water for the soil through water dripping system. They seemed gone through the last dry, hot summer okay with plenty of flowers in the last autumn.

    The factors which could cause brown tip leaves on Sweet Olive plants are:

    The soil is too dry for a long period of time.

    The soil is too wet for a long period of time.

    It is too much fertilizer for the plant.

    The weather is too hot and too dry.

    It is too windy for the location.

    The plant is shedding its old leaves.

    The plant is dying.

    etc.

    We need to study their conditions and solve the problems accordingly. @Grant Yang (Sydney Australia) is right. The brown tip leaves on Sweet Olive plants is relatively common. Sweet Olive plants are tropical, sub-tropical plants, they need moisture in the air.

    Below, I turned on the water micro-sprayer for the picture. A lot of young branches and leaves are coming out at this time of the year (Spring). The brown tip leaves will be shed eventually.





  • matt38
    Original Author
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    Hi @Tobias Hofer,
    Thank you very much for sharing your photos and inviting us to visit your beautiful garden.

  • HU-512680813
    7 months ago

    Thank you, my garden is not ready yet. I inherited the garden, there is still a lot of work to do.

  • HU-512680813
    4 months ago

    They're looking very good now. I used liquid flower mineral fertilizer from the hardware store and the leaves now look healthy.





    matt38 thanked HU-512680813
  • matt38
    Original Author
    4 months ago

    Hi @Tobias Hofer,

    The leaves of your Osmanthus aurantiacus are indeed very healthy and full of life. Thank you very much for sharing. We appreciate if you could share some blooming photos of your plants later this year.

  • matt38
    Original Author
    3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    May and June are the best months of the year to propagate Osmanthus fragrans. The branches are more viable to reproduce.

    The Four-season flower blooming group of O. fragrans may not have the strong scent as compared to the Autumn flower blooming group. However, if we propagate more and put them together in our garden, they certainly will increase the intensity of the aroma in the area and the scent will last for many more months too.

  • sabut
    3 months ago

    What is the best way to root them? I tried softwood cuttings in sand but all dried out.

  • matt38
    Original Author
    3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    Hi @sabut,
    Layering and cuttings are two common propagation methods for Osmanthus fragrans. In my personal opinion, perlite is better than sand for the purpose. Sand is too dense and they just hold the water outside the sand particles. Perlite do store and hold water and air inside their particles. So, perlite can provide minute of water and air for the cuttings a little bit longer. The mixture of peat moss and perlite is a good medium for plant propagation.

  • matt38
    Original Author
    27 days ago
    last modified: 24 days ago

    I would like to share my recent propagation of Osmanthus fragrans by cuttings.

    I used "Seed Starter Kit", or "Plug Tray", with tall transparent cover (clear plastic dome). The medium which I used was peat moss with some perlite. The whole setting was under 12 hours of fluorescent light every day. I let them grow for 70 days to get more roots.


  • Grant Yang (Sydney Australia)
    26 days ago
    last modified: 26 days ago

    @matt38 Great! So this cutting works for Osmanthus Aurantiacus as well ? If the mother plant has already bloomed, how long(years) before your Aurantiacus cuttings started blooming ?

  • Meyermike(Zone 6a Ma.)
    26 days ago

    I am going to say, right away?

    When I root a cutting some bloom while rotting.

    What Zones are you in ?

    Grant, hope all is well.

  • matt38
    Original Author
    26 days ago
    last modified: 23 days ago

    Hi @Grant Yang (Sydney Australia),
    Yes, It works for the Osmanthus aurantiacus. But it took a few years for my O. aurantiacus cuttings to produce the flowers of their own, between 5 years to 10 years. I lost track of the exact number of years. This semi-hardwood cutting propagation also works for other varieties of Osmanthus fragrans, and they take shorter time to have their first season of flowering. The varieties of the Four Season Group take the shortest time.

  • matt38
    Original Author
    26 days ago
    last modified: 23 days ago

    During the cutting process of my own plants, the twigs from the mother plant might have flower buds hidden inside them already. The flower buds might bloom while the twigs were still in the process of forming their roots. Sometimes, the flower buds bloomed after the twigs had finished the propagation process and had been transplanted to their own new pots. At this point, I could not determine if the flowers were produced by the twigs themselves or carried on from their mother plant. Only when the twigs produced another bloom in their subsequent flowering season, then I knew the twigs were truly capable of producing their own flowers from then on.

  • Grant Yang (Sydney Australia)
    26 days ago

    Yes the Osmanthus Aurantiacus seems to be very slow in their first blooming (anout 4-6 years after being planted), see my earlier post https://www.houzz.com/discussions/6251536/osmanthus-aurantiacus-orange-supreme-bloomed-1st-time-in-4-5-years . I was just wondering maybe a successful cutting from an already blooming mother plant may be quicker in its first blooming...

    @Meyermike(Zone 6a Ma.) :

    According to Wikipedia, Sydney's plant hardiness zone ranges from zone 11a to 9b throughout the metropolitan area(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_of_Sydney#:~:text=According%20to%20the%20Bureau%20of,9b%20throughout%20the%20metropolitan%20area.)

    matt38 thanked Grant Yang (Sydney Australia)
  • Sunny Do
    5 days ago

    My osmanthus plants are blooming right now in zone 7. The fragrance is very nice.



    matt38 thanked Sunny Do
  • matt38
    Original Author
    5 days ago

    Hi @Sunny Do,
    The flowers of your Osmanthus plants are very beautiful. I particularly like your flowers with such long flower stalks. They make the flowers look like shooting stars. Could you tell us the varieties of these two Osmanthus fragrans? Thank you very much for sharing.

  • HU-512680813
    3 days ago
    last modified: 2 days ago



    Here ist all fine Bloom Start this Picture at 10. September 2022

    matt38 thanked HU-512680813
  • matt38
    Original Author
    3 days ago
    last modified: 3 days ago

    Hi @Tobias Hofer,

    You really take good care of your Osmanthus aurantiacus, with many beautiful orange flowers and healthy lush green leaves. Thank you very much for sharing.

    Due to constant drought in California and a very hot summer this year in my area, as high as 115℉ at the East Bay of SF Bay Area, I manage with drip irrigation system to conserve the water. All my Osmanthus fragrans survive but with a lot of brown tips on their leaves.

    I am very happy to know that your Osmanthus fragrans var. aurantiacus in Europe are blooming at the same time as in Northern America. The fragrance is just amazing.



  • HU-512680813
    2 days ago
    last modified: 2 days ago

    I only fertilize with mineral fertilizers. Every 4 weeks Blue Grain Liquid.

    Today 23.September 2022











    matt38 thanked HU-512680813
  • matt38
    Original Author
    15 hours ago

    Most of the varieties of matured Osmanthus fragrans are blooming in late September and in October, including Autumn blooming varieties (aurantiacus, thunbergii, latifolius, etc) and Four Season varieties (regular Osmanthus fragrans, Fudingzhu, Tian Xiang Tai Ge, Ri Xiang Gui, semperflorens, etc ).

    If someone want to get any of them, this is the good time of the year. Check with your local nurseries. If you are going to buy them from Internet nurseries, ask the sellers if the varieties which they are going to send you are blooming at this time.
    If you own several varieties, this is also the best time to compare any differences of their scents and strength.

    I hope you enjoy the fragrance of Osmanthus fragrans as much as I do.

  • Sunny Do
    9 hours ago

    Hello Matt & everyone,

    To answer your question:

    the osmanthus with the light color in the picture below is probably four-season. It was grown by Balcom nursery. It is about 6 f tall and 4 feet wide now, blooming with lots of flowers, it is in the ground. I have another one of the same size in big pot, blooming with less flowers. So planting it in the ground produced more flowers. They are not in full sun location.

    The orange one is four season Echo. the scent is ok. The plant looked very leggy.

    I also have one auranticus about 5 feet tall starting to bloom with a couple clusters of flowers now. I can’t comment on the scent yet.

    I also have 1 Rixiang gui about 2 feet tall, also blooming. It has nice scent.

    My Fodingzhu (2 feet) does not bloom at this moment, and bloomed much less than rixiang gui.

    I bought 3 Tianxiang, they are still small and growing, have not bloomed yet.

    According to the story, this one would be the most fragrant osmanthus.

    I am in zone 7, so the weather started to cool down in September, around 55-60 F at night, and 70-75F during the day. This is the temperature that triggers flowering. Starting August I foliar-feeded the plants (osmanthus and camellia) with 4-26-26 frequently. I love osmanthus scent. It is so nice to be outside and smell the fragrance of osmanthus.