I have a lovely Orange Jasmine plant (Jasmine paniculata) that's in a pot outdoors. I know the winter will be too cold for it. In the past, I've brought it indoors for the winter, but where I am now, I don't have adequate space or light. How do I go about getting it to go dormant so that I can store it in the basement until spring without light? I'm afraid if I leave it outdoors too late in the fall, the cold might kill it. Thank you for any help you can give me!!
How to get a plant to go dormant
Is your plant Murraya paniculata?.
Tropicals don't have a dormant period in the sense that temperate zone plants and trees do. Mind you, tender roses don't either (due to hybridization with rose species that have no dormancy), yet they can be stored successfully in a dark coldroom for the winter... couldn't say if this would work for it.
Any reason you couldn't set up some lights for it in the basement? A plain old cheap fluorescent shop light from your local big box store should work fine for the winter. Don't know how cold your basement gets, but since you're in zone 7 I doubt your basement would be cold enough to kill it so if you can rig up the lights it ought to overwinter just fine.
If the advice is to keep it in a non-dormant state under lights (which, by the way, would be best at much higher intensity than one fluorescent shop light), then why not just keep in a window or sun room?
I suggested lights in the basement because it sounded like there were space issues that prevented storing it somewhere better. A window or sun room would of course be better if that's available.
I don't have a sun room or bright window. Space IS an issue.
I was hoping to avoid the expense of keeping it in the basement, because it would probably require me to burn 2 or 3 of my OLD (dim) shop light bulbs to keep it healthy. It does get pretty cold down there too, especially if the door blows open
Yes, it is Murraya paniculata.
Does this plant not have a dormant period?
No, as altagardener said above it wouldn't have a dormant period like colder climate plants do. Tropical/semi-tropical plants will do best over the winter if you can keep them in an area that stays warmish and continue to provide them with light, water, etc.
I have no idea what would happen to this one if you do try to force dormancy by sticking it in the dark basement--there probably are some types of more tropical plants that can handle that sort of treatment, but unless you hear from someone who's successfully done that with this particular plant (or if you're willing to take a chance on it not making it through the winter) I would try to find an alternative.