By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist
The jasmine plant is a source of exotic fragrance in warmer climates. It is an important scent noted in perfumes, and also has herbal properties. Most jasmine plants are found in tropical to sub-tropical climates, although a few may thrive in temperate zones.
Protection from cold temperatures is one of the most important aspects of jasmine plant care. Growing jasmine vines can create a perfumed shield over arbors, trellises and fences. The bush types are excellent landscape specimens with starry pink, white, ivory or even yellow scented blooms.
Jasmine plant care may require a bit of effort, but the results are well worth the work. Not all jasmine plants are fragrant, but the most common and hardy do produce a sweet, carrying fragrance.
Common jasmine is a vine and has larger glossy green leaves than Royal jasmine. Both can survive in temperate climates if they are planted in a sheltered area. Arabian jasmine is a small bush with evergreen leaves.
There are many other varieties of jasmine plant, of which are best suited for sub-tropical climates. Learning how to grow jasmine will add a striking visual and olfactory touch to the garden.
Choose a warm, sheltered location when growing jasmine. The vining varieties require a support structure as some can get 15 feet tall.
All jasmine plants prefer sun to light shade sites with well-draining and moderately fertile soil.
Install the plant in the ground at the same level it was growing in the nursery pot. Most jasmine plants are grafted onto the common jasmine rootstock because of its superior hardiness.
Jasmine plant care is not difficult but does require vigilance. The vines need to be trained early when they are young. You may use plant ties or just weave them through trellis sections.
Fertilize the plant in spring just before new growth appears.
Pinch off the tips of the vines in the second year to promote branching which will fill the trellis with bushy growth.
The vining jasmine plant is prone to spider mites, which can be combated with horticultural oil or neem oil.
Dwarf varieties of jasmine make excellent houseplants. They require even moisture and a sunny location in the home.
Vines can also be brought into the home and the height is easy to manage with pruning or pinching in the dormant season.
Potted plants do not have access to extra nutrients, so they need fertilizing twice annually.
Watch carefully for pests and water from the bottom to prevent spotting on the glossy leaves.
Your jasmine plant will flower in late spring into summer. Repot it before bloom time in early spring as needed.
Harvest tip cuttings in spring and plant them for free plants. Dip the cutting into a rooting hormone and push the end into a soilless medium, such as peat. Keep the cutting lightly moist.
Jasmine plant cuttings are best started during June to October. Once rooted, follow general jasmine plant care instructions.
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Angel wing jasmine is an attractive, spreading, vine-like groundcover with a shrubby habit. It produces abundant large, fragrant, white flowers with purple undersides. It is best used as flowering evergreen spilling out of containers, or as a filler that spreads and fills space between shrubs. Another common name for angel wing jasmine is shining jasmine.
When jasmine is planted in the correct climate, it will provide beautiful green foliage and star-shaped flowers that smell delightful. Jasmine grows well in U.S. Department of Agriculture’s planting zone 7 to 10.
Okay, so what does that mean?
It means that your jasmine plant is going to grow much better in a warm, mild climate. Actually, if your winters are mild enough, it may continue to grow all year.
Your jasmine vine will thrive in lots of sunlight. Although you can plant it in light shade, the more sunlight your jasmine gets, the better it will grow. The better your jasmine grows, the quicker you will have offshoots to continue attaching to your pergola to achieve the desired look.
If you are planning your garden and do not yet have your pergola in place, knowing jasmine loves sunlight will help you find the perfect location. The best part of your garden to encourage jasmine to climb would be facing the south, west, or east. The northern side will not produce enough direct sunlight to ensure a healthy plant.
With your goal being a pergola covered in jasmine, it is essential to make sure your plant is getting the right amount of water. Just like jasmine needs a good deal of sunlight, it also must stay hydrated.
You will need to water your plant at least two or three times per week. During regular watering, your plant will need to get around 2 to 3 gallons of water.
Jasmine does not do well in droughts and will need more water in times when your plant does not get much rain. Keep in mind that they usually do not drain well, so take your time when watering your plant. Jasmine will not grow well in muddy, soggy soil, so try to keep it moist but not waterlogged.
To help keep the soil moist, spread two to three inches of mulch around the vine. Be careful to keep the mulch a few inches away from the vine. To take care of the mulch, rake or shovel the mulch to keep it fluffed. By maintaining the mulch, it will make the task of keeping your jasmine hydrated much easier.