Few plants are as well-known for their intoxicating fragrance as jasmine. The small, numerous blossoms are often intense enough to fill a room and enjoyed from yards away. There are many species and styles of jasmine available. Whether a vine or a shrub, jasmine makes a great plant to gift and a great fragrant addition to any garden setting.
Vine or Shrub
The biggest difference between jasmine varieties is their growth habit. The most well-known types are vines—especially Jasminum polyanthum. This jasmine makes a great gift in late winter or early spring and can usually be found in florist shops and trained on a trellis. Even though jasmine is usually found as a small plant in full bloom, the plant can grow quite vigorously and be invasive. Many vining jasmines can root wherever a stem piece touches the ground, which allows them to create dense mats of foliage.
Shrubby jasmines are less aggressive than vines but require more maintenance. Jasminum sambac is one of the main varieties. While this species of jasmine is generally marketed as a shrub, it can actually be trained as woody vine as well because of its loose, sprawling habit. Keep up with regular pruning on shrub types to prevent them from getting too gangly.
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Jasmine Care Must-Knows
Despite vigorous growth habits, jasmine plants are easy to grow in a garden setting. Many of the vining types will happily climb a trellis or lattice in full sun or part shade. The best flowering occurs in full sun, with much sparser blooms in shade. To help maintain plant growth, prune plants after a heavy bloom cycle.
Shrubby varieties of jasmine will need regular pruning to keep plants maintained. Many shrubby types will run or vine if left unchecked. Pruning should be done after the major bloom cycle, but the plant can also be lightly pruned throughout the year.
Plan a fragrant garden with jasmine. The fragrance from jasmine blooms is one of the most sought-after smells, in products including expensive perfumes or flavored teas. Jasminum sambac and grandiflorum are most commonly used in the fragrance industry. The flowers of these jasmines are generally picked early in the morning before the buds have fully opened, so they still have maximum fragrance. They’ll then be further processed. For tea, thousands of jasmine blossoms are layered between alternating layers of tea leaves at night (jasmine will have its peak scent at this time). After 4 hours, the tea will absorb the scent to flavor the tea. In some cases, this process is then repeated several times for a more intense flavor.
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More Varieties of Jasmine
Angel Wing Jasmine
Jasminum nitidum is a great plant for cascading over the edge of a container. Angel wing jasmine has fragrant, pinwheel-shape flowers that are white with bold purple undersides. Zones 10-11
Jasminum mesnyi grows as a climber or a shrub. Primrose jasmine has unscented lemon yellow flowers in winter and spring and sporadically during other times of the year. Zones 8-10
Jasminum sambac is an evergreen vine with fragrant white flowers throughout the year, though they appear heaviest in summer. This is one of the best jasmines to grow indoors. Zones 10-11
Jasminum nudiflorum is the hardiest jasmine. It’s a shrub with yellow flowers in late winter and early spring. Unlike most jasmines, it is not fragrant. Useful as a hedge, it grows 10 feet tall and wide. Zones 6-9
Jasminum officinale is a vigorous woody vine with fragrant white flowers from summer to fall. It can climb 35 feet or more. Zones 9-10
Jasminum polyanthum bears clusters of many white, fragrant flowers in late winter and early spring. It can climb 10 feet or more. Zones 9-10
Jasminum officinale grandiflorum, Jasminum viminale, Jasminum vulgatum, Jasminum affine
True jasmine, Common jasmine, French Perfume Jasmine, Poet’s jasmine, Catalonian Jasmine, Spanish Jasmine
Origin: South Africa
Semi-evergreen to deciduous vine. This vine has lots of fragrant white flowers in spring, summer, and fall. Blooms on new growth. Prefers a moist well-drained light soil enriched with organic matter. Drought and pollution tolerant. Jasmine associates nicely with climbing roses, honeysuckle or clematis, but it looks superb grown on its own. Grown in the perfume fields of Southern France, it has good tolerance to a wide range of temperatures and is easily maintained in pots. Cultivars: Aureoviegatum (variegated), Affine (large, white with pink inside). An age old Indian folk treatment, jasmine was used to suppress milk production. Apply fresh jasmine flowers to the breasts. One Indian study matched bromocriptine with the application of jasmine flowers and both treatments were equally effective lactation inhibitors.
- Jasminum adenophyllum (Bluegrape jasmine, Princess jasmine, Che vang, Lai la co tuyen)
- Jasminum aemulum (Palawan Jasmine, Malulee)
- Jasminum angulare (South African Jasmine)
- Jasminum azoricum, Jasminum trifoliatum Moench, Jasminum bahiense, Jasminum blandum, Jasminum fluminense, Jasminum hildebrandtii, Jasminum holstii (River Jasmine, Scrambling Vine, Jasmine De Trapo)
- Jasminum dichotomum (Rose Bud Jasmine, Everblooming Jasmine, Gold Coast Jasmine)
- Jasminum humile, Jasminum giraldi (Italian Jasmine)
- Jasminum mesnyi, Jasminum primulinum (Japanese Jasmine, Primrose Jasmine)
- Jasminum molle, Jasminum auriculatum (Jasminum Molle, Indian Jui)
- Jasminum multiflorum, Jasminum pubescens, Jasminum gracillimum, Jasminum bifarium, Jasminum elongatum (Downy Jasmine, Angel Hair Jasmine, Star Jasmine)
- Jasminum nitidum, Jasminum magnificum, Jasminum illicifolium (Star Jasmine, Angelwing Jasmine, Shining Jasmine, Windmill Jasmine, Royal Jasmine)
More similar plants
Jasmine species are grown indoors for their lovely, fragrant flowers. In addition to Jasminum officinale (jasmine), two of the most popular species include Jasminum sambac (Arabian jasmine) and Jasminum polyanthum (climbing jasmine). With proper cultural conditions, jasmine can remain in continuous bloom for months.
Light: Jasmine requires bright light with some direct sunlight each day, in eastern or western exposure.
Watering: Keep soil moist as jasmine can easily wilt. When growth slows in winter, hold back on watering a bit more.
Temperature: Jasminum officinale ‘Grandiflorum’ blooms best with a night temperature of 55°F or lower. J. sambac prefers a night temperature above 60°F. Day temperatures are best kept cool as well, below 70°F.
Humidity: Jasmine enjoys extra humidity and benefits from daily misting, sitting on a tray of moistened pebbles and/or use of a humidifier.
Feeding: During the growing season, feed once a month with a standard, water soluble fertilizer.
Transplanting: Move J. polyanthum in summer and J. officinale in spring. Jasmines prefer a fertile, well-drained soil consisting of one part sterilized, houseplant, potting soil, one part peat and one part builder’s sand or perlite.
Propagation: Take tip cuttings just below a node or heel cuttings (from sideshoots with a small section of main stem attached) in midsummer to fall. Grow cuttings in a pre-moistened, light, soil mix with extra humidity. Repot when rooting has taken place and treat them as mature specimens.
Maintenance: Continue to prune jasmine plants often, as they can be rampant growers.
Special Note: When plants reach an 8 to 10″ size pot, provide an annual topdressing of fresh potting soil.
Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service