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Jasmine

Sarah Stehr Sarah Stehr

Jasmine species impress with their beautiful flowers, the often intense aroma of their blooms and how easy they are to care for. We show you just how varied this genus is.

General

You must have smelled the intense aroma of Jasmine, whether that was as part of a perfume or emanating from a cup of Jasmine or green tea. Jasmine oil and jasmine essence are extracted from plants in the jasmine (Jasminum) genus. It comprises over 200 species of upright growing shrubs and Climbing plants that are primarily found in the tropics and subtropics. Here, Jasmine, part of the Oleaceae family, is a popular decorative plant. Most species are not winter hardy, so are grown in pots or used as houseplants, such as White jasmine. Growing heights vary by species, with plants growing to anything between 20 inches and 16 feet.

Leaves

The genus contains deciduous as well as evergreen species. Leaf shape and arrangement vary depending on the species. You may find Jasmine plants with oppositely or alternately arranged leaves. The leaves may be pinnate and have just one or three parts. All Jasmine species have one thing in common: lovely little flowers, either terminal or axillary.

Flowers

The spectrum of flower colors ranges from white through yellow to pink, with the latter only featured in a few species such as the Yellow jasmine (Jasminum fruticans) and Jasminum x stephanense hybrids. Flowering periods vary from species to species. Winter jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum) flowers from December until April, while Common jasmine (Jasminum officinale) opens its flowers between May and August. Arabian jasmine (Jasminum sambac) wears its scented blooms from March to October, with this long flowering period making it an ideal potted plant for a conservatory. After flowering, most Jasmine species form small berries that are usually glossy and black.

Winter jasmine

Winter jasmine impresses with its bright yellow flowers between December and April

Thanks to its bright yellow winter flowers and its winter hardiness, winter jasmine is particularly popular here, where it blooms between December and April depending on the zone. Unlike other Jasmine species, its flowers give off a very subtle smell. The specimen with the strongest-smelling flowers is Arabian jasmine, whose intensively aromatic jasmine oil is extracted for use in perfumes. The jasmine aroma often used in green tea comes from the royal jasmine (Jasminum grandiflorum).

Location and Soil

Whether it’s growing outside or in, Jasmine prefers a bright location and welcomes sun. However, you should ensure that midday sun isn’t too strong, otherwise the leaves and blooms may burn. If it must, the plant may tolerate dappled shade. The location should also be well ventilated to prevent pests taking hold. This is often already taken care of outdoors. When cultivating Jasmine indoors, you should ensure that the room is regularly aired. As most jasmine species are grown in containers, they are best planted in regular potting soil. The winter jasmine, which is usually planted outdoors in gardens, has few prerequisites when it comes to soil, and even flourishes in poor soil. However, it prefers a nutrient-rich, limey soil substrate.

Jasmine hybrid Jasminum x stephanense

The Jasmine hybrid Jasminum x stephanense is one of the few pink-flowering jasmine species

Use

Depending on your zone, most Jasmine species can only be grown indoors or in pots here due to their subtropical and tropical origins. Common jasmine is particularly widely available. The only truly winter hardy specimen in this genus is winter jasmine, which opens its blooms in December if the weather is mild enough, making it a popular winter flowerer. As a spreading climber, it is very well suited to adding a little green to embankments or wall copings. If you want to plant it in a bed, it will need a frame or obelisk to climb up and secure itself - otherwise it will grow flat along the ground.

Planting

The best time to plant Jasmine is between spring and fall. As most Jasmine species are climbing plants, you should position these plants directly next to a trellis or another climbing aid and regularly guide young long shoots, especially on species that have no climbing tendrils, such as the winter jasmine. If planting in a container, ensure good drainage, as jasmines do not tolerate waterlogging. Ideally, use a layer of expanded clay at the bottom of the pot and mix the soil with a little grit or expanded clay to make it more permeable.

Pruning

When cultivating Winter jasmine, an occasional prune after flowering can encourage the formation of new shoots and, in turn, more fullness of flower. Jasmine grown in pots can be encouraged to produce more flowers by pruning after overwintering (February to March), but you must be cautious. Depending on the species, it may take a while for the plant to form new shoots. Common jasmine, in contrast, can withstand more drastic pruning.

Jasminum humile

Most Jasmine species, here Jasminum humile, are only suitable for cultivation in containers due to their low winter hardiness

Overwintering and Winter Protection

The majority of Jasmines are not winter hardy so must spend winter indoors in colder zones. In summer, they will be very happy on a balcony or terrace. The most frost hardy is Winter jasmine (tolerating down to -0.4 Fahrenheit).

In zones with milder weather,the Common jasmine may even spend winter outside. It may, however, require winter protection. Ideally, the plant pot should be positioned in a place protected from wind and strong sun, e.g. against a wall. But the location still needs to be bright. The container can be insulated with bubble wrap, linen or coconut matting and placed on a wooden or Styrofoam plinth so that frost cannot get in from below. A layer of straw or wood shavings on the soil will protect the plant from above. During winter months, fertilizer should not be used and the plant should be watered sparingly.

Common jasmine specimens planted in the garden or Japanese jasmine (Jasminum mesnyi), which is winter hardy down to 10.4 degrees Fahrenheit, should also be protected during winter. If you live in a zone with harsh winters, it is advisable to dig the plant up and overwinter it in a container.

Jasmine species that are only winter hardy to a certain extent, such as Arabian jasmine or Royal jasmine, can spend summer outdoors but should be brought into a conservatory or another bright but frost-free location such as a basement or hallway in fall. The temperature in its winter home should be around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. If the plant is too warm in winter, it will often not flower properly in the following year. Just like other exotic scented plants, you can keep frost-sensitive Jasmine in a conservatory all year round, where you can enjoy its intense floral scent.

As Jasmine species vary greatly in terms of winter hardiness, you should find out how frost-resistant your specimen is before making a purchase to avoid any nasty surprises further down the line.

Royal jasmine (Jasminum grandiflorum)

Royal jasmine (Jasminum grandiflorum) is used to flavor jasmine tea and is also used in green tea

Care Tips

It’s very easy to care for a Jasmine plant as long as you keep a few things in mind. This includes the right location as well as good ventilation and, above all, regular watering and fertilizing. Jasmine grown in pots requires generous amounts of both. Especially during its growth phase and during flowering, you should be watering regularly. This may increase to daily when temperatures are high and during periods of strong sun. The substrate should always be consistently moist. It’s best to use low-lime rainwater for watering. Make sure that the plant doesn’t get waterlogged! If the plant is in full sun, you can also spray it with a little water.

You should also fertilize your Jasmine every one to two weeks between April and September, as it needs lots of nutrients during this growth phase. It’s best to use a liquid feed for potted plants, as lots of nutrients are washed away during watering. The plant should not be fertilized and only watered sparingly during winter. The soil should never dry out, as Jasmine is as sensitive to dryness as it is to waterlogging.

Container growing paired with high water and nutrient requirements mean that the soil quickly loses quality. It is therefore advisable to repot Jasmine once a year. The best time is straight after overwintering in spring. At the same time, you can also prune your Jasmine so it’s ready for the new season.

Propagation

The easiest way to propagate Jasmine is to take slightly woody cuttings in May or June. Relatively high temperatures (64 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit) are required so that the new plants form roots quickly. Winter jasmine and all other species can also be propagated using layering, whereby an offshoot is guided into a small pot full of potting soil, which is kept moist. As soon as roots have formed, the shoot is cut off from the parent plant so it can grow into a new separate plant.

Diseases and Pests

If jasmine is cultivated as an indoor plant all year round and is kept in a warm location with poor ventilation - especially in winter - it can fall foul to aphids or Mealybugs. These should simply be removed manually or rinsed off. If this doesn’t help, the best way to tackle these pests is to use beneficial insects such as green lacewings or . When it comes to Jasmine plants, issues caused by location and user error are much more common than infestation or illness. The biggest problem here is often soil that is too moist, causing the roots to rot either quickly or over time.

Sweet mock orange (Philadelphus)

Sweet mock orange (Philadelphus) is also known as farmer’s jasmine and is often falsely identified as part of the jasmine family

A jumble of Jasmine names

There are hardly any other plant names covering so many different genera and species as the name “jasmine” - and this can lead to some misunderstandings. As well as the Jasminum genus described here, True jasmines, there is also Farmer’s jasmine (Philadelphus), whose flowers give off an intense jasmine-like aroma. This is as far away from actual jasmine as Star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides). This is a climbing shrub from Asia with scented flowers that is not winter hardy at temperate latitudes, so only suitable for growing in containers. Jasmine nightshade (Solanum jasminoides), more commonly known as potato vine, also thrives in pots. There’s also Chilean jasmine (Mandevilla laxa) and Yellow jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens), neither of which are related to jasmine. If you want to know if a plant is actually a true member of the jasmine family, you should be able to simply look at the botanical name at your garden center.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Jasmine?

Jasmine is a plant genus comprising over 200 different species of upright shrubs and . Parts of this plant are often found in perfumes and various teas. Jasmine is a popular decorative plant here, preferably grown in containers or indoors.

What are Jasmine flowers like?

Depending on the species, the color of the blooms varies from white to yellow and even pink. Flowering periods also vary from species to species. flowers, for instance, from December to April, while does so between May and August.

What kind of fertilizer is suitable for Jasmine?

It’s best to choose a liquid fertilizer, added to water, to feed Jasmine. Jasmine can be fertilized every one to two weeks from April to September.

How should you prune Jasmine?

Pruning in February or March can encourage many Jasmine species to produce more flowers.

What is the best way to overwinter Jasmine?

Most species are not winter hardy so should be overwintered in a at around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s best to move sensitive plants to their winter homes in the fall. In very mild zones, common Jasmine can even spend winter outdoors with a protective covering of bubble wrap or coconut matting.

Which Jasmine smells the strongest?

Arabian jasmine has the most intense scent, which is why it is used in perfumes.

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