How To Grow and Care For Jasmine Plants

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Jasminum (JAZ-mih-num) vines and shrubs are related to Oleaceae (oh-lee-AY-see-eye) or olive trees. You may also see this plant referred to by the alternate spelling, Jessamine (JEH-suh-min).

There are over two-hundred species of Jasmine (JAZ-min) plants hailing from warm, tropical settings such as Oceania, Africa, Australasia, and Eurasia. Most come from southern and southeastern Asia. Wide varieties have naturalized to Mediterranean settings.

sweet fragrant flowers of the jasmine plantPin

In their native and naturalized settings, these shrubs and vines are perennial. In very cold climates, they are often kept as houseplants.

How To Grow Jasmine Plants In Containers

Jasmine Plants Care

Size and Growth

Most types of Jasmine are fast-growing. Shrub varieties typically have a height and spread of 4′ to 10′ feet. Vining varieties may attain a supported height of 15′ or 20′ feet with an equal spread.

Foliage

Depending upon your location and the species of Jasmine, leaves may be deciduous or evergreen. Leaves are usually blue-green or deep green, glossy, and leathery. 



These green leaves may grow in a simple pattern, pair, or groupings of three or four.

Flowering and Fragrance

Most Jasmine flowers are richly scented, but a few unscented varieties exist. Most have white flowers, but there are a few varieties with yellow flowers varieties and even some pale pink.

Fragrant flowers may be pinwheel-like, flared, lobed, or tubular, depending upon the species. In a tropical setting, the plant blooms from late spring to summer and may continue year-round in warm climates.

Blooms typically transition into black, two-lobed berries.

Light and Temperature

These tropical shrubs and vines thrive in full sun, even in very hot climates. Vining varieties will do much better planted in a location that receives ample sun but is also sheltered against high winds. However, jasmine plants can also thrive in partial shade areas.

For full sun, jasmine needs about 6 hours or more of direct sunlight daily. In contrast, 4 hours of sunlight per day will work for partial shade locations. 

Indoor Jasmine Plants: Place the pot with bright, indirect light when planting jasmine as a houseplant. Positioning it by a sunny window will also encourage abundant blooms. 

NOTE: Pink jasmine (Jasminum polyanthum) is a popular species grown for indoor use.

For the most part, Jasmine shrubs and vines are winter hardy in USDA hardiness zones 7 through 10; however, if planted in a well-sheltered setting, some varieties are winter hardy down to Zone 6.

A few varieties like Winter jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum) can handle freezing temperatures, but for the most part, Jasmine plants should be well mulched before winter, even within their hardiness zones.

In areas with temperatures below 40° degrees Fahrenheit, Jasmine should be kept as container plants and brought indoors for winter.

Jasmine kept as houseplants should be placed so that they receive a minimum of six hours of bright, indirect sunlight daily. Keep temperatures between 60° and 75° degrees Fahrenheit, day and night.

Watering and Feeding

In a tropical setting, plants in the landscape will do well with deep watering about once a week. Container plants and indoor potted plants may need more regular watering.

As with most plants, occasional deep watering is better than frequent watering. Use a soak-and-dry watering method to provide a good, long drink whenever the top few inches of soil begin to dry.

In soil well amended with organic matter, Jasmine plants in the landscape need little or no fertilizer. 

If you do wish to fertilize your outdoor Jasmine, do it early in the springtime. Use a product that has an NPK ratio of 7-9-5. The high level of potassium will encourage more blooms.

Indoor Jasmine can be lightly fertilized with a good quality liquid fertilizer for houseplants (with high potassium content) early in the springtime. After pruning, you can also feed your plant in late winter or early spring.

Soil and Transplanting

These tropical plants like consistently moist, well-draining soil with lots of organic matter included, but may also thrive in fertile soil with a bit of shade.

Transplant Jasmine shrubs and bushes into the landscape any time from early summer to late autumn.

Potted Jasmine likes a potting soil mixture that has a high proportion of peat or bark incorporated. 

These plants do well when root bound, so plan to repot once every three years or so. Don’t over-pot. Just go up to the next size pot.

Grooming and Maintenance

Vining Jasmine should be provided a trellis or other support if you want it to climb.

Prune your Jasmine shrubs or vines lightly year-round to remove damaged, diseased or dead leaves and help maintain shape. Moreover, if you’re growing them as ground cover, prune off any vertical growth.

Shrub varieties will need frequent pruning to prevent them from developing a straggly appearance and attempting to vine.

Heavy regular pruning should be done immediately following a major bloom cycle to maintain plant growth.

How To Propagate Jasmine Plants

You can grow Jasmine three ways, from seed, cuttings, or by layering.

  • To grow from seed, soak seeds in warm water for a full 24 hours and then plant them into a moist, damp seed starting mix. 

Cover the damp mix lightly with plastic and place the containers in an area that is consistently warm and receives an ample amount of direct sunlight.

Continue to keep the seed starting mix slightly damp. When the seeds germinate (4-6 weeks), move them to a warm setting with bright, indirect sunlight.

  • To grow from cuttings, take a healthy cutting (4”to 6″ inches long) with several good leaves at its tip. Remove leaves from the bottom half of the cutting.

Dip the cutting’s end in some rooting hormone powder and plant it in its own container of damp potting soil.

Cover it with a clear plastic bag, and place the container in a consistently warm area that receives ample bright, indirect sunlight. You should see new growth within a month or so.

  •  To grow by layering, put a container of potting soil near a healthy Jasmine plant. Choose a long, flexible, healthy stem and bend it down so that its midsection comes in contact with the soil in the pot.

Dig a little trench in the soil, and bury the stem’s midsection (leaves and all). Anchor it with a stone, garden clip, or some such if necessary to keep it in place. Leave the stem’s top 4”to 6″ inches exposed to light and air.

Eventually, the stem will set down roots, and enthusiastic growth will appear on its tip. When this happens, you can prune the stem away from the parent plant and either keep your new plant in its pot or transplant it as you wish.

Jasmine Plants Main Pest Or Diseases

For the most part, Jasmine plants are pest and disease free. You may occasionally have problems with aphids or spider mites, but these are easily handled using insecticidal soap.

Outdoor Jasmine plants may occasionally be bothered by caterpillars. When this is the case, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) treatment is effective.

In some tropical settings, Pelarspovirus is problematic.

Root rot may also be a common issue for some cultivars but can easily be remedied by providing good aeration and drainage.

Is the plant considered toxic or poisonous to people, kids, and pets?

True Jasmine (Jasminum) is not toxic. A plant that is often confused with Jasmine – Cestrum L., a member of the Solanaceae family of plants – is.

This plant goes by the common names:

  • Day Blooming Jessamine
  • Night Blooming Jasmine
  • Day Blooming Jasmine

All parts of this false Jasmine plant are quite toxic to people, people, pets, livestock, and fowl when consumed. Keep this plant out of the reach of kids, animals, and domestic birds.

Is the plant considered invasive?

Jasmine is a highly invasive plant in tropical settings (e.g., Florida). In a conducive setting, these plants grow rambunctiously. 

Wherever a bit of stem touches the earth, the plant will set down roots and start to grow and spread. A strong, healthy Jasmine vine or shrub can quickly outpace native plants and other garden plants.

Suggested Jasmine Plants Uses

Because most Jasmine plants have sweetly fragrant, bright white or yellow blooms, the plants are often used to enhance the charm of a moon garden.

As a potted plant, blooming Jasmine adds a delightful fragrance to a large, airy room but may be overwhelming in a small, closed setting.

Jasmine stems and flowers make pretty, fragrant, long-lasting additions to cut flower arrangements.

Fragrant Jasmine blooms can also be used to flavor tea. To do this, you would layer Jasmine blossoms and whole-leaf tea in a closed container for about four hours. Remove the Jasmine blossoms before steeping the tea.

NOTE: Jasminum officinale (common jasmine) and Jasminum sambac (Arabian jasmine) are species commonly used to create fragrances in teas and perfumes.

You can also harvest the flower buds to make a fragrant, restorative tea.

Jasmine shrubs and vines make great hedges or privacy screens in a tropical landscape. Trailing and rambling sorts make excellent groundcovers. They are also very useful for controlling soil erosion on slopes.

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