Jasmine (Jasminum polyanthus) is a tropical plant that hails from China where it grows wild without a care.
It has become popular in the United States as a container plant for a sheltered setting.
The pretty vining plant grows nicely as a hanging plant or over a small wire structure or as a flowering trellis plant and produces lovely, sweet-smelling blooms once or twice annually.
In this article, we will share information on choosing, caring for and propagating the beautiful Jasmine vine as an indoor plant.
However, the Jasmine plant will grow outdoors very well on a trellis. Read on to learn more.
What Does Jasmine Look Like?
These pretty, climbing plants have reddish stems or vines. Their leaves grow in an opposing fashion up the vine in clusters of seven.
The plants usually bloom early in the spring starting with clusters of pretty pink buds that open into delicate, richly fragrant white flowers.
Well-cared for plants may bloom a second time in the autumn. Careful pruning and temperature control can be used to produce blossoms in December. [source]
Where Can You Get A Healthy Jasmine Plant?
If you have a friend who has a Jasmine, you may be able to get a cutting or a small, home-started plant.
Otherwise, look for your young plant in a reputable nursery.
Late winter to early spring is the best time to buy. Examine the plants on offer and choose one that has a lot of pink buds ready to bloom.
Where Should Jasmine Plants Be Kept?
Because these are tropical plants, they can only be kept outdoors in a warm, humid, tropical setting, but they do well as container plants in a greenhouse setting or in a sunroom in cooler climates.
They can also be kept as houseplants in a bright sunny South-facing window in cooler months and moved outdoors to a sunny balcony or another sheltered setting in warm months.
How Much Light And Warmth Do They Need?
The plant likes abundant amounts of indirect sunlight and a steady temperature of 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit.
Take care not to let the temperature drop below 50 degrees or rise above 80 degrees.
What About Water And Fertilizer?
Because Jasmine is a tropical plant, it does not have a dormant period or a downtime in the winter. It must be kept watered, fertilized and warm year-round.
Generally speaking, it’s wise to give the plant a deep watering with a good quality water-soluble houseplant food once every couple of weeks.
Mist the plant daily to maintain proper humidity levels.
How Big Does The Jasminum Polyanthus Plant Get?
When happy, Jasmine is an enthusiastic grower and can trail and climb long distances.
In a greenhouse setting, you may wish to allow your plant to ramble about.
In a smaller sun porch or indoors, it’s a good idea to keep it in a hanging pot or train it to grow on a sturdy wire hoop or small trellis. Growth can be controlled with regular pruning.
When And How Should Jasmine Be Pruned?
After your plant finishes blooming (usually around March) give it a good pruning to control its size.
Keep the tips pinched back throughout the spring months (until around the end of June) to promote bushy growth.
How Do You Propagate Jasmine?
Start new plants from cuttings when you do your pruning. Select shoots that are flexible, yet firm.
You don’t want very young, soft shoots. Nor do you want tough, old woody stems.
For rooting, you should make your cut just beneath a set of leaves. Pinch off the tender tip-shoot and start the cutting in a pot of light, airy, sandy potting mix.
For best results, start three or four cutting in one pot.
Water the soil and cover the pot with a plastic bag. Place it in an area that gets moderate, indirect sunlight and maintains a steady temperature of approximately 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
You should see new growth on the shoots within a couple of weeks.
When you do, remove the plastic bag and move the pot to a warmer (60-65F) brighter setting with good air circulation.
When the cuttings have filled out to become small plants, separate them and give each one its own four or five-inch pot filled with a light, quality, well-drained potting mix.
Pinch off the tips of the new shoots to promote fuller, bushier growth habits. Keep this up until mid-summer.
Be sure to keep the young plants consistently watered.
In July, when you stop pinching back the new growth, start fertilizing once every two weeks just as you would with a mature plant.
In September, you can transition your young plants back to a cooler setting to encourage winter blooms.
When Is The Best Time To Repot Mature Plants?
Springtime, following blooming, is the best time to repot. You can do your pruning and repotting all at once if you wish.
Move mature plants into pots that give them an inch or two of wiggle room.
Don’t overdo it with an extra big pot or you will get lots of root growth and not so much plant growth.
Always use a potting mix that is both light and airy and very nourishing to promote abundant blooms.
Jasmine Problems & Pests
If you do not overwater and do provide consistently warm temperatures and plenty of light and air, you should not have many problems with your Jasmine.
Problems that do arise are likely to be related to improper care and environment. Here are three problems you may encounter.
#1 – Dried, withered leaves: If you do not water deeply enough, the soil in your container may be dry in the bottom.
This will cause leaves to wither and die. Another cause of this problem has to do with lighting.
If your plant gets too much direct sunlight, the leaves may scorch, wither and die.
Be sure to give your plants a good soaking, every-other-week. Allow excess water to drain off.
Make sure your plant gets lots of indirect sunlight and little or no exposure to the direct rays of the sun.
#2 – Faded leaves: If your plant is invaded by spider mites, the leaves will turn pale.
To prevent infestation, be sure to mist your plant daily. High humidity creates an unwelcoming environment for spider mites.
If spider mites do infest your plant, quarantine it and treat it with an insecticidal soap or Neem oil solution.
#3 – Sticky, deformed leaves: An aphid infestation causes this problem. The leaves become sticky because of the “honeydew” secreted by the tiny bugs.
Regular misting will help prevent infestation. Treat an existing infestation as you would spider mites.
Isolate the plant and treat it with a Neem oil or insecticidal soap spray. If this doesn’t work, try a pyrethrum solution. [source]
Jasmine An Exotic Addition To Your Plant Collection
In their native homeland, Jasmine plants are hardy and fast growing.
As a houseplant in the western world, they take a little pampering, but the end result makes the effort worthwhile.
These pretty plants with their glossy green leaves, frothy white flowers, and intoxicating scent add a touch of luxury to your home.
Because they are so easy to propagate and can easily be induced to bloom during the holidays, they make an interesting and beautiful alternative to the traditional Poinsettia and a lovely and thoughtful gift.