From its beautiful blooms to its fresh fragrance, jasmine is one of the loveliest flowers to incorporate into your indoor jungle or outdoor garden. Of course, it can be a notoriously tricky plant to figure out, especially if you’re a flower novice. But once you’ve figured out its needs and how to best incorporate it into your garden, you’ll be rewarded with long periods of gorgeous, aromatic blooms. We’ve broken down what you need to know about jasmine and how to properly care for it.
What is jasmine?
Jasmine is an incredibly versatile plant when it comes to landscaping. Depending on the variety, you can grow it as a groundcover, let it climb on a trellis, or even keep it as a potted plant indoors. It’s best known for its dainty blooms that can be yellow, white, or cream in color — and certain varieties can even produce pink flowers.
Some jasmine plants are evergreen, so their leaves stay green and glossy all year long instead of dropping during the autumn and winter. There’s a wide range of jasmine, from common white jasmine that blooms in the late spring to winter jasmine, which puts out flowers during late winter.
What’s most notable about jasmine is that the blooms smell like a sweet, light perfume, which attracts hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies. The strong smell can irritate those sensitive to fragrances so keep in mind anyone who may be in contact with jasmine before you plant it.
Like most plants, jasmine can be a bit finicky when it comes to how much and what kind of light it gets.
Step 1: If growing outdoors, keep the jasmine in either partial shade or full sun, depending on the specific jasmine variety.
Step 2: If growing indoors, place the jasmine near a south-facing window. Supplement with grow lights if necessary.
Choosing the right variety for you
In addition to adequate light, jasmine benefits from warm temperatures. Its sweet spot temperature-wise is around 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, although it’s usually hardy down to 40 degrees.
Step 1: If you live in an area prone to winters where temperatures regularly dip below 40 degree Fahrenheit, bring your plant indoors if it's kept in a pot. You could also place your outdoor plant into a greenhouse or mulch it with compost to offer it protection.
Step 2: Jasmine plants are typically hardy to zones 7 through 10, but cold hardiness depends on the variety. If you live in a cold climate, Asian star jasmine will be hardier while Arabian jasmine will thrive in a warm, humid region. Pick the variety best suited for your area for the most prolific plant possible.
Jasmine appreciates adequately moist, fertile soil.
Step 1: Plant the jasmine in a sandy, loamy mix to make sure the soil retains moisture but not so much as to cause root rot.
Step 2: Water your jasmine plant weekly. During hot, dry weather, you will likely need to water more often, as the plant is native to tropical regions and will not tolerate drought.
Step 3: Repot the plant if it becomes rootbound to ensure it gets adequate water.
Jasmine is a pretty versatile plant when it comes to landscaping.
Step 1: If you enjoy the vining look, you can train the jasmine to climb up a wall or fence with a trellis or some type of wiring.
Step 2: To maintain a shrub-like look, keep the jasmine in the ground or in a large planter.
Step 3: Use sharp, sterilized shears to prune the jasmine. Doing so will encourage new growth and remove diseased, damaged, or tangled branches. Just remember to prune right after the plant flowers so that it has time to recover by the next time it's ready to bloom.
Step 4: If you notice branches growing in an awkward direction, prune them back and use a trellis or wire to retrain them.
Encouraging jasmine to bloom
Proper feeding and pinching can help jasmine bloom throughout its growing season.
Step 1: When your jasmine pushes out new growth, give it a blooming fertilizer every week; a diluted 7-9-5 fertilizer high in phosphorus works best for flower production. Do not use a fertilizer too high in nitrogen, as that will encourage foliage growth at the expense of blooms.
Step 2: Pinch off spent blooms to help extend the blooming period.
Growing jasmine can be a daunting undertaking, especially if you’re not familiar with taking care of flowers. Thankfully, though, it's really much easier than it might seem at first. It all starts with finding the appropriate cultivar for your climate zone so that you have the best shot possible at nourishing a lush and healthy plant. Then, provide your jasmine with plenty of warmth and sun, fertilize adequately, and prune as needed. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to enjoying beautiful, fragrant blooms!
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