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Few plants are as beautiful or fragrant as jasmine. Most species of this tropical plant bloom with white or pink flowers that give off a delicious, calming scent. They can be planted outdoors as shrubs or climbing vines or indoors as beautiful, aromatic houseplants. Here's everything you need to know to grow jasmine.
- Botanical Name: Jasminum spp.
- Common Name: Jasmine, true jasmine, Arabian jasmine, Sambac jasmine, pink jasmine, white jasmine, winter jasmine
- Plant Type: Vining shrub
- Mature Size: Up to 15 feet tall when planted outdoors
- Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
- Soil Type: Moist, well-drained soil
- Soil pH: 4.9 - 8.3
- Toxicity: Nontoxic
Whether you're growing jasmine outdoors or indoors, keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy. Feed plants with fertilizer every couple of weeks during the spring and summer to promote growth.
If the plant is getting overgrown and you want to keep it contained, prune it back in the spring after the plant has flowered. It's also a good idea to prune away older growth at this time. You can pinch off growth tips any time of year to help the plant grow bushy and full rather than tall and leggy.
Best Growing Conditions for Jasmine
To plant jasmine outdoors, choose a spot with full sun to part shade and well-drained soil. You can grow jasmine as a shrub by keeping it pruned back. Otherwise, plan to provide some kind of support for its climbing vines such as a trellis, fence, or stakes. The plant can grow up to two feet in a single year.
To grow jasmine as a houseplant, choose a place with lots of bright, indirect light, such as a few feet from a sunny window with a southern or western exposure. These plants also benefit from increased humidity. Keep them in a small room with other humidity-loving plants and run a humidifier, or group them together with several other houseplants to create a humid microclimate.
Types of Jasmine
There are several different types of jasmine plants, beloved for their tiny flowers and signature scent. Winter jasmine with yellow flowers, for example, is more suited to growing outdoors due to its larger size and lack of scent, while white winter jasmine does have a scent. However, many varieties can be grown indoors as houseplants or outdoors in containers or in the ground.
Depending on the variety, jasmine plants are winter hardy in zones 6 through 10. Check your growing zone before planting, or plant jasmine in a container if you'd like to overwinter it indoors.
How to Propagate Jasmine
The simplest way to propagate a jasmine plant is by taking stem tip cuttings. You'll need a healthy, mature plant, a sharp knife or pruners, small plant pots, sand, a clear plastic bag, and rooting hormone powder.
- Choose a healthy stem from the mature plant to use as your cutting. Choose one with several leaves and no flowers (you want the cutting to put its energy into root and leaf production, not blooms).
- Make a diagonal cut directly below a leaf node so that your cutting will be about six inches long. Trim the lower leaves from the cutting, leaving at least two on top.
- Dip the bottom of the cutting in rooting hormone powder, then plant it in a pot filled with moist sand. Cover the planting with a clear plastic bag to hold in moisture.
- Place the cutting in a warm place indoors with bright, indirect light. Keep the sand evenly moist but well drained.
- Within four weeks or so, you should see new growth. Transplant the cutting into a container with regular potting soil. Once it's more established, it can be planted in the ground outdoors.
Common Problems With Jasmine
Jasmine plants are generally low maintenance and don't experience many problems, but there are a few signs to look out for. Yellowing leaves, for example, can indicate a lack of soil fertility. Keep an eye out for common houseplant pests like mealybugs on indoor jasmine. Keep an eye out for cottony growths on stems and under leaves and swab them away with rubbing alcohol.
Winter jasmine planted outdoors can be a target for spider mites. If you encounter these pests, cut the stems down to the ground, bag up the infected plant material, and dispose of it in the trash. Fertilize the plants in spring to promote regrowth.
How to Get Jasmine to Bloom
A healthy jasmine plant in the right conditions should bloom with beautiful, fragrant flowers in winter. If your plant isn't blooming, one of these issues may be to blame.
If you've been fertilizing the plant regularly, it's possible that a nitrogen-heavy fertilizer is causing the plant to grow more leaves rather than flowers. Cut back on fertilizing or switch to a fertilizer with low or no nitrogen.
It's also important to ensure that the plant has proper airflow, water, and temperature. Ideal temperatures for jasmine are between 65 and 75 degrees during the day. Proper pruning after blooms will set your plant up for success the next time around.
Is jasmine easy to care for?
Yes, jasmine is relatively low maintenance and easy to care for as long as it's been regularly watered and pruned and planted in the right conditions.
How fast does jasmine grow?
Outdoors, jasmine plants can grow quickly, anywhere from one to two feet in a single year. That's why it's important to keep shrub and indoor jasmine plants pruned back and provide trellising for climbing vines planted outdoors.
Can jasmine grow indoors?
Yes, jasmine plants can be grown indoors. White jasmine, common jasmine, Spanish Jasmine, Arabian jasmine, and Madagascar jasmine are preferred types for growing indoors thanks to their attractive blooms, rich fragrance, and relatively small size. Pinch or prune plants back regularly to keep them contained.