The Jasminum genus includes about 200 species of broadleaf evergreens and shrubs native to warm regions of Asia and Eurasia. Many of the vining species are very popular as climbers for outdoor gardens in USDA zones 8 to 11, and several of these are also popular houseplants. Indoors or out, the heavenly scent of flowering jasmine is greatly appreciated.
When grown as houseplants, the vining jasmines vary in difficulty, but one species that stands out for this use is the pink jasmine (Jasminum polyathum), which also goes by the names white jasmine, Chinese jasmine, or winter-blooming jasmine. Deep green glossy pinnate leaves grow on twining branches up to 20 feet long. In late winter, this fast-growing vine produces a profusion of reddish-pink buds in dense clusters that transform into star-shaped white flowers tinged with pink. Such ample blooming is unusual among houseplants.
|Common Names||Pink jasmine, white jasmine, Chinese jasmine, winter-blooming jasmine|
|Botanical Name||Jasminum polyanthum|
|Plant Type||Vine, perennial|
|Mature Size||20 ft. tall|
|Sun Exposure||Full, partial|
|Soil pH||Acidic, neutral|
|Flower Color||White, pink|
|Hardiness Zones||8-12 (USDA)|
Vining Jasmine Care
To grow jasmine well, provide it with some direct sunlight in the summer, constant moisture throughout the year (although a bit drier in the winter), and cooler temperatures in the fall to stimulate flowering.
Provide it with a trellis to climb and regular pruning to keep it neat and tidy indoors, or let it run free or clambering up vertical structures outdoors.
Light requirements vary by species, but most do well in full sun to part shade. White jasmine (J. polyanthum) prefers bright light and can even handle some direct sunlight. When grown indoors, it will want the brightest location you can find.
For indoor plants, any standard peat-based or coir-based potting mix with added drainage material will do a good job. When planted outdoors, vining jasmines require loose, humusy soil that is very well-drained with a pH range of 5.5 to 7.0.
The soil or potting mix should be kept lightly moist but not saturated. The plant can be allowed to dry out slightly in the late fall and winter. With indoor plants, make sure the pot has good drainage.
Temperature and Humidity
The temperature preferences for vining jasmines vary by species. These plants are much more cold-tolerant than many people think and have no problem tolerating fall temperatures of 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Potted plants are often moved outdoors from late spring to early fall.
Feed with a weak liquid fertilizer throughout the growing season. For the amount to use, follow the product label instructions.
Types of Jasmine
There are several other Jasmine shrubs and vines. Popular ones include:
- Arabian jasmine (J. sambac) has intensely fragrant flowers. It is a shorter plant, growing to about 5 feet tall.
- Primrose jasmine (J. primulinum) has a shrub-like growth habit and yellow, non-fragrant flowers. It is sometimes categorized as Jasminum mesnyi.
- Orange jasmine (Murraya paniculata) is a different genus that is also called jasmine. It is an evergreen shrub with small glossy leaves and small white flowers with a delicate citrusy scent. It can also be grown as a houseplant. A favorite outdoor cultivar is 'Lakeview', which grows to 15 feet.
Outdoors, a vining jasmine plant can usually be left on its own to climb where it wants, but as an indoor plant, it will need to be pruned regularly to keep it under control. Prune them somewhat aggressively at the beginning of the growing season to control rampant growth and provide some growing support. These are commonly grown with an arch or trellis. Be careful not to let your jasmine run wild—if you keep it pruned, it will be healthier and easier to manage.
Propagating Vining Jasmine
Vining jasmine can be easily propagated by stem-tip cuttings.
- Choose healthy stems with plenty of new green leaf growth. The cutting should have at least two leaves and one node. Use sharp pruners or a pair of scissors to remove about a 6-inch cutting.
- Remove all but one or two leaves from the cutting.
- Fill a 4-inch pot with soilless potting mix.
- To increase your chances of success, dip the cut ends in rooting hormone. Make a hole in the soil with a pencil or stick, slightly larger than the stem diameter. Insert the cut end about 3 inches into the hole.
- Gently press down the soil around it. You can fit more than one cutting in one pot but make sure they don't touch each other.
- Place the cuttings in a warm, bright location with high humidity and a steady but measured supply of water. New growth should emerge in a few weeks.
- If you've planted several cuttings in one pot, cut off all but the healthiest and strongest one.
- Once there is a good root system, you can transplant the new plant into a larger container, or outdoors in garden soil.
How to Grow Vining Jasmine From Seed
Start jasmine seeds about three months before your average last frost date. Soak the seeds for 24 hours, then plant them in small containers filled with moist, nutrient-rich potting soil. Cover the containers with plastic wrap or domes and set them in direct sunlight. Germination can take up to 30 days. When the seedlings pop out of the soil, uncover the plants. Keep the soil moist until the seedlings form two sets of true leaves, then transplant them to a larger container, or if the time is right, transfer them into the garden.
Potting and Repotting Vining Jasmine
Jasmines grown indoors do not need to be repotted as frequently as other houseplants, but they should be moved to a pot with fresh soil every three years or so. Use fresh potting mix and prune down the roots when you move the plant, so they have plenty of room to grow.
Vining jasmines growing in containers will require a large pot and a sturdy climbing support. Any type of pot is fine as long as it has large drain holes. Use a moist, peat-based potting mix. A potted plant will enjoy being moved outdoors for the warmer months of the year, and it can be left there until the weather dips down near 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Vining jasmine should be brought indoors during the winter if at all possible. Temperatures around the freezing point are too low for this plant to handle.
If the plant is in the ground, decrease watering about six weeks before the average first frost date to inhibit new growth. Right before the first frost, water the plant thoroughly to help it get through the winter. Cover the base with several inches of straw or pine needles to protect it from the cold.
Jasmine is vulnerable to common houseplant pests, including aphids, mealy bugs, scale, and whitefly. Identify the infestation as early as possible and treat it with the least toxic option. Mealybugs, the most common pest, can be treated by dabbing them with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol.
How to Get Vining Jasmine to Bloom
Like many other tropical flowering plants, jasmine needs at least a 15-degree difference between day and nighttime temperatures to bloom which occurs in the fall and winter.
But if your plant doesn't bloom, the reason could also be insufficient light, which is often a problem indoors, or too much nitrogen. Feed it with a fertilizer for flowering plants that contains little or no nitrogen and mostly flower-boosting phosphorus. Also make sure that the plant is in a location with plenty of sunlight.
Common Problems with Vining Jasmine
Well-kept vining jasmine will likely have no problems with disease, but anything that stresses the plant can make it more vulnerable. Some of the common issues include:
Brown Spots on Leaves
This is often caused by flower blight, which can commonly appear after a rush of warm weather. Remove any affected areas immediately and put them in the trash, not the compost.
Leaves Dropping Off
While it is common for a plant to lose leaves from time to time, it's not common for it to happen all at once. Leaf drop is often the result of overwatering, underwatering, or flower blight.
White Powder on Leaves
This is probably powdery mildew, which can be a common problem for any plant, including any jasmine species. This problem can spread rapidly, so treat it as soon as you notice it with a fungicide specially formulated for powdery mildew. To prevent the condition, keep the plant well-trimmed to increase air circulation around leaves and stems.
How long can vining jasmine live?
A healthy potted jasmine vine can be kept for many years, providing you keep it well pruned and in fresh potting soil.
What are good companion plants for vining jasmine?
Climbing clematis has the same growth requirements as jasmine. Choose a variety of clematis that contrasts with the colors of your vining jasmine for a spectacular display.
How can I use vining jasmine?
Besides being gorgeous to look at, some say the scent of vining jasmine flowers can help ease you into sleep. Consider keeping the plant in your bedroom at night to enjoy the sweet scent.