Plant Profile: Star Jasmine Vine (Trachelospermum jasminoides)

Star Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides), Madeira. April
David Dixon/Photolibrary/Getty Images

Star jasmine is a popular flowering vine in California and southern U.S. states, where it is used both on vertical trellis applications as well as a spreading ground cover. It is very fragrant and is known to attract bees. The fragrance is similar to that of Jasmine shrubs, although this is a different group of plants. 

Description

Although a vine, star jasmine is relatively short in stature, with a mature height of only 3 to 6 feet and a similar spread. It is a woody evergreen plant that is winter-hardy in USDA hardiness zones 8 to 10. Further north, it is sometimes grown in pots and brought indoors for the winter, or grown as an annual, planted afresh each spring. 

Star jasmine has shiny dark green leaves, lanceolate to oval in shape,  that are about 3.5 inches long. The plant produces creamy white flowers in late spring. The flowers are pinwheel in shape and about 1 inch across. The plant may rebloom sporadically in summer. 

This is a very fragrant plant—unbearably fragrant to some people, especially those with allergies or sensitivities to perfumes. 

Botanical Information

Native to China, Japan, and southeast Asia, star jasmine is a liana plant—one that strives to climb a vertical support or other plants in order to reach sunlight. It is considered to be a member of the Apocynaceae (dogbane) family, which also includes natal plum ( Carissa macrocarpa), frangipani (Plumeria spp.) and oleander (Nerium oleander). Other common names for this plant include Chinese jasmine, trader's compass, Chinese ivy and confederate jasmine. 

Landscape Uses

Star jasmine can be allowed to spread over the ground as a ground cover, or trained to grow up fence posts, trellises, and around doorways. It makes a good potted plant for patios and decks, but be aware that bees will be drawn to its fragrant flowers. The fruit is an undistinguished brown follicle. 

Growing Star Jasmine

Star Jasmine will thrive in full sun to part shade, but for maximum flowering potential, choose a spot with full sun. It can handle most types of soil, and once the roots have spread themselves, star jasmine can tolerate drought. When used as a groundcover, plant them about 5 feet apart. 

Star jasmine is a fairly carefree plant, requiring pruning only to control its growth or if it has become dead, diseased or damaged.

You can propagate star jasmine by taking cuttings from another plant. They can be planted at any time of the year.  

Problems

This vine usually does not attract many pests or diseases. Sometimes scale insects will attack, which can be controlled with horticultural oils. Scales drop honeydew on the vines, which sometimes leads to the development of sooty mold. Japanese beetles may also be a problem.​

If you have trees in your yard, star jasmine may wind itself around the trunk. Trim the plant away before it envelopes the trunk of the tree, as it can compromise the tree's health.