Winter jasmine plants are deciduous perennials. They are considered vines and belong to the olive family. Unlike most jasmines, this type is not fragrant, but, perhaps as a tradeoff, the plant's stems stay green in winter. Winter jasmine plants are moderate growers, native to China, and grown in USDA plant hardiness zones 6-10.
Winter jasmine plants reach 4 feet in height with a width of 7 feet when unsupported. Supported, they can reach 15 feet in height. Its plentiful yellow blooms are about 1-inch wide. Blooming time is in late winter. The flowers appear prior to the leaves, which are quite tiny. This moderate-growing gem should be planted in the spring.
While usually pest and disease-free, winter jasmine occasionally suffers from mealybugs and aphids. A good insecticidal soap should do the trick.
|Botanical Name||Jasminum nudiflorum|
|Common Name||Winter jasmine|
|Plant Type||Deciduous shrub|
|Mature Size||4 ft. tall, up to 15 ft. tall on a trellis|
|Sun Exposure||Full sun, partial shade|
|Soil Type||Chalk, loam, sand, clay|
|Soil pH||Acid, alkaline, neutral|
|Bloom Time||Late winter|
|Hardiness Zones||6-10 (USDA)|
Winter Jasmine Care
Plant taxonomy classifies winter jasmine plants as Jasminum nudiflorum. For research purposes, note that Jasminum polyanthum also sometimes bears the common name, 'winter jasmine.' But that is a different plant (and a fragrant one that many gardeners want to grow). This is just one example of why we use scientific plant names to avoid confusion.
A winter jasmine plant mounds up around its base to form a shrub, but it sends out long branches from that central clump that grow as creeping vines. So is it a shrub or a vine? To a large degree, you can determine what it becomes. That is, how you care for the plant determines what form it will take: allow the long stems to spread for a shrubby groundcover, or add a trellis and guide the vines up it to grow horizontally. You can also guide vines to grow along fences or arbors as well. With its ability to multiply, you can see how this plant could be a good idea for a planting bed where you need something that gives you flowers, spreads to fill in an area quickly, and requires little care. It also looks lovely spilling over a wall.
You can grow this plant in full sun to partial sun. In fact, it is one of the best perennial vines for sun.
Winter jasmine needs to grow in well-draining soil.
Winter jasmine should be watered when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.
Temperature and Humidity
Winter jasmine is suitable in USDA hardiness zones 6-10. It's winter hardy, down to 5-degrees Fahrenheit.
The plants do not need to be fertilized very much, but if you want an excessive show of flowers, add a slow-release fertilizer to the plant's base.
If you keep winter jasmine pruned back, it will act as a shrub in your landscape. But if you leave it alone and allow it to grow naturally, it will function as a vine. In the latter capacity, it can be used either as a ground cover or as a climbing vine.
Gardeners who want it to climb should provide a supporting structure, such as a wooden arbor, tying the viny branches to the structure. Alternatively, these early bloomers can be useful as ground covers. In the latter role, use them for landscaping on slopes, for instance, to control erosion. But beware: Unsupported winter jasmine can be invasive. This is because the stems put out roots wherever they touch the soil. Faithful pruning is required to keep unsupported plants from spreading where they are not welcome.
If you are going to prune these plants just once over the course of the year, the ideal time to do so is in spring, right after they have bloomed. They flower on old wood, so by pruning at this time, you will not lose any flowers for next year. If you want to control spreading, you may want to prune multiple times, even though it means fewer flowers for next spring.
Propagating Winter Jasmine
Winter jasmine can be propagated by taking cuttings from semi-hardwood, cut with clean and sharp gardening shears. The cuttings can be planted directly into pots that are well-draining. It also naturally produces new offshoots, with branches developing roots where they touch the ground. When rooting occurs, simply sever the rooted stem from the main plant and dig your new baby out by the roots. Then, either pot it up or plant it somewhere else more suitable in your landscaping.
How to Grow Winter Jasmine From Seed
Winter jasmine seeds should be started several months before it's time to plant them outdoors. Sow seeds as soon as they are ripe. Soak seeds for 24 hours before you place them in potting soil, then water until the soil is moist. Place in direct sunlight and cover in plastic, to keep the moisture locked in. Keep the soil moist and watch them grow; when they have two pairs of leaves, you can harden them off outside for a week, then plant them in their new garden location.
Potting and Repotting Winter Jasmine
Winter jasmine does well in containers and should be planted in a well-draining mixture of peat and sand. It can stay in its original pot for many years, but will ultimately become pot-bound. That's when you should re-pot, in the spring, after the blooming period.