How to Grow Winter Jasmine Vines

Winter jasmine with yellow flower on vine closeup

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

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
Flower Color Yellow
Hardiness Zones 6-10 (USDA)
Native Area China

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: After the 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. 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.

Light

You can grow this plant in full sun to partial sun. In fact, it is one of the best perennial vines for sun. 

Soil

Winter jasmine needs to grow in well-draining soil.

Water

Winter jasmine should be watered two to three times per week.

Temperature and Humidity

Winter jasmine is suitable in USDA hardiness zones 6-11. It's winter hardy, down to 5-degrees Fahrenheit.

Fertilizer

The plants do not need to be fertilized very much, but if you want them to get especially big for any reason, work some compost into the ground around them.

Pruning

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.

How to Grow Winter Jasmine From Seed

Winter jasmine seeds should be started several months before it's time to plant them outdoors. Soak seeds for 24 hours before you place them in potting soil, then water heavily till the soil is soaked. 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 plant them outdoors.

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.

Winter jasmine vines with yellow flowers in sunlight

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

Winter jasmine shrub with yellow flowers alongside garden walkway

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

Winter jasmine vines full of yellow flowers

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

Winter jasmine vines with yellow flowers and buds

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

Winter jasmine with yellow flowers and buds on vine

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova