Jasminum – Climbing Species

There are hundreds of species of jasmines, but most are suitable only for conservatory or glasshouse, or occasionally for warm and sheltered positions in the west and south. The two jasmines most commonly grown in this country are J. nudiflorum, producing yellow flowers at intervals throughout the winter, and J. officinale, the common jasmine, producing fragrant white flowers throughout the summer. They are both tolerant of shady sites, and need only ordinary, well-drained garden soil. J. officinale climbs by twisting its stems, is a vigorous grower, and will go up to 9 m (30 ft) if it can find the support. It is deciduous, but will retain its leaves in a mild winter or position. J. nudiflorum, which can reach a height of 4.6m (15 ft), has to have its leading shoots fixed to the wall or fence. The laterals will curve downwards by themselves. A hybrid jasmine, J. x stephanense is a vigorous climber, producing fragrant pink flowers in June. It grows to 4.6-6m (15-20 ft), needs a sunny site, and is excellent for covering arches or pergolas.

Jasminum – Climbing Species

There are shrubby jasmines, most notably Jasminzim humile revolutum, 5 to 6 ft. high, with more or less evergreen leaves and good yellow flowers in summer. But it is the climbing or rambling jasmines that are most popular with gardeners, such as J. officinale, the common jasmine, a vigorous deciduous twiner with white, sweetly scented flowers in summer and early autumn, and J. nudiflorum, the winter jasmine, with long green stems and yellow flowers from November until February.

J. officinale simply wants a trellis, wires or something similar to climb over; J. nudifiorum has no means of holding itself up and so must be tied to whatever support is provided. The common jasmine likes a warm sunny place, does not need any regular pruning, and can be cut back or thinned out in late winter if overcrowded. The winter jasmine will grow in sun or shade and is improved in habit if each of the old flowering stems is shortened to 1 in. or so after flowering. All jasmines will thrive in any reasonably fertile soil.

General care: J. officinale should not be pruned unless it is necessary to keep it in shape, and pruning too hard will cause it to miss a year’s flowering. But J. nudiflorum needs a lot of pruning to encourage plenty of flowers in the winter. As soon as it has finished flowering, prune the laterals back to within a few inches of the leading shoots, to encourage the new growth which will bear the coming winter’s flowers. Cut old wood back to the ground from time to time to encourage young basal shoots.

Propagation: J. officinale and J. nudiflorum can be produced from seed sown in the autumn and grown on in a cold greenhouse or frame. They and J. x stephanense will grow from semi-hard cuttings taken at the end of summer and rooted in a 50-50 peat and sand mixture, or from shoots layered in the autumn.

Pests and disease: Generally trouble-free.

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.